The default behavior is very useful and adds to the browsing experience the illusion of fluency; while waiting for the first bits of the "next page", still seeing the old/current page is much less boring than seeing nothing. Is there any way to disable this cunning behavior, though?

How do I make Firefox immediately replace the current page with nothing before beginning to replace it with the new page? There are situations in which this option is much more reasonable.

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    Try to press <Esc> during loading of first page, then <F6> to enter URL of new page and <Enter> to go to it. – N0rbert Dec 16 '17 at 20:13
  • @N0rbert. There is no loading of the first page. It's always already fully loaded. – ubuntroll Dec 16 '17 at 20:25
  • This question doesn't appear to be Ubuntu-related. You might do better to post on the Firefox Support Forum. – richbl Dec 16 '17 at 20:38
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    @richbl What would be a better place for this question? Not IRC or forums, but on SE. – ubuntroll Dec 16 '17 at 20:45
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    @ubuntroll It's fine here. – karel Dec 18 '17 at 6:00

There are technical reasons for why browsers do this and why changing it would have other consequences.

When loading a new URL, the browser doesn't know if the new URL will be a web page, a file download, or something else, until it starts to receive the response. The header of the response will indicate the file type and whether it should trigger a file download dialog.

If the response is a file download, the existing web page will remain in the tab and a file download dialog will appear in addition to it. Cancelling or proceeding with the download will continue to show the webpage in the tab.

Now, this behaviour could be modified, but it would mean that upon following a link the page would clear and go white while waiting for a response, and if the response is a file download the page that requested it will no longer be there - the browser would either need to continue showing it as a blank white page, close that tab/window, or trigger a "back" action and re-load the previous page. These would depart from established expectations.

  • One can always click the "go back one page" button. It's fully within the established expectations; yes, the behavior will still seem not within expectations, mainly to people that forget they enabled it, but then that's precisely what enabling an option always implies: a behavior that departs from the default. – ubuntroll Dec 24 '17 at 21:27

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