Client side HTML5 History API support #72

merged 25 commits into from Jun 28, 2012


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vesse commented Jan 18, 2012

Enable using HTML5 History API and the clean URLs it brings instead of the hash fragment URIs on browsers that support it. In practice a new configure option html5history was added and the required changes implemented to browser.js.

These changes have been manually tested with:

  • Chrome 16.0.912.75 (Windows)
  • Chromium 15.0.874.106 (Linux)
  • Firefox 9.0.1 (Linux & Windows)
  • Safari 5 (Windows)
    • Navigation from the UI works with Safari as well, but browser back button skips pages. This does happen with e.g. Spine.js as well, and also on so I would assume it's just a browser "feature".
  • Internet Explorer (64-bit)
  • rekonq 0.8.0 (location bar URI does not change but navigation works)

No tests were added due to not being able to test with just a HTML page and QUnit. Implementing tests would require adding a server implementation that serves the test page and related JS components.

Documentation is updated as well. Unfortunately the diff contains a lot of irrelevant changes as my editor stripped trailing whitespaces.

vesse added some commits Jan 17, 2012

@vesse vesse Added support for HTML5 History API
Added support for configure option html5history and related browser side
implementation. With this option routing can use pretty URIs instead of
the hash URIs. It's worth to notice that switching the method most
likely requires changes also to backend since the browser will, upon
initial page load, ask for the URI it is loading instead of the service
index (e.g.

There is a bug in Chrome which causes it to trigger onpopstate event
when performing initial page load. Since the event handler must be
called upon init manually to ensure correct content, the bug would cause
two handler calls in Chrome. Now the handler is set in a setTimeout in
order to avoid (most) double calls in Chrome.

See Chrome bug for reference:
@vesse vesse Documentation for the HTML5 History API
Also a lot of fuzz due to my editor stripping out extra whitespace.
@vesse vesse More info link pointing to correct section b1972ff
@vesse vesse Minor documentation update d6d2206
@vesse vesse And yet again minor documentation update c54d6d9
@vesse vesse Do not enforce type check when checking for history support
At least IE9 returns undefined instead of null and thus history support
would be incorrectly set to true if using strict comparison.

pksunkara commented Jan 18, 2012

Thanks, will be reviewed soon.


indexzero commented Jan 18, 2012

Cool. I'm no expert on pushState implementations, but @jashkenas was asking about this last week at NYC.js. Awesome how open source works like that :)

Any update on whether or not this is making it into director? Currently using vesse's branch in the meantime.


coderarity commented Feb 15, 2012

Do want.


mrienstra commented Feb 17, 2012


vesse added some commits Feb 28, 2012

@vesse vesse Switch to HTML5 history URIs if page is loaded with a hash URI
In some cases, like when you get an URL from an IE user, page can be entered with a hash URL. This commit changes the functionality so that the hash is checked regardless of operation mode, and if in HTML5 history mode the current history state is replaced and handler is called with a nice, clean URI.
@vesse vesse Merge branch 'master' into html5-history-api
@vesse vesse README merge conflict fixed. 6be2fe8

pksunkara commented Mar 27, 2012

@hij1nx Decision please.

0x00A commented Mar 28, 2012

I'm on the fence about taking this commit without any tests. although i really want these features. Is there any way you can add a simple harness with a director backend?


vesse commented Mar 28, 2012

@hij1nx If your question was meant for me, sure. My original intention was of course to add tests as well but then I got busy, and also didn't know what would be the preferred way from this project's point of view - i.e. would a simple, manually launched node server and manually opening the browser test page suffice. If it does I'll try to find some time to implement the tests.


vesse commented May 11, 2012

OK, finally got time to implement the dummy backend and tests. There is now file director/test/browser/backend/backend.js that needs to be started in that folder. After that going to http://localhost:8080/ executes the tests that are basically the same as the hash routing tests.

I needed to modify helpers/api.js (didn't want to add options to every call plus a timeout is needed due to that Chrome bug mentioned in the actual browser.js) a bit but the old tests should work.

When implementing the tests I also added yet another configuration option run_handler_in_init (sorry for the lame name, didn't come up with anything better) which works only if combined with html5mode. If that option is set to false then the route handler is not executed in Router.init(), but by default it is because of not being able to determine if init should route or not.


indexzero commented May 11, 2012

@vesse Thanks for taking the time to write tests. I know we want this feature and with these tests I think @hij1nx will be more receptive :-D

vesse added some commits May 11, 2012

@vesse vesse Actuall run the handler in the related test 0a920be
@vesse vesse Route to a known URI before running the actual test with init() routi…
…ng enabled since the outcome depends on the uri where the browser is when test starts
@vesse vesse IE fallback to HTMTL5 tests
Added hash routing fallback to the route handlers to enable testing with
IE. Not all tests pass, but that is the case with test-harness.html as
well so supposedly this is not because of html5 mode.

Marak commented May 20, 2012


vesse added some commits Jun 19, 2012

@vesse vesse Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/master' into html5-history-api
@vesse vesse Removed run_in_init test
Async testing and setTimeouts needed for Chrome bug made the test highly
unreliable. It failed randomly depending on if the route could be
changed to '/a' before executing the test.
@vesse vesse Removed logging d15eda7
@vesse vesse Another leftover logging line removed c12c610

framp commented Jun 27, 2012

Is there any reasons for this not being merged to director?

If there is something which needs to be done I'll be happy to help as this feature is pretty nice and Vesse's implementation is working flawlessly!


pksunkara commented Jun 27, 2012

@framp Will review and finish this by tomorrow.

@0x00A 0x00A pushed a commit that referenced this pull request Jun 28, 2012

Paolo Fragomeni Merge pull request #72 from vesse/html5-history-api
[lib] Client side HTML5 History API support

@0x00A 0x00A merged commit 2452258 into flatiron:master Jun 28, 2012

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