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In order to get to a new question when reading a question, currently you need to go back to the list of questions. It would be nice to have next/previous buttons on the current question page that take you to the next/previous question based on the "list" of questions you are currently viewing. By list, I mean either the set produced by a search or by clicking on one of the various tabs to select an ordering.

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I'm thinking shortcut keys K and J ;) –  Benjol Jul 20 '09 at 12:35
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any chance this idea will get some dev-love? –  Antony Apr 22 '10 at 4:41
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+1 I would appreciate this functionality to. –  Marijn May 27 '11 at 13:11
    
This would be an excellent feature. Sometimes I have a few minutes and want to contribute to SO but don't have time to research answers. Next-ing through a batch of questions looking for typos/formatting fixes would be great! –  mwcz Feb 12 '12 at 0:32
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5 Answers 5

The issue would be in determining how you got to the question. Should you view the next unanswered question, the next question from a search, the next bounty question? How will the system know where next is?

Update:

An issue stemming from this is that it would be very intensive. When you click next the following would have to be executed:
1. Determine the listing page that the user came from
2. Re-query to find the data for the next question that should appear after where you are. Note that depending on the listing page used, the sort order could have dramatically changed since last visit. It would then have to relocate your question in the list, and find next question.
3. Take this information and redirect the user.

Unknowns:
1. What if the user came to a page by direct link, there is no default next behavior. Since we can't assume that the last listing page they visited was the page that got them to where they are, the result is a very random and unintuitive next selection.

Current implementation:
1. Going back requires no extra work as the last page is usually cached. Sort order is maintained, and everything you remember being there will still be there.
2. Clicking on a link will request the new page, the server simply needs to serve the new page, hence it is very lightweight.

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Yeah... i was wondering the same thing. I guess you could save the referring page somehow... might get weird with "sticky tabs" though. –  Shog9 Jul 30 '09 at 17:04
    
There may be a way to deal with navigation to a page via direct links. When the user clicks on a topic in a list page, it could set something up under the covers that lets the target page know that the user came from a list as opposed to from soemwhere else. –  RobH Aug 10 '09 at 17:54
    
A possible way to deal with your concerns would be to send the query via GET or POST. In this way, the simplest way to address your unknown is to simply define a default behaviour - when the GET or POST parameter is empty, one can either leave previous/next out entirely, or perhaps use the Stack Overflow main page. –  Hannele Nov 21 '11 at 16:32
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A simple implementation (but very useful to me) would allow me to do the following:

I create a query and get the result page. I decide to sort on votes. When I click on a result to view the question, SO creates a list of the (say) 15 questions before and after the question. Now I can navigate 15 prevs and 15 nexts, which is often enough. When I'm at the first question of the list, I get a link "back to query result", instead of the prev button. When at the end, I get it instead of the next button.

This way, SO doesn't need to reissue the query; it can just track the list. I've got no idea if keeping track of one (or more) of such a list would put much of a burden on a system at SO's scale.

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I've implemented a userscript with basic functionality navigating over last opened search/selection page. While it can't do much, it sure does make navigation easier.

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Why not share it on stackapps.com? –  Shadow Wizard Oct 16 '13 at 19:45
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The feature is doable. A puzzle site that I always visit, griddlers.net, has 'next' buttons (but no 'previous' buttons :-( ) that get you to the next puzzle based on the sorting and filtering criteria of the list from which you navigated to the puzzle. I think they must cache the current page of the list to use for the 'next' buttons, because once you get to the last puzzle in the current page of the list, you don't get a 'next' button. (There are thousands of puzzles on that site, so I'm guessing they're trying to limit the use of server resources somehow.) I'm sure there must be a way to do this without limiting the next/previous navigation to just the current page in the list, though.

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I am voting in favor of this feature as I was looking for this feature. When someone is on roll he would quickly want to go to next.

Now here is how it can be done:

  • As mentioned in earlier comments, when someone is coming via a direct link or google search that feature can be disabled or at that time we can take user to next similar question which we are showing in "Related" box. I think that could help. So we need to determine that if someone is coming via search engine or direct link behavior should be different.

  • If someone is coming via Unanswered or newest page than we can take for example question "N" as first - the one which user clicks on and when he navigates to next we should take him to N-1, means the older question. If we keep adding newer questions in the stake there are possibilities that older question will stay unanswered for a while. So we can keep logic pretty simple. Clicking next should take user to older question in terms of time. But at the same time we can show user that there are "M" new questions asked under following tags and click here if you want to restart navigation. Something similar to what twitter does when new twitts are loaded. Also we can show newer questions in a box above "Related" or somewhere in right pane.

  • We should provide a choice to user that do you want to navigate through (next/prev) all questions or just from the questions which falls under your favorite tags?

I hope my ideas will help in concluding on this feature.

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