Etags, why?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by noone_particular, Apr 7, 2014.

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  1. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    When you changed forum software, I expected to see a few minor changes in the javascripts I'd need to allow. While examining the Proxomitron log to see which filters were interfering with different functions here. I was very surprised to see that just opening the index page resulted in at least 12 attempts to set Etags, each one unique. I didn't expect that here of all places.
     
  2. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    I have never used Proxomitron, so I don't quite know what you mean about Etags... any chance of a screenshot?
     
  3. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    The "why?" in anything here is simply that this is how XenForo software has been developed. There's not much of anything in this implementation that we developed here, and as such, very little that we can change about it.

    As for etags, like anything that was designed for useful purposes, sure, they can be misused. But, just because something can be misused does not mean it is necessarily bad in and of itself. Javascript has been very misused, yet, for a truely rich web experience, you really need to use it in most places. Sure, if all you want is text, you can disable it and read content. But, for most complex functionality, you need it.

    While etags can be used for tracking, they weren't designed for that purpose. Further, the XenForo implementation doesn't use them that way either.

    They are used in XenForo for what they were originally designed for, to identify elements served from the webserver very exactly, so that it can be known if the version of that element your browser previously downloaded has changed since your last access to it. If it has changed, it pulls it down again for you. If not, it saves you (and our server) the resources and doesn't pull it again.

    I find the benefit of the resource management to be more positive then the possibility that someone here (well, that would have to be me), would find a way to abuse them.

    Tarnak, this explains etags: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_ETag
     
  4. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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  5. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    LWM, thanks for the wiki link....

    noone particular... That's OK .... I will look at those links, later on today....
     
  6. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    LWM. Thanks for the reply. I realize that they have legitimate uses. Seeing them here was quite a shock given their history of being abused and the publicity they've received, eg Kissmetrics. Debugging my Proxomitron filters for the new forum is proving to be a project. At least a dozen filters in the Sidki filterset are matching content here to the point that almost nothing works, including being able to log in. I've had to make allowances on other forums but not to this extent.
     
  7. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    Since most browsers, including mine, have a setting for when to check whether a page has been updated (I prefer "every visit", the most accurate check), does the browser or XenForo have the "upper hand" in this?
    (edit, a minutes or so later) Off-topic relative to this particular point, but definitely relating to this topic: Mike, I agree with the many others who've commented that the border of the posting box needs to have MUCH more contrast to the background, if you have any control over that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  8. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I don't think that covers every object. Even vBulletin has special attributes to handle things like changes to avatars and uploads, as well as no-cache headers to do the reverse and not allow caching of the main page (text) itself, while still caching images. On a site with highly dynamic content, like a forum, that "check once daily" would wreck any chance at getting current content consistently.
     
  9. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear, I've got Firefox set to check every visit, not just every day. I agree that daily isn't practical for a constantly changing site like this. Back when my old ISP got bought out by a new company, formerly a telephone system, a number of changes were made, including server-caching (with NO provision for opt-out except on an individual-site basis!), and that made the same mess of handling bulletin boards and forums too ... they only updated their caches every few days. Fortunately they quickly learned that the "Golden Triangle" (former ISP) way of doing things was the proper way to do business without having to spend a penny on advertising -- most new customers arrive via good word-of-mouth.

    As for my complaints about the new appearance, that new Fluid option looks great, many thanks.
     
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