Keeping Page History in Web Apps

, Jan 21, 2005

I just skimmed through an article describing WebFlow Navigation Manager, a framework to support backwards navigation in Web browsers. I just have to comment on this:

The Back button of the browser is not typically the best way for the user to navigate in reverse through a Web application. A better solution is to keep the navigation history on the server side. With the WebFlow Navigation Manager framework, you can do just that.

WTF? If I can no longer use the Back and Forward, that’s a bug — and definitely not one in the browser. No amount of server-side history-keeping fumbling is going to alleviate that unless you make your URLs and HTTP interactions work as they are intended to.

[via Patrick Logan]

On January 21, 2005 3:25 PM, Christian Romney said:

Amen. The server-side idea is well-intentioned, but oh so misguided. The unfortunate problem is most web developers and programmers haven’t read the Architecture of the World Wide Web. The don’t understand concepts like idempotence, and they don’t understand best practices like “Don’t break the back button!”