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sr #108562: "Submit" appears in two places, hitting the wrong one loses your submission

Submitted by:  Richard Shann <rshann>
Submitted on:  Tue 06 May 2014 07:54:14 AM UTC  
 
Category: Savannah trackers - bugs, tasks, etc.Priority: 5 - Normal
Severity: 3 - NormalStatus: Confirmed
Assigned to: Bob Proulx <rwp>Operating System: None
Open/Closed: Open

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Thu 15 May 2014 08:46:58 PM UTC, comment #3:

> You say I should be able to hit the back button - when I do this the
> contents of what I typed has gone (I just tested this out right here
> typing in this...


Hmm... I tested various actions with different browsers. I think I may have confused myself when looking at normal links versus when looking at the submit pulldown link. When I navigate to any normal link (say the User Docs: Cookbook link for example) and then go Back then the browser restores the form text state. But when I naviage away using the pulldown submit link it does not. There is also a slightly longer pause there making me think there is an HTTP redirect happening. That would rewrite the Back history. (Redirects are often required for correct Back functionality such as after a form submission.) But when I try to capture that with wget/curl I don't see any redirect happening. It is just a normal transaction. Which is conflicting information since that shouldn't break the Back button behavior but it is somehow. There are two trackers. Each works with the opposite but is broken with the same.

> It sounds like that is the real bug to fix, as you say, accidentally
> navigating away is always possible, but you don't want to lose a
> heap of typing when you do.


Something that I couldn't yet quantify is also happening. It needs more investigation. Because Back is definitely broken for the pulldown submit link when it is working okay for the normal navigation links. It is only the pulldown Submit link. Other pulldown links are okay. Also it isn't simply the submit button since there are two trackers and the opposite one always works. It is only the same page referrer that breaks the Back button.

This leads me to believe the problem is probably due to something in the PHP code related to an actively logged in session dynamically doing something different in the combination of being logged in and navigating to a link to the same page that is currently actively. It is probably doing something silly like trying to optimize page reloads or something and instead doing something buggy. It would probably be obvious from looking at the PHP code. (Shudder!)

> I didn't offer to fix this as it would result in a net loss to the
> free software movement by diverting me from Denemo - I didn't
> realize there was no-one with the code at their fingertips who could
> replace the label "Submit" with "Create Submission" or some
> such. And, now, with your comment about the back button behavior, I
> guess the problem is more severe - that would just be an
> amelioration.


By all means please keep working on Denemo! I was just being honest about the unlikelyhood of any fix happening in the near future. I as well haven't jumped in on the web UI because it would distract me from the host system maintanence that needs to be done. Unfortunately no one is actively working on the web PHP user interface code at this time. That problem has had some background chatter but no formal discussion for a solution has occurred yet. And so things are simply continuing as they are at the moment.

> Finally, I just noticed that this form (the one for adding a new
> comment) does have a button "Submit Changes" in view, towards the
> top. But the form to create a bug report does not :(


The page UI is somewhat hodgepodge throughout. It would be a target rich environment for a PHP web person to work through and improve.

Your report brings up two issues. One is UI ergonomics of submit buttons. The other is that the Back button is broken for the pulldown submit to the same page as currently active.

With this further analysis I will go ahead and assign it to me so that it will be in my queue to notice when I am looking at tasks. I might be able to squeeze some time to fix it. And there isn't anyone else looking at these types of problems. But honestly it might be a while before I can get to it.

Note to any future Savannah Hacker. If you see this and are a PHP web person please feel free to claim the ticket and jump in if it is still unfixed.

Bob Proulx <rwp>
Site AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Mon 12 May 2014 07:33:04 AM UTC, comment #2:

>But it should be hidden under a CSS pulldown menu. It should be a link. Is that what you are seeing?


Yes, that is where I found it - the button that says Submit is out of sight off the bottom of the screen, so I looked round for what to do next, having typed in my bug report.

>click the browser back button. That should restore the form contents and place you back to where you were before.


You say I should be able to hit the back button - when I do this the contents of what I typed has gone (I just tested this out right here typing in this, but I took the precaution of copying what I had typed to the clipboard first!)
It sounds like that is the real bug to fix, as you say, accidentally navigating away is always possible, but you don't want to lose a heap of typing when you do.
I didn't offer to fix this as it would result in a net loss to the free software movement by diverting me from Denemo - I didn't realize there was no-one with the code at their fingertips who could replace the label "Submit" with "Create Submission" or some such. And, now, with your comment about the back button behavior, I guess the problem is more severe - that would just be an amelioration.
Finally, I just noticed that this form (the one for adding a new comment) does have a button "Submit Changes" in view, towards the top. But the form to create a bug report does not :(

Richard Shann <rshann>
Mon 12 May 2014 01:55:24 AM UTC, comment #1:

What you say is true. But it is also true if the user clicks any link. And it is a generic issue with any web site form. Any time the user clicks on a link it will take you to that link.

The best thing to do if that happens is to immediately click the browser back button. That should restore the form contents and place you back to where you were before.

As a web style principle links are HTTP GET requests and GET should be "safe" and idempotent. They are not supposed to change state. As a matter or practice we usually allow logout as a link since logouts are safe. But anything else that changes state should be a POST request. This gives obvious feedback to the user that by hitting a form button that they are taking an action that does something. And by the same logic that if you click on a link that you are not doing anything. A link won't submit a form.

http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/whenToUseGet.html

Sometimes you see web sites violate this principle just the same. Those are definitely broken if they do not follow those rules.

I would like to ask a couple questions so that your experience is documented properly. But I fear to say that it is unlikely this will get fixed any time soon. There isn't any active development of the Savannah web site these days. There isn't anyone who is actively working on the web site code. Therefore I don't think there will be any improvements to it anytime soon. Someone would need to do the work and at this moment there isn't anyone to be that someone. Notice that I am only adding comments to this ticket and did not assign it to myself. I am not in a position to be able to develop for this web site myself either. So the ticket will simply be hanging.

If you were interested in improving the web site then that would be great. If you submitted patches that improved the code then it is likely that they would be incorporated.

When you see the upper submit is that the one under a pull down menu? It depends somewhat upon what theme you are using which is why I ask. But it should be hidden under a CSS pulldown menu. It should be a link. Is that what you are seeing?

Bob Proulx <rwp>
Site AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Tue 06 May 2014 07:54:14 AM UTC, original submission:

The initial menu for trackers has a Submit item, which should be labelled Create (or New, ...), since once you have created a bug report if the Submit button at the bottom of the page is out of view you can look round for it and find the submit button in the tracker menu; clicking that starts a new bug losing all your typing.

Richard Shann <rshann>

 

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    Date Changed By Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced By
    Thu 15 May 2014 08:46:58 PM UTCrwpStatusNone=>Confirmed
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