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Caching Issues

Several people have written me saying they have issues viewing pages at Wizbang. Almost without fail, after further investigation, these people have a firewall product that caches pages - Norton being the most common. If the firewall caches a page that has an error (an extremely rare occurrence) the user can't read the page the next time they visit.

I think I've addressed this in a permanent fashion by expiring pages by default with the following line in the <head > section of each page.

<meta http-equiv="expires" content="Thu, 1 October 1998 00:00:00 PST">

The date can be any past date. So far the results are positive.

Update: I've removed the Javascript code for Links Open In New Windows. That code may have not played well with cache servers... I've replaced it with much better PHP from Joe Crawford. All the changes have made today's posts a bit wonky - all that's resolved now - I hope.


Comments (11)

I am so glad that I am not ... (Below threshold)
DragonLady:

I am so glad that I am not the only one having this problem. I knew it was something local to my computer as I have no problems viewing on my husband's computer or my computer at work. Blankety-blank firewall....

Thanks! :-)

I was having this problem w... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

I was having this problem with my home computer which uses Norton Internet Security, regardless of which browser, IE, firefox, netscape. But I did not have a problem at home when using my work laptop. So that explains it. Thank you

I've had problems getting W... (Below threshold)
Amber:

I've had problems getting WizBang to load for the past two days. Yes, I have Norton's, but there have been no changes or updates to the Norton settings since the many months I've been enjoying the site. So whatever happened recently, I'm hoping that the meta 'expire' tag takes care of the problem. Keep up the good work!

Update.. I just had the pro... (Below threshold)
Amber:

Update.. I just had the problem again. I tried this twice over the past 20 minutes. With Norton firewall 'on,' WizBang doesn't load. With it off (as it is now), it loads fine.

Since I haven't seen this problem before (where it loads a 'blank' page and says 'done' at the bottom), I wonder if Norton auto updated something that made this change, or it is something else.

It would be a shame to lose a few million first-timers that don't know they need to turn off Norton firewall before visiting WizBang....

Raising my hand among those... (Below threshold)

Raising my hand among those also affected.

<a href="http://vancouver-w... (Below threshold)
conelrad:

This page says While HTTP-EQUIV META tag appears to work properly with Netscape Navigator, other browsers may ignore them, and they are ignored by Web proxies, which are becoming more widespread. Use of the equivalent HTTP header, as supported by e.g. Apache server, is more reliable and is recommended wherever possible.

Doe your web server support the expires header (if Apache, mod_expires has to be loaded, IIRC)?

I have to say that the situ... (Below threshold)
Michael Angier:

I have to say that the situation has improved, but is not yet fixed. My success rate for loading the main page has improved from around 10% to around 30%. Since this is the only news/blog site that I have seen so affected, there must be something specific to the coding of this site.

I'll share my experiences, ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I'll share my experiences, also, in hopes that this will help the general issue information pool:

I'm using "Norton Internet Security Professional" -- firewall, personal information/browser/browser history, etc. all withheld, AND I was not able to view any content on Wizbang! these past few days (I believe I began experiencing that problem this past Friday or Saturday). I could access your site URL and view your page background image, but nothing else. No threads, no content other than the background image, accompanied by no error messages or browser problems.

I shut down the Firewall feature in Norton and that changed nothing: still accessed Wizbang! URL with background image displayed only, but nothing else.

I could access certain Wizbang archive pages when linked by other sites, WITH Norton still in place.

At present, obviously, I've accessed this thread and seen the full site contents displayed at the same URL with the same background image, and I still have Norton in place, Firewall operational.

It doesn't appear to have been Norton that was interfering, or at least, whatever you've done recently has allowed Norton not to interfere (I can't tell, is what I'm saying, since I had the same access problems with Wizbang during the past few days with or without Norton's firewall engaged, and, it's engaged now, and now I access the site's contents...).

Hope that this helps. To repeat, I've always been able to access your site, main page, but the page ONLY displayed your background image and no contents, no type, nothing but the overall page background with image of exploding bomblette, upper left hand corner of background image.

Glad to see Wizbang accessible again. I had withdrawals...had to resort to actually interacting on other sites, OMGosh!.

Heh heh.... Amber said 'loa... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Heh heh.... Amber said 'load'.... heh heh heh heh....

I got home today intending ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

I got home today intending to troubleshoot the problems with wizbang and norton, but everything is working fine without any changes. I did see the problem that -S- had where I could load directly from archives when linking from OTB, but everything works now.

I prefer to handle any cach... (Below threshold)

I prefer to handle any caching issues directly from PHP rather than a meta tag. But that may not be easy with the blogging software you are using.

These PHP headers should do it:

<pre>
<?php
// Date in the past
header("Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");

// always modified
header("Last-Modified: " . gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s") . " GMT");

// HTTP/1.1
header("Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("Cache-Control: post-check=0, pre-check=0", false);

// HTTP/1.0
header("Pragma: no-cache");
?>
</pre>

This from http://www.php.net/header

I can check your site from behind a caching proxy server at work tomorrow if it'll help.




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