Double-clicking and the web.

Aug 23, 2015 - by petercook

The mouse double-click is a common way to select and open a file or folder in desktop operating systems. Interestingly we could do without it as it is possible to set up Windows to open a file or folder with a single click and other operating systems exist that don't use the double-click for example Puppy Linux. As it stands the double-click is popular and so it is the way we do things.

Web Browsing
With the Internet came the web browser and a single-click was all you needed to get anywhere. It was great (half as much clicking). Unfortunately we were all so use to double-clicking that most of us double-clicked in our web browser as well. This sometimes causes problems like forms being submitted twice as described in Double-Click Must Die. This problem can averted using javascript and our second clicks can be ignored saving us from buying two pink unicorns when we only wanted one.

Web Applications
What goes on in our browsers has become more complex over the last ten years and now we have things like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. These look more like the programs or applications we have on our computers. Consequently we are probably even more likely to double-click on things. In the current version of Google Drive you are required to double-click to open folders and files. Now javascript is used to detect not only double-clicks but right-clicks as well and so what we are doing in our web browser is becoming more like our computer desktop.

It would be nice if everything was done with a simple single-click but that is not the case. Instead all I can suggest is try a single-click and if nothing seems to happen maybe try a right-click or a double-click. There are no rules.