Why do http://example.com/#!/123456 URLs not redirect me to the page I want to view?
March 22, 2011 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Why do http://example.com/#!/123456 URLs not redirect me to the page I want to view?

Clicking http://uk.lifehacker.com/#!/5783790 takes me to the lifehacker homepage, rather than the article I want to read. To get to that article, I have to delete the #!/ manually from the URL bar, which is kinda annoying.

Firefox 3.6 and Firefox 4 on Windows 7 and OSX 10.6

As far as I can tell, I have javascript enabled (noScript installed but disabled)

Many thanks
posted by ilumos to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I'm not entirely sure why, but I know it is happening to pretty much anyone outside of the US. I'm sure someone more educated about it will give you a better answer.
posted by brainmouse at 11:51 AM on March 22, 2011

Relevant discussion
posted by Think_Long at 11:56 AM on March 22, 2011

Previously (tl;dr Gawker broke their websites for people outside the US)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:57 AM on March 22, 2011

Here's a good rundown on the purpose of hashbang urls, and why they tend to not work very well.

(The short version is that as far as the browser is concerned, example.com/# is the whole URL; the theory is that everything after the # is then pulled out via javascript, and sent back to the server as an ajax request which is supposed to get you the page you were after. If that javascript doesn't work perfectly, you wind up stuck. It's an incredibly fragile and poorly thought out way to set up a website.)
posted by ook at 11:59 AM on March 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

ook, Gawker actually one-uped that article. Not only do all those listed problems hold true, but they also then redirect users outside the US to a server where those URLs don't work.

Good times.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:08 PM on March 22, 2011

the site often doesn't work even inside the US. i can't get "blog view" to load on kotaku. even when it does load, more often than not the "older" button doesn't function. i suppose as long as the ads load, they're happy.
posted by nadawi at 12:37 PM on March 22, 2011

Yeah, I realized I left that out as soon as I posted -- the base url redirect is what causes the javascript to not work on the Gawker sites, since it's apparently not installed on those international domains.

(It's astonishing that they haven't fixed this yet; all it would take is for them to add a single line of javascript on the international domains to check for #! in the url, and if present redirect to the same url minus the #!. One line of code, that's all it would take. A kludge, but surely better than forcing every international user to have to dig down from the site homepage generating lots of additional page views while they try to find whatever they were HEY WAIT A MINUTE NOW I SEE THEIR CUNNING PLAN)
posted by ook at 12:45 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

the site often doesn't work even inside the US.

Yeah, this. It often doesn't work even if I'm trying to load it on a browser that has no ad- or javascript- or anything-blocking addons. Except sometimes it does. Maybe.
posted by rtha at 1:40 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

As many have stated, it's a specific issue with Gawker-based websites. They've made poor choices on how their URLs work. Eventually they will fix it, or go out of business.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:58 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've noticed this #! nonsense on Facebook as well. It's gotten to the point where if I see it anywhere in the URL bar, I immediately see the page as unstable and expect my browser to melt at any moment.
posted by Rickalicioso at 2:46 PM on March 22, 2011

Oh... AND Twitter. I don't understand the popularity of this thing. It makes linking to pages and even general browsing a pain in the ass.
posted by Rickalicioso at 2:47 PM on March 22, 2011

Response by poster: Well, it's good to hear I'm not alone. Sure hope they fix this soon, it's pretty intensely irritating. URL hacks used to be an occasionally useful thing you could do, but now they're making it a necessity.

Thanks guys!
posted by ilumos at 6:12 AM on March 25, 2011

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