Backward/Forward and History Navigation in Discourse Apps

Apologies if this is a duplicate. I read the previews of the ‘similar’ results and they appear to be about Discourse in a full browser rather than the captive browser of the Desktop and Mobile apps.

I always start at the top level and backtrack with the “back” button to trace back up my browsing thread to the top. This way I tend not to lose track of what I was doing before I followed a link, sent a message, or whatever excursion I happen to go on.

With the desktop and mobile apps, there is no back button to click. I really like the apps because I don’t have to search for the tab hosting meta.discourse or discuss.python. Back and History are core components of my workflow, though, so…

Are there current plans to expose the embedded browser’s history and back buttons for the mobile and desktop apps? If not, can we add it—and bump it to the short list? :ok_hand::smiley::+1:

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This screenshot is from the Discourse Hub iOS app. When you swipe down (to scroll up) the menu with the back/forward buttons appears.

Also you can swipe left and right for back and forward.


No such luck on Android with my Galaxy S8+. The AndroidOS back button does work but there’s no forward button. With Discourse’s brilliant ( :heart:! ) persistent editor that allows you to navigate around with the editor visible, tracing both backward and forward to check on something recently read or grab a quote is super-helpful.

And do you know of a History in the iOS Discourse Hub app?

And there’s still the Desktop app…

I’ve never used the desktop app (and never had heard of it) but don’t think you can see the “history” via the back/forward buttons or anyhow else.

I stumbled across it in the Microsoft Store somehow. Maybe from a Start menu search…


Oh, that isn’t necessarily a desktop application. It’s a progressive web app that’s limited to Discourse Meta.

Right. :smiley::+1:  The mobile and desktop “apps” are actually what I usually call a ‘captive browser’ (or “embedded browser” as in the OP). This is the only sane way to deploy an “app” for a cloud-based system, otherwise you end up with two products to develop, maintain, and support. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

There’s already a Desktop version of the web site and a mobile version. Both use the same back end database and such but have different CSS code and possibly some other tweaks. Two versions/modes for the site are more than enough complication as it is.

It’s a bit more advanced than that.

From the WIkipedia article:

a progressive web app is a type of webpage or website known as a web application

In 2015, designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell coined the term “progressive web apps” to describe apps taking advantage of new features supported by modern browsers

Yes, there are many facets to system architecture, but the points in posts above seems to be a case of semantics (which is appropriate for technical discussions, but this isn’t intended to be anything more than a feature request; the technical review can–and should–take place elsewhere). Is this level of detail on-topic? This topic is about exposing the History and Forward/Backward navigation functions of the “browser-like container” that a Progressive Web App runs in when deployed as a web app running in that particular container.

Comparing the two screenshots below of the webSite/webApp/call-it-what-you-will running in Microsoft Edge and the “DesktopApp”/PWA/CIWYW shows the exact same context menu (with “add to collections” omitted from the PWA). This isn’t coincidence, of course. :slightly_smiling_face:

Microsoft Store “PWA” MS Edge