May 10, 2005

Http Headers (304)

Writing about web page

Just reading about browser caching, and the use of the last-modified-date.

It seems there are huge performance gains to be made on static (ish) data by correctly implementing the 304 status code.

{very simplistic overview} Essentially, when content is retrieved from the server, one of the headers (may be) the last-modified-date. When the browser next retrieves this item (on a page refresh) the browser will send back the last-modified-date. If the server decides that the content hasn't changed, then the server will return a 304, informing the browser that their cached version is valid. If the content has changed, the server returns the page.

If the lastModifiedDate of a "page" the server is sending is cheap to calculate then it seems to me that this is a huge optimisation for very little pain.

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