Redirect_to doesn't create history

I have a wizard type flow where on each screen clicking the “continue”
button posts data to the server, then I use redirect_to to show the
main wizard page (which dynamically shows partials based on the
current state). The oddity I’m seeing - and maybe it’s just an HTTP
thing - is that when these redirects happen, there is NO entry in the
browser history - not even for the page that was redirected to. So,
if this happens:

 GET /wizard    (on "page 1" here)
 POST /wizard  (form filled in on "page 1" is processed here,

model’s page parameter changed to “2”, then I do a redirect_to
wizard_url)
GET /wizard (on “page 2” here because the model had it’s page
number changed)

What I see in history is the initial entry for wizard and that’s it.
So if a user is on page 2 (or 3 or 4 or whatever) and hits their back
button, they go back to whatever page was displayed before they first
started the wizard.

Is there a special HTTP code I can set using the :status parameter to
force it to put ALL of the GET requests in the history (even the ones
initiated by redirect)?

Thanks for any help.

jc

On Sep 28, 2010, at 9:16 PM, jdc wrote:

model’s page parameter changed to “2”, then I do a redirect_to
force it to put ALL of the GET requests in the history (even the ones
initiated by redirect)?

There might be, but I haven’t heard of it. What your describing
actually makes sense. A redirect implies the page is now elsewhere. So
why save it in the history? That is…

GET /some-page (in history)
GET /some-old-url (results in redirect to /some-new-url)
GET /some-new-url (in history)

Why, normally would you want to see that second request in your browser
history?

I don’t know how you have your app setup, but instead of redirecting,
what about sending back an almost empty page containing just enough
javascript or meta-refresh to take you to the next page.

-philip

Thanks for the reply. You’re correct - and in your example I’d expect
to see the following in history:

  • /some-page
  • /some-new-url

That’s not exactly what I was describing though. In my case, think of
it as /some-old-url actually redirecting to /some-page instead of /
some-new-url. Since the browser sees a redirect to /some-page - which
is the same url it’s already on - it seems to say “ok, I didn’t go
anywhere” and not change the history at all. So in the history I only
have:

  • /some-page

From a browser standpoint, this makes since because it doesn’t know
that /some-page is dynamically generated based on state saved in a
DB.

This question really arose from me trying to keep a single URL for
every page in the wizard and just display whatever step the user was
actually on. After thinking about the problem for a bit, I decided
that each wizard step is actually a different page and needs it’s own
URL - it didn’t really make sense to do what I was doing. This solved
the problem completely for me since with different URLs the history is
working the way I’d expect - and code got a lot cleaner too!

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