Back button with iPhone 11 snaps to top of AskMeFi page September 20, 2020 2:34 PM   Subscribe

When I am under the fold and then swipe to the right to go back to the main page, it snaps back to the top of the page instead of where I left off. So I need to scroll down to find where I was. It doesn’t happen with other MeFi pages or other pages in general, just AskMeFi. I use Safari. It’s so annoying I often just give up! Please help.

I wrote to the MeFi staff and they said they would look into it about a month ago but I didn’t hear back.
posted by waving to Bugs at 2:34 PM (24 comments total)

Thanks for posting this here. I know we just fixed another Safari/iPhone bug, so this may be part and parcel with that. I am not sure who is around today but if we can't get to it today someone can look at it soon. Sorry for the delay!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:35 PM on September 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have this same issue, but I think it might be more of an iOS problem than a site issue. It happens every time I click the “back” arrow or swipe back to the page I came from. I generally get around it by opening all links in a new tab.

You don’t want to see how many tabs I have open in safari on my phone...
posted by Ghidorah at 3:38 PM on September 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

I haven’t experienced this with other sites, even all the other Meta sites, just AskMeFi. I wonder if it has something to do with the ad.
posted by waving at 5:56 PM on September 20, 2020

Correction, I don’t see ads when I’m logged in, so it’s not ad related.
posted by waving at 6:13 PM on September 20, 2020

As a datapoint, I have had this same problem with my iPhone XS and iPad mini for at least six months, and not just on the green, it’s the same on the blue and grey as well. My work around was to download Chrome and use it instead. I am so glad you posted about this waving, it drove me crazy and I didn’t know how to describe the issue!
posted by msali at 8:49 PM on September 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm seeing this with "recent activity" as well, and it's a new thing. Safari on MacOS, not just mobile.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:59 AM on September 21, 2020

I can confirm msali, as I blogged about this in February, it's true of all subsites I visit (MeFi, Ask, FanFare) using an iPad mini: “I’ll believe that Safari on iPadOS is delivering the ‘desktop-class browsing’ promised last year when using < leaves me where I was when I followed a link instead of snapping to the top of the page.”
posted by channaher at 2:17 PM on September 21, 2020

Another thing I noticed: after upgrading my iPhone to v. 14 of the OS the front page of Metafilter (not MetaTalk, Fanfare, etc.) fails to render correctly in Safari: it's as if the page is too wide for the screen, and is cut off on the right. For instance, at present the top FPP looks like this to me:

It's been eighteen years... what do you remember a
"D.C. Snipers"? Earlier this year Michael Hobbes and
Marshall dedicated four forensically empathetic e

If I click through to the FPP then word wrap kicks in and I see the complete text.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:22 AM on September 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding Joe in Australia's comment.

Rendering bug, MeFi, main page, logged in, mobile site, classic theme, firefox 80.1.3, started on or about 2020-09-21.

Turning phone sideways (wider display) makes it legible.

Turning from classic mode to modern also works.

The comments render with proper width, and metatalk's main page renders properly. It's just metafilter's main page which is too wide.
posted by ecco at 5:34 AM on September 22, 2020

I'm having that issue with Mefi front page on an Android, logged in using Chrome. Just checked on Firefox, not logged in and it's fine there.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:18 AM on September 22, 2020

Heya folks, we're having trouble finding the cause of that non-wrapping bug on the front page; it's currently working fine in Classic mobile for me, which is not usually case when someone reports one of these. iOS version and browser + version is definitely helpful to help narrow down if this is version/browser specific, thank you for that and keep it coming if you're affected.

Background details on this: we see this happen now and then, specifically for Classic mobile, when there is a very long unbroken string on the front page: either ABunchOfWords with no spaces between them, or a literal URL; it happens because the Classic mobile CSS doesn't deal well with strings, but past attempts to fix that cleanly were apparently unsuccessful.

