Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When browsing to a website, "who" makes makes the choice of determining whether to pull a webpage from the local cache or from the server? Is it the browser? Web server? Webpage-specific coding?

How is this determination made?

share|improve this question
1  
    
Completely different questions, although within the same arena of subject -- How a user can see whether a particular page is a cached or live view, versus the inner workings/underpinnings of the technology/functionality -- Is the browser (typically) making such decision by doing a bit-by-bit comparison? Is the server monitoring IP/cookies/access times? Is the OS/server/browser surveying local memory/hard-drive cache? etc. –  Coldblackice Jul 1 '13 at 21:00

1 Answer 1

Proxy servers are known for their caching features. Maybe you are behind one.

Also many search engines will ask you if you would like to load a cached version of a page if your internet is slow and failing to render the more recent data.

Somewhat of a problem considering most content is so dynamic these days.

share|improve this answer
1  
I don't think this really answers the question of how the computers decide whether to serve up a fresh copy or a cached copy of a webpage. –  nhinkle Jul 1 '13 at 20:47
    
He didn't ask how the computer decides, he asked "who decides" I listed some very valid "who's" –  Scandalist Jul 1 '13 at 20:52
    
@Scandalist Thanks (I'm not the one that downvoted). I'm not behind a proxy server, however. I'm asking on a general "protocol"-type level. It's my newfound understanding that "someone" (browser/server/operating system/webpage) is making a decision on whether to load a respective page from local cache, or whether to request it fresh from the server (i.e. HTTP Error 304). It apparently happens on a behind-the-scenes, protocol level, with no active intervention required from the user. I'm trying to determine "who" is making this decision, and the methodology of such decision. –  Coldblackice Jul 1 '13 at 21:07
    
@Coldblackice perhaps "what" would be a better wording, to clarify that you're not asking which person ("who") but rather which device ("what")? –  nhinkle Jul 1 '13 at 21:33
    
@nhinkle That's why I put "who" in parentheses, but you're right, it is still confusing. I'll update. –  Coldblackice Jul 2 '13 at 2:56

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.