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evil web pages that autoreload

I hate web pages that automatically reload ever x minutes. It seems like no browser allows this to be turned off.

The worst is the damn pages with forms that auto reload. How stupid is that? you are half way through composing your message and the stupid page reloads, destroying whta you were typing? This is really a perfect example of the worst design possible - actively hostile to the user.

Dave Winchester
Thursday, May 6, 2004

IE allows this to be turned off.  The option is "Allow META REFRESH" in the custom security settings.  I don't know about the Mozilla family but odds are that if it's not a standard feature there's an extension to do it.

The problem with disabling it is that it's a popular way to do the equivalent of an HTTP redirect.  I guess that's for content developers so they don't have to mess with server configs and do a real redirect.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Two tangents:

Comparably evil are web pages that don't allow you to back up to the previous location, instead returning you to the same page. This is a sign of a company (IE, whoever commissioned the web site) with a majorly bloated corporate ego.

Web pages used for data entry are somewhat flawed as a principle of operation because there appears to be no way to protect entered data. You can accidentally close the browser window, or you can navigate away and lose your data.

Bored Bystander
Thursday, May 6, 2004

You can protect entered data via ASP.Net if you AutoPostBack every field on the form and then on every roundtrip to the server, store that info in a cookie (if the form is small), in the session (for short-term storage), or in a db somewhere (for long-term storage).

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Ankur, if you're doing that, be sure to test the form via a dialup connection through a few major service providers. Don't think that just because it works fine with the web server sitting under your desk it'll work fine for everyone.

Also be sure to test it with various browsers - IIRC, the autonavigate stuff really works best with IE (in other words, in other browsers your users will keep getting shunted to the top of the form)


Thursday, May 6, 2004

Opera lets you switch that off as well.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

"Comparably evil are web pages that don't allow you to back up to the previous location, instead returning you to the same page"

I think this is less conspiracy, more cockup. If the site is using some bloated content management system, these require that when someone hits the index page they then redirect them to /channel/content/blah,00,123,566,zzz.htm for the "real" home page. Also if they're wanting to implement user tracking without using cookies that a simialt thig would be redirecting them to a URL with their session ID in the URL.

Depending on how the redirect was done the browser adds the "in-between" page to the browser history - which is when you find yourself "trapped" on some sites and not able to simply "back button" out of there. A proper HTTP 302 redirect does nopt get added to the browser history -0 wheras probably a javascript "window.location.url = '...' " does.

Duncan Smart
Friday, May 7, 2004

On the back button thing, I have also noticed that some sites have ad banners that are fed from outside networks, and sometimes the rotation to another ad acts as a new page in the browser history.  Sometimes I'll click on Back, and it appears not to leave the page, but the ad banner goes back to a previous one.

In those cases I usually go to the drop down list next to Back, and choose which page I want to go back to.

Clay Whipkey
Friday, May 7, 2004

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