Friday, June 03, 2005

Improve Browser History, Please!

The browser session history is linear, and works fairly well, but it really doesn't take advantage of how people surf the web. The way that it works today is that while you're surfing, you can hit the back button go return to a previous page, and once you use the back button, you have the option to use the forward button.

But, if you go back a couple of clicks in history, and then navigate to a new link, then you lose everything that was in your "forward history".

How do you improve this behavior? Instead of having the history be stack based (or whatever linear data structure is actually used), make it tree based. In this way, if you go back a couple of clicks and then follow a different hyperlink, a new branch is started in the session history. When you click the forward button from a page with multiple branches, you're prompted as to which branch to forward into.