Browser History

by Jin, 03-12-09 // 5 comments
don't mess with my browser history

I have a few pet peeves when visiting web sites. I don’t like auto pop ups or resizing to full screen mode. The most annoying thing to me though, is clearing my browser history. I made the tweet above a few days ago, after having a site cleared my browser history. It has to be the most intrusive and offensive thing a web developer can possible do(besides stealing your clipboard content with IE. another reason not to use IE6).

Even though the History object doesn’t have an intrinsic method to clear history, it’s very easy to get around it.

var x = window.history.length -1;
window.history.go(-x);
window.location.href = 'http://www.whateverurl.com';

IMO, the History object is flawed. Besides the reason listed above, it’s possible for a site to pseudo sniff your history by exploiting the CSS bug. As of now, there are no solutions to these two problems that I know of(unless JS is disabled).

The history navigation methods are definitely useful for web applications. However I feel browsers need to implement an alert prompt or security setting when a site attempts to traverse through the history object. IE7 currently does this for the clipboard object.

If you have any solutions or suggestions please let me know.

5 comments

also feel free to contact me on twitter or via email
Jarrod Dixon 03-12-09

I’ve never noticed this, as I browse by opening most all links in a new tab and closing the tab once I’m done with that page.

As for most annoying – Flash ads, hands-down. We’ve evolved to notice motion and damned if almost every site has lots of it!

Rob Chant 03-12-09

Jarrod — use an ad blocker!

Michael 03-12-09

Nice to see you writing again.
But we need more post :)

Jin 03-13-09

Jarrod, I use tabs too. But I have a habit of building up a history per tab depends on what type of sites I surf. I can probably list some other things that I find annoying, but luckily they died down. (mouse cursor trailers, applet galore, page counters etc etc)

Michael, thanks!

Evan Byrne 03-14-09

I agree with you whole heartedly Jin. When I visit a website and it won’t let me go back I won’t visit that site ever again. never ever.