Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Google Friend Connect and the back button

If you wait long enough, generally whatever feature you’ve wanted to add to your website gets implemented by somebody in such a way that you can reuse it yourself, so I was pleased to see Google Friend Connect had the ability to let users add comments to web pages, as this is something I’d wanted to add to the Random Pub Finder for a long time, and hadn’t got round to doing, mainly due to laziness. Admittedly Friend Connect may not be the perfect solution, particularly if you want to keep in control of your data, but it looks good as a quick and dirty hack.

So I added it and almost immediately I noticed a bit of a major problem. Hitting the back button didn’t take me back to the previous page, I needed to press it again. In fact, it turns out that for every Friend Connect gadget that you add to a page, another entry gets added to the history list, making backwards navigation even more difficult. It looks like it’s an IE only issue, but given that most web users are still using IE, I think it’s pretty big problem (unless normal users don’t use the back button?). After doing some searching on the internet, I discovered this problem has been around for quite a while but still hasn’t been fixed. Which is a shame, because Friend Connect looks cool. But it looks like I’ll have to remove it until this issue is addressed.

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