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so I was wondering how this would work out - browsing on one tab while another tab is not in focus and is auto-refreshing.

Any browsers built to behave this way, or any plug-ins that can get this done? I'm a programmer, but don't know how this could be coded, so I'm at a loss.

Anyone heard/know/use this?

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You could easily make a Userscript to do this for you. There is support for userscripts in Chrome, Firefox and Opera (to name some of the major ones) - I believe there is an attempt in Safari as well. – nerdwaller Sep 6 '13 at 20:41
As @nerdwaller said, there are good ways to do what you want. I'm curious as about the why do you want that feature? If you aren't seeing the tab there is little use in refreshing. – Doktoro Reichard Sep 6 '13 at 20:44
Automated-refreshing has its key benefits to work without my input, and being on another tab's focus helps me to quickly switch between contexts whilst refreshing is not interrupted. That way I can assure the refreshing is working automatically, so that way I can manually do other things at the same time, or with regards in most cases within the circuitry, context switching. – user252060 Sep 6 '13 at 20:47
Basically, take an exampled Userscript and drop the content from this question in the body. Then, you're done. You can change your timeout and it detects movement so it shouldn't refresh on you as you are working on the page (unless you are sitting idle). I see plenty of issues with this idea, but if you see a use, by all means. – nerdwaller Sep 6 '13 at 20:58
@nerdwaller That is jQuery though, not the kind of Javascript you'd use in Userscripts. – Jochem Kuijpers Sep 8 '13 at 10:16

I use Tab Mix Plus, which is an extension for Firefox. You just right click on a tab, and select Reload every "x" minutes. It only refreshes for that tab, and will do it in the background even if you're using other tabs or apps.

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