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RE: [Q] META "Refresh" deprecated ?

From: Stephane Bailliez <stephane.bailliez@imediation.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 13:26:16 +0100
To: <www-html@w3c.org>
Message-ID: <000101bf7d30$048069d0$3a0a1eac@imediation.com>
-----Original Message-----
From: Dave J Woolley [mailto:DJW@bts.co.uk]
>
>	It's been in no version of the HTTP spec that I have ever seen
>	(nor for that matter, in any HTML spec.).  I don't think it
>	is possible to deprecate it in HTML without deprecating
>	http_equiv in its entirety.

In the latest version of HTML 4.01
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/global.html#h-7.4.4.2

the paragraph:

"Some user agents support the use of META to refresh the current page after
a specified number of seconds, with the option of replacing it by a
different URI.

<META http-equiv="refresh" content="3,http://www.acme.com/intro.html">

The content is a number specifying the delay in seconds, followed by the URI
to load when the time is up. This mechanism is generally used to show users
a fleeting introductory page. However, since some user agents do not support
this mechanism, authors should include content on the introductory page to
allow users to navigate away from it (so they don't remain "stranded" on the
introductory page). "

is no more there, while it was in HTML 4.0 as you can see here
http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-html40-19980424/struct/global.html#h-7.4.4.2

So I guess it was removed for certain reasons.


>	Its problems are:

>	- it tends to break cacheability, as actually implemented;

>	- it forces a pace on a user who may not be able to keep up
>	  (accessibility);

>	- probably more than 50% of the time it is misused to simulate
>	  an HTTP level redirect (either through lack of knowledge/reliance
>	  on folklore, or because the ISP isn't providing meta data access).

How can you provide dynamic content to a web page then ? If you have a
collection of html components to be displayed to a specific location of an
html page according to user browsing experience we need to refresh this
component with a set of components.

If the concerned component in the web page to be refreshed is a frameset we
can imagine:
- a meta refresh tag that will load itself.
- a javascript timer that will load itself.
- a java applet (not possible otherwise will be too big to handle the
components and is not reliable due to browsers behavior)

Otherwise the only way to refresh the component is to wait for a user
action, but once again, there is a drawback, the user will only see a single
component of the collection.

If you have a webpage that has no frames. The latest is the only possible
solution (excepting the crazy solution of browsing all the content through
an applet, but let's be serious :).

Unless I missed something if the refresh period is 'reasonable', I am not
being harmful toward the surfer...but once again, I might missed something.

What do you think ? The only problem might be that we are forcing a pace,
but IMHO it just has to be "reasonable".

--
  Stéphane Bailliez
  R&D Software Engineer, Paris - France
  iMediation - www.imediation.com
  Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed above are mine and not those from
my company.
Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2000 07:26:47 GMT

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