When we see it happen, we can usually fix it very quickly once someone reports: we look for long lines and add either whitespace or zero-width space characters as appropriate so that the long string breaks up into smaller-than-screen-width chunks. That's usually simple's usually an obvious string and it usually breaks on my phone too. I don't see a particularly long one in this case and my phone looks fine, so it's more of a mystery.

The reason it's only affecting one part of the site at a time is it's text on one or another front page (or potentially in a single thread if it's in comments). So the implication is this is something in the above the fold of something on the front page of the blue right now, probably a post from the 21st if that's the day folks saw it start. I'm gonna go stare a little closer at the posts from that day and try tweaking a couple things.

The other big thing here: this isn't an issue with the Modern Mobile theme's layout, which correctly accounts for this (and several other) old site rendering issue. For now may be worth popping over to that even if it's not your preferred mobile view of the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:49 AM on September 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

(I've tried one "not sure this should actually fix it" fix, so, uh, let me know if it's fixed for you now!)
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:34 AM on September 22, 2020

Thanks cortex, the long length clue is it. It's the repeated &nbsp; in the Mario post

On desktop I set my useragent to mobile Firefox, and narrowed the window until wrapping broke. Deleted nodes until I saw it fix. Reloaded, looked at that last thing I deleted, it was the mario post, edit as html, and the nbsp are visible, remove nbsp, and wrapping works.
posted by ecco at 10:09 AM on September 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

That is outstanding, ecco, thank you for figuring that out! I've edited it now so hopefully the front page should be back to normal.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:41 AM on September 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fixed for me (android/chrome browser).
posted by NorthernLite at 11:52 AM on September 22, 2020

Fixed for me too! Thanks everyone.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:13 PM on September 22, 2020

My problem is not fixed (original post). It does sound like the previous page snapping back to the top is a Safari thing, but maybe not or only in part? I mean, for me, this only happens on AskMeFi and not the other pages, nor other domains I frequently visit, although I see others saying it happens to all of their MeFi pages as well as others. I am using iOS 14.0.
posted by waving at 1:29 PM on September 22, 2020

While I'm here: should I be able to ask questions in AskMe while using an iPhone? There doesn't seem to be any way to do so. I'm using Safari, on iOs 14, with the Classic Theme. If the answer is that the Classic Theme doesn't accommodate that, fine, I just want to be sure I'm not missing anything.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:19 PM on September 22, 2020

Interesting: I'm also on iOS14 and cannot duplicate the snap-back-to-top-when-swiping-right-to-go-back issue. I'm using Modern Dark, though; what site themes are other iOS14 users using where they are having the snapback problem?
posted by Pandora Kouti at 3:44 PM on September 22, 2020

Classic Mobile doesn't accommodate that; the clunky workaround is you can switch to the Classic Standard (i.e. desktop) view to post, then switch back using the link at the bottom of the page. (FAQ entry on manually switching from mobile view to standard and back)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:15 PM on September 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

waving, I found a couple of reports of similar problems with Safari (1, 2, 3), but no one seems to have a good answer. There are some suggestions that it has to do with Safari running out of memory, and one person mentions that it mostly happens to them when they have a lot of tabs open. I have no idea why it would consistently happen on one subsite but not the others, though.
posted by ectabo at 9:01 AM on September 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Joe in Australia: You're right! There's no way to post a new Ask using classic on an iPhone. I never noticed this. You can scroll all the way to the bottom of the menu and select Standard Site (i.e. Desktop) but that kind of defeats the easy-to-read-on-a-phone nature of the mobile site.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:47 AM on September 27, 2020

Well, now I am having the same problem in Chrome, with all meta sites, on an iPad. I am logged in and using the “modern” view. I don’t get it.
posted by msali at 8:00 PM on September 27, 2020

I don’t get the snap to them top on any MeFi sites with my iPad in Safari. On my phone I see the snap up on AskMefi but not the other sites. Both have OS 14.0.1
posted by waving at 5:18 AM on September 28, 2020

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