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Caching Problems

  • What ConferWeb Does

    When you click "Post it!" to submit your web form, the submission is handled by a program (ConferWeb) which (1) updates the appropriate file(s), and then (2) redirects your browser to load the appropriate page so you can see what you've done.

  • What the Browser Does

    In theory, each time you click a link, you get the desired file "fresh off the server". The catch (especially on slow connections) is that downloading every file every time can take a long time. Browsers, servers, and intermediaries ("proxy caches") try to speed things up by storing copies of data as close to the browser as possible. These "temporary" storage areas are known as "caches" (pr. "cashes").

  • What the Cache Does

    Normally, if you access a link which you've used before the browser checks to see if the HTML or graphic is already cached (stored) on the local hard disk, and if it is, the browser may ask the web server whether the file's contents have changed since the cache was created. So, if it doesn't ask, or it finds that the server believes the cached file is current, it simply displays the local copy, without downloading the information again. This behavior is usually controlled by a preference setting.

    For example, Internet Explorer has a "Cache" preference (under "Advanced" in MSIE 5.2 Mac) which controls the conditions under which it will "Update pages:", with options for "Once per session", "Never" and "Always". In Netscape there is a similar setting called "Check Documents" located in the "Cache and Network" portion of the Preferences ("Options" menu).

    For BEST RESULTS, set this option to ALWAYS.

    If you don't do this, your browser may simply reload the unmodified local copy of the edited page, giving you the impression that your posting didn't work.

  • If all else fails?

    Simply TELL YOUR BROWSER TO RELOAD the page (ignoring any cached data). Doing this is very non-standard -- in Netscape that's command-R, or click on the RELOAD button if it's visible, in MSIE it's almost impossible. The goal is to force the current page contents to be retransmitted by the server, so that everything really is "fresh". If that doesn't seem to be working, try holding down the OPTION key when you click on RELOAD.