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lynx-dev serve-side "Refresh" (was: REFRESH question)

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: lynx-dev serve-side "Refresh" (was: REFRESH question)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 20:07:10 -0500 (CDT)

On Sun, 3 Oct 1999 address@hidden wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Oct 1999, Doug Kaufman wrote:
> >On Sun, 3 Oct 1999, Frederic L . W . Meunier wrote:
> >
> >> Hmm, I have a stupid question. It's impossible to use REFRESH with
> >> Lynx? Actually I see REFRESH(X sec): etc. Sorry, I don't know how it
> >> works, but it's very useful sometimes to redirect you to a page or
> >> just reload one. A friend said that it's easy to implement.

It is unfortunate that Netscape named their invented header "Refresh".
The function is quite different from Lynx's REFRESH (^L).  If anything
it's more like a server-requested RELOAD.

For the "redirect to another page" aspect of it: there is already a
standard HTTP redirection mechanism, supported by all non-prehistoric
browsers.  For the "wait for X seconds" aspect: I think most Lynx users
are happy NOT to have their browser remote-controlled.

> >Lynx works with REFRESH just fine. All you have to do is activate the
> >link. It is intentional that it doesn't automatically go to the new
> >URL. You can take as much time as you like to view the current page
> >before going to the new URL.
> I'm not trying to be nitpicky but I will..
> Is it really "intentional"?  I had thought that it was because this was
> a Netscape-ism that wasn't a "real" HTML thing.

It is neither a real HTML thing nor a real HTTP thing nor well
thought-out.  It creates problems with browsers that implement it
if the interval is too small (you can't go back in history, you are

> Well, even if that is the case, would it be easily possible to add 
> the refresh mechanism optionally?

To answer the question "would it be easy": No, IMO.

> I sure as heck would rather have it
> automatically happen..

1) I think that is a minority opinion.
2) If you want only the "wait for X seconds" but not the "redirect to
   other page" aspect, it is unclear how to separate them.
3) If it's inconvenient for you to look at a watch and time X seconds -
   well, it would be "inconvenient" for lynx to do it, too.  Lynx doesn't
   do any asynchronous timing.  IOW it doesn't carry a watch.  Someone
   would first have to build one in.  Not absolutely impossible, but IMO
   nearly impossible without a lot of attempts to get it right on all
   supported platforms.  And first one would have to define how this
   should interact with different keys pressed during the wait period.
   One would need much more incentive for this than adding more support
   for "Refresh" (which isn't necessary in the first place).
> (I hope this would also work with my Wells Fargo
> account which doesn't _show_ a URL, I have to type control-R when it
> shows the 'verifying password' screen.)

How do you know this failure of your bank to provide an interface that
works right has anything to do with the "Refresh" header?


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