The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

May 18th, 2001

Excuse me, I’m typing!

A lot of today’s browsers are convenient, aren’t they? Particularly IE, with its handy form-filler and the like. Plus, as we know, IE is a super super speed demon when it comes to page rendering! Er, wait. It’s not.

Sometimes it’s not that speedy. And sometimes the pages I’m loading contain login forms – such as at my bank’s site. So, I’ll just tab/click over to the username field and start typing. Almost every time, without fail, the page will finish loading as I’m typing my password and – ah! – IE "thoughtfully" puts me back to the first form field on the page. What a convenient feature!

One of the programs that seemed to avoid a version of this dilemma was Opera. But with Opera 5, the designers have said, "Screw you fast typers!" One of my other browsing techniques is… if a page doesn’t load quick enough, or I’ve typoed the address, I’ll just clear out the address bar and start anew. But, yes, once the page is done loading, my address bar is "thoughtfully" changed back to the current location, and the cursor is plunked at the start of it all. So I end up with something cute like w.dailyping.cohttp://www. at the start.

The solution? Actually, there are two. First, simply, check if the user is typing in the address bar or in a form field, and let the user finish. I don’t care if my bank’s 20K image comes up or not while I’m typing – I want to login! Alternately, I can blame it on the inconsistencies of the Windows UI – if I’m not supposed to be typing at that time, don’t make the form available to me. Grey it out. Kill it.

Got any browser bugaboos? -pm

Posted in Technology

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