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Scenario:

Log into computer, auto-pilot to Stack Overflow, take first sip of coffee, click the inbox item.

Expected:

The drop down menu opens up, and I can see my latest interactions.

Actual:

I am sent to the All Items page, and have to navigate back.


I suspect it's because the menu hasn't loaded fully, it falls back to being a straight up link (maybe this is how it works in no-javascript mode?) to the All Items page.

The second (and every subsequent time) time I click on it, I get the dropdown menu like magic.

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  • Similarly the review icon will link to xyz.stackexchange.com/review instead of opening the drop down Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 13:43
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    Yeah, there's a link fallback there, but IIRC it's predicated on Javascript loading, not the menu itself. What happens if you wait a bit longer before clicking the inbox?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 23:32
  • @AdamLear it shows the menu as normal. When you say JavaScript do you mean a JavaScript script, or SpiderMonkey/V8 etc? Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 0:08
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    @Pureferret I mean a JS script on our end that initializes those dropdowns. It sounds like you're hitting the button before it has a chance to run (could be due to a slower connection, for example).
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 20:29
  • @AdamLear I'm connecting from work, so that wouldn't surprise me. Have you considered a placeholder library (just an example, you can use whichever one suits your current outfit.) Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 9:08
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    @AdamLear Why is the "link fallback" there? It's a massive annoyance. It would be much better if the icon were simply non-clickable until the JS loads properly. Commented May 29 at 10:18

1 Answer 1

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Here is a kind of behavior solution to this annoying problem which doesn't require StackOverflow to make any changes.

There is way to tell directly when the Inbox icon has changed state from "dummy link to full inbox" to "Javascripted pop-up". When it changes state, it exhibits animated mouseover behavior.

Specifically, when you hover the cursor over it, the number of unread messages, together with its background red circle, jumps a few pixels upward. Moreover, the entire background box of the item highlights while the pointer is in it.

Until you see the the jumping animation and highlight, it's not the popup yet.

Thus even if your attention is on that icon, such that you are not attuned to signs whether the page has finished loading, you can tell when you should avoid clicking on it.

I had this problem too and created a duplicate question; this works for me.

I did a bunch of testing, and have not seen it navigate to the full inbox if, before clicking, I confirmed the presence of the hover effects.

The other items in that button bar have hover highlighting behavior too; I think this works for all of them.

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    This won't work on mobile though, which although isn't where I first encountered, it's actually where I now see the bug more often. Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 11:55

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