Wednesday, November 28, 2007

AJAX Breaks my Back Button.

My last post about whether programmers should be allowed to wear headphones sparked a fair bit of debate, both in the comments and on the dzone website.

So, today I'm going to continue the controversy by talking about the problems with AJAX.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a massive fan of the potential of AJAX.

But it breaks the browsers back button.

This might not sound like such a big deal, but there are millions of web users who like to surf through links randomly, aimlessly wandering their way through cyberspace. To them, the back button is their piece of string in the dark cave of the internet.

Without it, the internet doesn't work as a link stack any more.

AJAX is essential for the future of the web, but developers should make it their priority to try to fix the problems that is produces.


Anonymous said...

Ajax Back Button review on ajaxprojects

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely correct: Ajax apps must be coded so that the back button works as users expect.

There are various techniques for doing this, but alas, browser incompatibilites make it a chore.

But any web app, Ajax or otherwise, that breaks the back button, is just, well, broken.

Richard Dare said...

I agree, And I'm going to stoke even more controversy:) The big problem is that we are trying to use what is essentially a kludged up document viewing program (the browser) as an application platform.

The entire web experience is enclosed within this document paradigm; a set of constraints that we are going to chafe against as we try and develop more complex applications.


(ps) sorry I didnt start posting sooner, I lost all my links not long ago