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What Is Reload?

Sometimes you want to get a file from the Web again. Reload is a "cure" for the cache. If you get a page from the cache, you are not getting the latest document. Sometimes getting the most recent document doesn't matter, but in a few cases, it does.

For instance, say you want to return to a site you visited several weeks ago. If you have a very large cache, that document might still be available. If you have the Never option button selected in the Preferences dialog box, your browser displays the old document, without checking to see whether the corresponding document stored on the Web has changed. Or perhaps you are viewing a Web document that changes rapidly, such as a stock quote page. Even if you viewed the page only a few minutes ago, it could already be out of date.

The cure for replacing those old, stale Web pages is to reload them. Click the Reload button or choose View, Reload. Internet Explorer's programmers, in their attempt to rename everything they can, use the term Refresh instead of Reload. (The fact that Reload is a term the Web has been using for several years and that Refresh has a different meaning—Netscape has a Refresh command that simply "repaints" the display using the contents of the memory cache—doesn't seem to matter to Microsoft's programmers.) Anyway, the Reload command (Refresh in Explorer) tells the browser, "Throw away the copy held in the cache and get the latest version."

You'll sometimes see a Reload Frame command, which reloads just one frame in a framed document. (Chapter 4 covers frames.) Netscape Navigator has a "super reload" command that few people know about. Holding down the Shift key and then selecting the Reload command says to Netscape Navigator, "Be absolutely sure you really do reload the page!" Navigator's Reload command has had a bug living in it for several years and in some cases it doesn't reload the page properly. (This problem seems to be related to forms and scripts not being reloaded correctly.) Holding down the Shift key ensures that the page really is reloaded.

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