[thelist] controlling the back button

Christian Heilmann lists at onlinetools.org
Sun Jan 2 05:58:11 CST 2005

Tony Crockford wrote:

> I'm sure this has come up many times, and will no doubt cause a 
> kerfuffle.
> I'm aware of all the reasons why i shouldn't - googling finds thousands.
> my question is how can I, or how best to avoid the need.
> I'm building a PHP/MySQL application using data entry forms.  in some  
> cases it would be desirable to prevent the user from using the 
> browser  back button - e.g a part completed form, part updated record. 
> etc.
> Could I ask for links to information on:
> * best practice for avoiding the need to disable the back button 
> (what  should I be doing with my data entry design)
Make sure you display the errors properly, either by flagging up to the 
user which elements where missing as a list above the form linked to the 
fields in question, or by simply displaying only the missing fields once 

Forms and usability are a much too wide field to answer in one email. 
There is quite a good book on the subject out though:

> * best practice to disable the back button - for those desperately  
> important occasions when it's unavoidable.

Best practice is don't bother. There is _no_ way of doing it that 
wouldn't be an accessibility nightmare or easy to circumvent via turning 
off scripting or using keyboard shortcuts.



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