Unbreak My Hea.. Firefox Ctrl Click Please!

When we launched Gamer.no over a year ago, we had to come up with a wallpaper advertising solution in a rush (everything were a rush back then as we built and launched a site from scratch (after disagreements between the previous owner and Gamer) in just under four days (or 96 hours)). While this solution has worked .. good enough .. it has always had a few irky bugs that I’ve never really had the right inspiration to uncover the cause of. Usually I’ve spent an hour and decided that the time wasn’t worth it at the moment and then moved onto something else, but today! Today is a glorious day!

The bug has been fixed!

The wallpaper element is placed around the main content div, which sadly also makes the wallpaper element receive any click elements that the main content div receives. This leads to the wallpaper getting clicked and the wallpaper ad window opening regardless of where people click – which will get very, very annoying very quick. So to battle this issue the original solution was to call .stopPropagation() on the evt object in a click handler for the main content div. This solved the issue and everyone rejoiced! However, all was not perfect in paradise.

Some time later we discovered that the .stopPropagation() fix borked ctrl-click a link in Firefox. Other browsers handled it just fine, but Firefox were obviously not happy. Not happy at all. Mad and going on a killing spree it shot down the proposed fixes from both myself and other people who had a brief look at the code. It wasn’t a big issue as we only run the wallpaper code for small intervals of time and people didn’t complain (maybe we were some of the few who had the issue).

Today I decided to have a look at the issue again, and finally I realized that we had been way to focused on our call to .stopPropagation(). Everyone had been planning how we could get .stopPropagation to do what we wanted it to do – after all – the issue was that stopPropagation didn’t behave when we ctrl-clicked in Firefox. But wait.

If you instead think of the original problem; the window.open gets triggered when people click the inner element instead of the outer, there may be alternative solutions to using stopPropagation. And yes, THAT was quite a simple fix. Instead of trying to stop the event from bubling up through the cloud.. let’s just set a status variable that tells the code handling the wallpaper click that THIS CLICK IS NOT FOR YOU BAD HANDLER GO AWAY LET OTHER GROWNUPS HANDLE THIS. So that I did.

$(document).ready(function () {
    innerClick = false;
    $('#wallpaper').click(function() {
        if (innerClick)
        {
            innerClick = false;
            return true;
        }
        
        window.open("..");
    });
    $('#content').click(function(evt) {
        innerClick = true;
    });
});

As soon as I actually spent some time on what we were trying to solve instead of what seemed like the cause of the issue .. everything went better than expected.

2 thoughts on “Unbreak My Hea.. Firefox Ctrl Click Please!”

  1. I had a similar problem plaguing my site, but in my case, with a custom drop-down menu system! based on how it only affects firefox, and only ctrl+clicks, I have to believe this is a problem with Firefox’s implementation of stopPropagation.

    at any rate, your work-around is brilliant, and I can’t thank you enough for posting it publicly! I was also stuck on trying to get stopPropagation to behave, but I adapted your work-around solution for my site, and all is well now!

    thanks again!

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