Is refreshing required?

HOME Forums Zoom sessions Unblocking Website bugs and changes Is refreshing required?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Alexander 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #521

    Testing a forum discussion here on the forum with Tammy it seems that one needs to refresh the page after each entry in order to see any reply. Is that true?

    #522

    who are you asking?

    #524

    skreutzer
    Participant

    Probably yes. Traditionally, the web/WWW works like this: you click links or buttons on a website and the browser asks a server machine what content is stored under it. The server sends the answer data, closes the connection and completely forgets who and that somebody asked for it. In that model, if the client received the answer and something changes later on the server side (caused by a second client or the server itself), the first client not only has no idea, but by requesting the same information a second time, parts of the previous, old answer might remain cached locally to optimize performance and bandwith. PHP is a programming language that allows developers to program a server for this model, WordPress is largely written in PHP.

    Then “web 2.0” arrived with the advent of an application programming interface (API for short, basically a function/capability) called AJAX that was introduced for JavaScript in the browsers (not standardized by the way, vendors have different hacks and APIs for doing the same thing). JavaScript is a programming language for the client/browser, to make things move and dynamic locally without any server involved). That API allowed programmers to send requests to a server based on arbitrary events instead of restricting requests to the click on a link, and those requests would also not move the current browser site URL to a different one, but just allow the programmer to get the answer data and then do things with it while still remaining on the same webpage and site address. This encourages loading small snippets like the current weather, or the famous and useful “load more” (so you don’t navigate through many pages with “next” and “previous”, each page listing some 20 entries or so, but the additionally loaded entries get added to what you’re already looking at, so it gets more and more on the same page). It also allows for real-time communication with other clients by exchanging messages via the shared server and without the need to manually refresh the page and explicitly send an request to the server to ask for updates since the last retrieval, a lot of small requests if there is something new can be done in short time intervals automatically. WordPress uses AJAX too, but not too much, the main and core parts are still ordinary PHP and web 1.0. There are some advantages for that: if additional content is loaded via AJAX and integrated into the site, there is no separate website or address for it that can be bookmarked or linked to, and it requires exceptional consideration to build decent web 2.0 services to the extend that humanity might have been unable to produce a single one of them yet that’s in wider usage and not only experimential, so most websites do some crappy tricks just to get their job done, which, for example, seems to be the case for the member list here, but I’m not sure if that’s a core WordPress feature or a feature by BuddyPress.

    So I can’t really answer the question and don’t want to investigate, but it pretty much looks like that there is no real-time auto-update, which is not to say that it couldn’t also be a hybrid, because some pages might not expand the page as soon as something new is found on the server and ask for it in short intervals, but instead ask frequently if there have been any updates and then show a notification that the current page is outdated, asking the user to decide if it should be reloaded or if he wants to continue with whatever he was doing at the moment, probably reading, writing or copying that should not be disturbed by something magically happening and interrupting the current activity, diverting attention/focus and what not.

    #531

    Alexander
    Participant

    If content of a website changes as a client is watching in a browser window, the new content may not appear until the web page is refresher. Newer apps can tell if the source doc has changed if you are on a fast connection, might alert you if your browser settings allow it. I use Firefox Quantum

    #534

    skreutzer
    Participant

    Good summary, Alex, that’s what I’m saying in more detail. Note that it has nothing to do with the newness or oldness of a website: it’s a different technological approach, so it can very well make sense to build non-auto-updating websites today, or have pretty old websites into which some auto-updating was inserted here and there. Question is where it is needed. If this forum should be (ab?)used for real-time live conversation, it might not be designed to help with that too much.

    #619

    Alexander
    Participant

    I need live updating on my weather channel and it’s cool the way FaceBook does it with a signalling gif. someone is typing…. an insult or constructive insight. You’re getting this message because you opted in to grant our deep learning robot access to all your meta data. Haaaaaa Ha Ha

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