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Web Design Master Series Article
Web Design Master Series Article
is syndicated from Web-Source.net.
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When a Browser Refuses to Provide
The referrer is the URL of the web page containing the link or submit button
that was clicked to arrive at the current web page.
There are several reasons a browser might not provide referrer information.
1. If the URL of a web page is typed into a browser address bar, or a bookmark
is used, then there is no referrer.
2. When an email link is clicked from an email program that launches a browser,
it has the same effect as if the URL was typed into the address bar. Again,
there is no referrer.
3. Some browsers' preferences are set so strict by the user, such as anti-logging
and privacy settings, that the browser is not allowed to provide referrer
information. So it won't.
4. Some personal firewall programs can have similar anti-logging and privacy
preferences, again preventing the browser from providing referrer
Referrer information is especially useful (required in some cases) for form
information processing programs -- scripts.
It's useful to know which form was used. In some cases, the information may
be processed only if the form was submitted from a certain domain name.
When it is a form submitting information to a program for processing, the
form itself can submit the information.
The form can have the current URL in a hidden field. When the form is submitted,
the hidden field is submitted also. What was the current URL is now in fact
Here is an example that would work in both
<input type="hidden" name="x_referrer"
With Master Feedback, the hidden field's name must begin with the two characters
"x_". With Master Form V3, the hidden form field can have any name you wish
so long as it's not a reserved word (see the user's manual).
When the form is submitted, http://example.com/page.html is sent along as
If it's not feasible to manually insert the correct URL into each of your
forms (when the form is inserted with SSI into various pages, for example),
to use the URL of the current web page.
document.write(' value="' + document.URL + '">\
that URL into the hidden form field.
I know of no way to force the browser to reveal referrer information when
user settings prevent it. But, at least in the case of forms, the information
can be obtained earlier, before the URL is considered to be a referrer, and
sent along to form processing programs.
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