Re: caching dilemma

Kee Hinckley (
Fri, 26 May 1995 01:29:09 +0500

At 10:20 PM 5/25/95, Shel Kaphan wrote:
>To make the web work more smoothly, it would be nice if browsers would
>handle this situation more gracefully, by, for instance, not displaying
>errors like "Data Missing", but just automatically reloading the page.

Automatic reloading of a page in my history stack seems rather
user-unfriendly. I expect history loading to be fast and not go off over
the net. I guess I could see it as a user-specified option, but...

>document. It is REALLY BAD for browsers to display cached copies of
>expired documents when they are meant to be freshly displayed in
>response to a direct user command, because a URL may be a request to a

There I agree.

>program that is displaying dynamic information related to the user's
>extended "session" with the server. (This is the core of the issue).
>I realize these considerations may have no role in the HTTP spec,
>however I feel there are serious problems in this area, which can only
>be resolved by coordinating the behavior of browsers and servers.
>Another thing that might help: perhaps there should be a way for
>servers to "force" the URL (the *name*) handled by clients to something oth=
>than the requested URL. This would allow, for example, the
>requestor's URL to be used to encode information relating to a query,
>but would then result in a single cache entry in the client.
>To explain this a little more, if there were two GET requests, one for
>/cgi-bin/food/hamburgers and one for /cgi-bin/food/french-fries, which
>would result in a single page that ought to be cached as one page,
>then the server ought to be able to say, "you asked for
>/food/french-fries, but the page is called /food/generic-junk-food",
>and to have the browser use that info to uniquely identify a cache
>entry and update it with the newly fetched data. This might not help
>to avoid fetching documents extra times, but it would help on cache
>coherence if the intent was to display a dynamically generated document.
>Anyway, just some thoughts. If you have any ideas, pointers or references
>for me, I would really appreciate it.
>--Shel Kaphan

Kee Hinckley Utopia Inc. - Cyberspace Architects=81 617/721-6100

I'm not sure which upsets me more: that people are so unwilling to accept
responsibility for their own actions, or that they are so eager to regulate
everyone else's.