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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <craig...@apache.org>
Subject RE: The Back button on on multi-page forms ??????
Date Tue, 11 Mar 2003 06:22:58 GMT


On Tue, 11 Mar 2003, Andrew Hill wrote:

> Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 11:06:01 +0800
> From: Andrew Hill <andrew.david.hill@gridnode.com>
> Reply-To: Struts Users Mailing List <struts-user@jakarta.apache.org>,
>      andrew.david.hill@gridnode.com
> To: struts-user@jakarta.apache.org
> Subject: RE: The Back button on on multi-page forms ??????
>
> Hasnt got to that stage yet, but Im guessing that the js trick wont be
> particularly 'appreciated'.
>
> Of course that code is centralised in one javascript file, so can be changed
> once Ive had a chance to get tokens working, but Im going to need some fancy
> code to handle the situation where the url of the previous page is
> resubmitted as theres a fair bit of stuff that has to go into the session
> context that wont be there any more if they have completed that operation
> and then try to go back into it.
>
> Life would be a lot easier if this was just a website with some interactive
> bits, however its very much more in the nature of a complex application with
> bucket loads of state that happens to use a browser instead of a standalone
> client and so theres a lot more 'funny stuff' going on behind the scenes
> than your average struts app would have - none of which plays well with the
> back button (or refresh & multiple submit for that matter). :-(
>

I've been known to "discourage" the use of the back button by opening my
apps in a browser window that doesn't have the usual location bar and back
button icons -- it doesn't help you defend against people that know the
keyboard shortcuts, but I was pretty happy with how much this simple
approach cut down complaints about the back button not working.

Of course, it's incumbent upon the app developer to include enough nice
navigation controls in the page layout so as to minimize the temptation to
use the back button in any case ... :-)

When you get that (rare :-) *rational* user that complains about the back
button, ask them to show you where the back button is on any traditional
GUI app, and then ask them why it should work in a web *application* as
opposed to a web *site*.

Yes, it's tilting at windmills, but we can at least get a *few* people to
understand how silly this behavior is.

Craig (who is usually sympathetic to app users, but not this time)

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