Meta Refresh - RANT



  • Greetings All, 

    This is not so much a WTF as a general rant at people who insist on using Meta Refresh tags on their pages.

    Specifically websites that just don't work without!

    Take the new Microsoft Live site as an example, when you log into that site, it requires Meta-Refresh to be active to log in.  And when you have it disabled, you just sit on a blank page, with no message, no "click here to complete login", nothing!

    A LOT of websites use the Meta-Refresh to send you from the root page, to some kind of index page.  eg:  www.fakesite.com/  will use a meta refresh to send you to www.fakesite.com/menu/indes.htm, what is wrong with Redirects People!

    And then, if you do have Meta Refresh active, the bloody back button is broken!  You've got to do this little "click-click' thing to try and quickly skip past the meta-refresh page, or use your history.

    Anyhow, just had to get that off my chest.





  • to be fair, a lot of web developers have very limited access to their server configuration, so they can't set it up to send redirects.  but mostly they're just lazy or ignorant.



  • This is obliquely related, but... why would any major company use a chat window that constantly refreshes? I'm not even sure if it relies on the refreshing to update the content, since the applet seems to be some kind of Java thing. Even a JavaScript chat using AJAX would be better.

    If you want to see what I mean, go to http://global.dymo.com/enUS/Home/default.html

    Click around a little. Soon, you should see an offer of 'online help' or somesuch. Accept the invitation to see a truly awful and irritating chat window.



  • @your mom said:

    to be fair, a lot of web developers have very limited access to their server configuration, so they can't set it up to send redirects.  but mostly they're just lazy or ignorant.


    While that's true for Static pages, you can send HTTP headers in most scripting languages.

    There are two headers involved here.  The CGI specification also allows for a Status: header that should be interpretted by the web server itself, to form the initial HTTP response.  The HTTP standard also allows for a Location tag, which tells the client where to redirect to.

    Now, the HTTP responses.  Use "301 Moved Permanently" when you want the initial response to be cached as a redirect.  Use "302 Found" when you want the initial response to be checked on the server every time.  Use "303 See Other" when you're redirecting a POSTed form to a GET URL.

    So, to redirect someone, and you don't want the redirect cached (such as from a login page), you'd use
    <font face="Courier New">Status: 302 Found
    Location: http://www.example.tld/path/to/file.aspx
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">
    </font></font>As a side note, relative URLs will normally be done with an internal redirect, rather than one sent to the client.


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