The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-30-2011, 10:31 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 29,555
Why doesn't the 'back' button work on Amazon?

Thread title pretty much says it. I've recently noticed that I can't navigate back on Amazon's website using the 'back' arrow of the IE9 browser. I don't have this issue with any other website. It's most annoying.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-30-2011, 12:19 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Many shopping sites do this. I think it is to compensate for sloppy programming. For example, if you go back and change your order, their computer might not realize that you've changed your order, but might think that you're entering an additional order. Stuff like that. Disabling the "back" button prevents some of those things.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-30-2011, 12:31 PM
SeldomSeen SeldomSeen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
I run onto sites sometimes where the back button doesn't work, and it doesn't always seem to be shopping sites. I've found, however that by using the "recent pages" arrow beside the back/foreward buttons you can back up by using the pull-down menu. For some reason that always seems to work even where the back button doesn't. FWIW.
SS
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-30-2011, 01:45 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 29,555
It seems bizarre on a site where being able to browse is important. I almost never buy the first book I look at, but would like to be able to get back to it with a couple of clicks, if necessary.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-30-2011, 01:57 PM
njtt njtt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
On sites like that, I almost always use middle-click to open the next window in a new tab, so teh old one still stays there. (I use Firefox, but I think this works in IE too.)

In FF I combine this with use of the "Back to Close" add-on and the mouse side button set as a back button. This makes things even easier, but it is not essential.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-30-2011, 02:12 PM
srzss05 srzss05 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen View Post
For some reason that always seems to work even where the back button doesn't.
The reason it works that way is that you bypass the redirect that simply hitting the back button sets up.

Some sites have multiple layers of redirects, and when I discover those sites they go into my list of restricted sites.

Last edited by srzss05; 06-30-2011 at 02:14 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-30-2011, 04:32 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 55,535
To explain further, the simplest way to disable the back button is through redirects. When you click a link on Page A, it doesn't take you directly to Page B where you want to go, but to Page C, which is set up to immediately forward you to B. So when you're on B and hit the back button, that takes you to C, which immediately sends you back to B. With the dropdown, though, instead of going back one page at a time (to C), you can go back multiple pages, to A.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:11 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 29,555
Since I can't even understand the explanation, it's time for an email to Amazon to complain.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:16 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
My FF5 back button works just fine on Amazon.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:20 PM
Fake Tales of San Francisco Fake Tales of San Francisco is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Back button works fine in Chrome too!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-01-2011, 11:39 PM
BigT BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
Many shopping sites do this. I think it is to compensate for sloppy programming. For example, if you go back and change your order, their computer might not realize that you've changed your order, but might think that you're entering an additional order. Stuff like that. Disabling the "back" button prevents some of those things.
Yeah, but all modern browsers compensate for this by asking you whether you want to resubmit the information.

Combined with the fact that Chrome and Firefox work correctly, I'm going to assume it's an accident. Firefox has this problem in one of the betas of Firefox 4. It has to do with how the browser history is processed. Sometimes you get two versions of the same page--I think because the code refreshes the page or something.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-02-2011, 12:09 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 19,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Thread title pretty much says it. I've recently noticed that I can't navigate back on Amazon's website using the 'back' arrow of the IE9 browser. I don't have this issue with any other website. It's most annoying.
IE9 is new. Did you notice the problem around when you installed it? I'm using IE8 and the back button works just fine at Amazon.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-02-2011, 11:35 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 29,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
IE9 is new. Did you notice the problem around when you installed it? I'm using IE8 and the back button works just fine at Amazon.
In light of the above posts, you may be on to something. I sent an email and they promised to look into it, but it's probably a MS glitch (big surprise).
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-02-2011, 01:42 PM
RaftPeople RaftPeople is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Yeah, but all modern browsers compensate for this by asking you whether you want to resubmit the information.
Which is not really a solution. What exactly is getting resubmitted? From the user perspective there is no way to know.

The problem is that browsers were designed for a stateless display of information and we are trying to use them for processes that are inherently full of state. It's a complete mismatch. What does it mean to have a link to a page that is dependent on the state at the time it was generated and that the state has now changed? I don't think it makes much sense at all.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.