Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Apr 2012 14:01 UTC
Google Yesterday, I wanted to leave a link to a search query in a Facebook comment. Then this happened. Please Google, fix your damn query URLs. This is unusable, user-hostile crap.
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RE[2]: Just edit the search url
by Alfman on Thu 19th Apr 2012 13:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Just edit the search url"
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"Now, why the hell did they change the normal questionmark (?) to a pound sign (#)? It used to work (a couple of years) before."

AnyoneEB and I already commented on why, but maybe it wasn't clear enough.

Due to web browser restrictions javascript pages (particularly those updating their own content via AJAX calls) cannot update parameters after the '?' symbol without forcing a full page reload. This is an annoying restriction but it's what we web developers have to live with since no browsers I am aware of have ever fixed it. Consequently AJAX web developers have to accept that page URLs no longer reflect the javascript content that is being displayed on the page. The URL either must be generic, or it will be wrong as the page's content is updated. (Or we avoid using AJAX to refresh sections of the page and revert to a full postback).

The exception of course is for data after '#', since from the early days of netscape it was used to jump to different "bookmarks" in the web page. It never generated a postback.

To be sure, it's a terrible practice since pages using '#' to pass parameters don't work without javascript. It's a total misuse of the way they are supposed to work. Had Thom or anyone else posted those links, it'd probably cause unintended accessibility problems. But there you go, hopefully you now understand the motivation in a nutshell.

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