This practice is becoming more common throughout sites (such as Twitter and Facebook) for changing a URL within the address bar without reloading another page. One of the most common use cases, allows users to bookmark or share URLs when sites are using some type of infinite scroll or Single Page Applications (SPAs).
This is an extension of my post on Hawkee.com. A very simple example using pushState() and popstate
At a high level,
pushState() is a function and
popstate is an event. Ideally
pushState() is used to change the URL seen in the browser's address bar; while
popstate is executed once a user hits 'Back' in their browser.
The example below will simply modify the URL of the given page. However, this method can only modify locations within the same domain.
Thanks to Stackoverflow for some of the code used here. Some browsers (Chrome thusfar), execute popstate on initial page load, so the code presented here is used to detect and circumvent that.
<!-- example links that will not trigger a page refresh -->
<a href="#" data-location="/inbox/12">Email Item 12</a>
<a href="#" data-location="/inbox/13">Email Item 13</a>
Original post: http://hawkee.com/snippet/9940/