browser back navigation pony? March 21, 2011 10:15 PM   Subscribe

So the new show-new-comments feature is awesome! Except... when I load new comments and then hit the back button, it goes back to the post without the new comments, instead of back to (for example) the main page that I navigated from.

Is there a way to make it so that I can load the new comments and then use the back button as if I hadn't just loaded new comments?

For example: let's say I am checking out this post, which has this URL:

If I show the new comment, this is the new URL:

So 'back' just gets me to this URL:

When really I want to go two backs.

(Or is this just such an awesome new feature I should shut up and click 'back' twice?)
posted by bluedaisy to Feature Requests at 10:15 PM (14 comments total)

We have things set up this way so we don't break the back button after you leave the thread. If you click to leave the thread and then come back via the back button, that #inline-[comment_id] tells the site where to pick up again. Without that, you'd use the back button and get to the thread as it was when you originally loaded it.

The trade off is that we break the back button in the other direction. There's a history entry for each 'state' the page was in. You don't care about getting back to previous points in the thread with fewer comments, so those states don't have any meaning for you. Most people are with you.

The exception to the #inline-[comment-id] rule is when you have visited the thread to see a particular comment. In that case, the URL already has an anchor, like so: #[comment_id]. If that exists, we skip adding anchor points as you load new comments. So one way to disable those history points is clicking on a comment timestamp to load a specific comment ID in the URL. However, if you load new comments the back button will be broken if you click away from the page and then use the back button to return.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:31 PM on March 21, 2011

Click and hold the back button, choose the page you want. Easy solution that doesn't break the functionality of the button.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:48 PM on March 21, 2011

Firefox doesn't do the click-and-hold thing, but it does have a dropdown menu near the back and forward buttons that allow a direct jump to any page in the back/forward list.
posted by flabdablet at 10:50 PM on March 21, 2011

FF4 doesn't have that dropdown anymore, so it is indeed click-hold to get that.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:38 AM on March 22, 2011

flabdablet: "Firefox doesn't do the click-and-hold thing"
BeerFilter: "FF4 doesn't have that dropdown anymore, so it is indeed click-hold to get that."

Right click the back/forward button.
posted by Plutor at 7:29 AM on March 22, 2011

Or is this just such an awesome new feature I should shut up and click 'back' twice?

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
posted by SLC Mom at 7:35 AM on March 22, 2011

Could the HTML5 history features obviate this problem?

That's a good question. I don't know. If it can overwrite an existing history entry then we could at least change it for browsers that support HTML5. I'll take a look.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:06 AM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks, pb, for the explanation. And thanks to everyone for the suggestions--I think this is mostly an issue of me remembering that I've clicked the show new comments button.

Also, have I mentioned this new feature is teh awesome?

Sincerely, The Person Trying Very Hard Not To Be An Ungrateful MeFite.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:20 AM on March 22, 2011

I was about to be all 'ooh well click more than once then, softy' until I remembered that I wasn't in the car and it didn't have to be a dick.
posted by h00py at 8:52 AM on March 22, 2011

FF4 doesn't have that dropdown anymore, so it is indeed click-hold to get that.

FF4 does have the compelling story of a Dark Knight's redemptive quest to become a Paladin and save the world, though.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:52 AM on March 22, 2011

Opening threads in tabs is your friend! It makes reading metafilter and especially ask metafilter so freaking handy. Then when you're done with the thread, you just close the tab. The one downside is that you're not reloading the homepage and seeing new posts, but refreshing once or twice seems more convenient to me than hitting the back button a lot.
posted by Kimberly at 12:03 PM on March 22, 2011

I just pushed out a new version of this feature that takes advantage of the HTML5 history API if the browser supports it. That should solve this problem for Firefox 4+, Safari 5+, Chrome 8+, iPhone 4.2.1+. Sorry IE, Opera, and Android—you're out of luck.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:15 PM on March 22, 2011 [4 favorites]

Whoa, you have amazed me with your awesomeness. Thanks!
posted by bluedaisy at 2:16 PM on March 22, 2011

Wow fantastic! Thanks pb!
posted by tjenks at 3:41 PM on March 22, 2011

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