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Override Back Button Event

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Override Back Button Event

Detailed write-up


One of the biggest complaints about Ajax applications is that they break the browser navigation model, ie the back button doesn't work for Ajax applications. Ajax applications works completely different from the traditional URL history based navigation system, mainly because the concept of one URL per page is no longer valid. In an Ajax application we are effectively browsing only one single web page with the content updated dynamically so when the user hits the back button we jump right outside the context of the Ajax application we are working on. Solutions? There has been many hacks like taking control of the URL history but none has satisfied one single request for the poor Ajax developer, which is allow the developer to simply override the 'back button' event (and none of this redirect hack or page unload wish-wash). If we can override this back button event, we can have absolute control over when or how we want the screen to be updated, some cases may require us to re-render the Ajax page content to a previous state and in some cases just some simple content undo or jump to previous url. Give us power over the back button!!

Why Is This Important?

not yet written

What exists today?

Some Ajax toolkits have APIs that allow control over the back button.

The HTML5 effort is working on defining some standards in this area:


In this section, the contributors should express their opinions about this feature request, such as providing particular technical analysis or describing in prose why this feature is important (or not). It is recommended that each contributor create his own level-3 sub-section (e.g., === Jon Ferraiolo Comments ===).

It is OK for others to insert comments within other people's sections, but as a courtesy please make sure that it is clear which part of the section is original and which section are annotative comments. For example, perhaps annotative comments would be colorized (e.g., enclosed by <span style="color:red">JON: Here is what I think about what you are saying.</span>).

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