Google Blogoscoped

Monday, February 26, 2007

When Your Input Gets Erased On Page Load

One of the many annoying web interface bugs is that text you entered in a box while the page is still loading is erased when the page finished loading. Google commits this annoyance in at least two places I know of: Google image search (since like forever), and as of lately, the Blogger comments function as well. What usually happens is that some JavaScript function is fired off on page load – an event which is triggered only after the page finished loading – but the input box was already showing before the page finished loading (because there may be e.g. larger images contained below the box). As a result, whatever you typed already will be killed by the JavaScript.

Note these bugs are not always reproducable due to timing. But in theory, you’ll be able to reproduce this in Google Images by searching for e.g. test. Now, after seeing the first thumbnail you may notice these aren’t the kinds of result you’re looking for, so you’ll amend your search query while the page is loading. But while you’re typing your new search query, it will be replaced by the old one (even though the old query was already in the box when you started typing), and you’re forced to type it again.


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