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"Back" Limiter

Because The Backspace Key Can Ruin Your Day.
  [vote for,

For my personal computer, I use a keyboard that has a built-in touchpad. It is more efficient than using a mouse separate from the keyboard (hand moves less distance between keys and the cursor-control).

For some reason keyboards with touchpads were quite popular for a few years (about 15 years ago), and then mostly disappeared. You can still find old models on eBay and other places, if you want one. And, of course, the huge majority of laptop computers have touchpads near the keyboard.

It happens that while I greatly appreciate the basic things about touchpads ("no moving parts!") there is a particular "feature" of touchpads that I dislike intensely. This is the "tap to click" feature. The problem is, you have to TOUCH the touchpad in order to move the mouse-cursor, but if you touch it just a touch too much, then the device sends a "click" signal to the computer, and undesirable things tend to happen as a result (suppose you were trying to move the mouse-cursor AWAY FROM a "delete data" button?).

Depending on the "driver" software for a touchpad, its "touchiness" can be adjusted somewhat, to make it less likely that a touch gets registered as a click, and sometimes the touch-to-click feature can be disabled entirely. Except for one thing! Because the keyboards I have are old, the drivers are old, too. They don't properly work with today's versions of the Operating System! (And the touchpad technology has itself changed so much that new drivers don't work with old touchpads.)

Now let's consider Posting an Idea here at the Half- Bakery. You click the "add" link, and the browser obliging opens up a window in which you can type text like you are reading right now. Every now and then you make a typographical error, and need to use the Backspace key to fix it.

Meanwhile, because the mouse-cursor is covering up some of the text you are writing, and you need to re-read that text to maintain the writing "flow", you have moved it away from the main text-editing area. If you clicked the mouse- button, the overall browser window would be selected, not the text area in which you are writing. GENERALLY, this is not a problem.

However! Remember the need to use the Backspace key occasionally? Sometimes when I am in a bit of a hurry and am typing madly, part of my arm brushes the touchpad hard enough to register as a "click". Because of the physical location of the touchpad, the probability of that event is increased when I reach toward the Backspace key.

So, after typing a nice long and brilliant Idea for an hour, the following events can happen Very Quickly:
1. I make a typographical error.
2. I reach for the Backspace key.
3. My arm brushes the touchpad and a "click" is registered.
4. The main browser window becomes selected. It will receive the next input that I give it.
5. I press the Backspace key.
6. The browser obligingly closes down the "add Idea" page, and goes Back to the previous Web Page.

All that work is lost!!!! I try not to be a violent person, but I am quite willing to scream from mental agony when that happens.

PLEASE, Let Me Have A Way To Disable The Browser's Connection Between The Backspace Key and the "Back To Previous Web Page" functionality!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The browser still offers a "Back Button" on the screen, and I'm perfectly willing to use that to go to the previous page, when that is what I want to do. I'm sure they created the connection between the Backspace key and the "Back" browser-feature because using the keyboard IS more efficient than moving the hand over there where the mouse is. But I have a nice efficient keyboard-with- a-touchpad, remember?!?! For me, it is so easy to move the mouse-cursor that I have no need of that "shortcut to disaster" connected to the Backspace key.

Vernon, Oct 02 2013

How to disable backspace as back button in Chrome and Firefox http://blog.laptopm...e-chrome-ie-firefox
God help you if you're using IE. [ytk, Oct 04 2013]


       Hmm.... well, generally I find that I can hit the "Next" arrow and restore the Add page and anything in the box. (happens to me quite a bit; the laptop keyboard is just a smidge too small for me)   

       There should be some kind of setting for touchpad clicking, and "disable backspace previous page" produced quite a number of Google hits. (in fact, now that you jog my elbow, I'm just about to install a fix right this minute [edit: done]).
FlyingToaster, Oct 02 2013

       I was just discussing with my daughter the fickle ways of browser windows, urging her to compose and save her work in Word then copy and paste.
bungston, Oct 04 2013

       I agree that backspace should not behave like that; it doesn't in Firefox. Are you using IE or something?   

       I also feel your pain. I literally cried once after losing a mere annotation.
spidermother, Oct 04 2013

       Mmm, firefox here and backspace does indeed return one to the previous wondow. I have never known this before trying it right now though.   

       Anyway pressing "forward" brings me right back to this half finished anno so no worries there.
pocmloc, Oct 04 2013

       To be precise, I have iceweasel (the Debian fork of firefox). It seems to be an exception. Opera on my windows installation has backspace to go back a page too.
spidermother, Oct 04 2013

       Wgy disnt ecryone jysr usw a rouch sxreen mivle drvice like ne, ans thrn ypu wiuldnt hsve ti deak wuth thst priblwm. Grt wuth thr tumes folkd. Tecjnoligy is flyung firwsrd abd lravinf yoi un thr dustr.
JesusHChrist, Oct 04 2013

       ah, shoulda mentioned I'm on Waterfox. According to Google there isn't a direct IE fix, but there are some workarounds like installing a hotkey tsr to force a backspace to act like a backspace.
FlyingToaster, Oct 04 2013

       I may have picked the HalfBakery as a bad example, because the event described in the main text depends somewhat on the Web site, not just the browser. Using the forward button DOES SOMETIMES restore your work. But definitely not always.   

       [21Quest], this issue is not about Tab-closure. It is about the page loaded into the tab, and the previous page that had been loaded into the tab. You generally cannot open a tab and immediately go to the add-new-text-for-something editing page; you usually go to an initial page where you click a button to go to the add-new-text page. So, when that is a different page from the first, the Tab would stay open if a "Back" happens.   

       Also, when you open a new Tab and go to some site, if you immediately try to do a "Back", so far as I know nothing ever happens, certainly not Tab- closure. In theory, then, that could be an alternate solution to the problem posed here, except, as just noted above, you can't always immediately get into an add-new-text web page as the first thing you do after opening a new Tab.   

       You CAN directly reach the add-new-text page here at the HalfBakery, provided you have bookmarked it. I'll have to remember that....
Vernon, Oct 04 2013

That may have to do with whether the page is reloaded from cache or fetched fresh from the 'net.
FlyingToaster, Oct 04 2013

       I'd just like IE and Sun to get together to fix the basic BACK button problem. Massively irritating.
RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2013

       Wish I could use something besides IE. The all-powerful IT gods have this machine on install lockdown.
RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2013


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