Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Complete browser history

A common problem with browsing context is that when you go back one page and forward to a different page, you lose the previous branch of the tree you were on:

1) index.html <- about.html
2) index.html -| [snip] about.html
-> contact.html
I can think of three possible solutions:

1) Weaving: under this rule, the above move would imply a history of
index.html -> about.html -> index.html -> contact.html
Problem 1: with larger jumps, it moves recently accessed pages back quite a bit in the history.
Problem 2: the chain grows forward by quite a bit as you go back and then onto a new branch.

2) A nested history interface, where each accessed url is like a folder, containing any pages that you accessed by following a hyperlink in the former. Typing a url in the top bar puts you back in the "root" directory, as does accessing a bookmark.
Problem: The hierarchies thus created are very deep and are difficult to represent graphically.

3) The banana throw: Only pages not immediately adjacent in the chain get appended to the head of the chain upon being visited.
Problem: the historical context in which pages were visited is not preserved.

The original post was made on
Apr Fri 8th 2005:

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