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Why does it says “welcome back -user- click here to 'refresh page'”
Why does StackExchange ask for a reload on successful automatic login?

What's the use of the "Welcome back banner..."? and why doesn't the site just log me in automatically instead of manually refreshing the page to log in? This happens with many stackexchange sites that it gets annoying that I have to take a manual click to close it.

When I go to Amazon.com, I am already logged in.

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marked as duplicate by waiwai933, Pops, John, Jeremy Banks, Tim Stone May 28 '12 at 20:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Last time I checked, Amazon.com doesn't log you in automatically. It just remembers who you were last time, but does not show you any personal account details without entering your password again. Not the same thing. –  animuson May 28 '12 at 19:07
    
The banner is there to give you this warm fuzzy feeling for coming back to a social networking forum like this.... I'll be hiding under my desk for what I've just said, in case you're looking for me. :) –  Bart May 28 '12 at 19:45
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Manual repost so the info doesn't disappear when the question does get closed: see also Kevin Montrose's answer here, balpha's answer here and the post waiwai linked. –  Pops May 28 '12 at 19:51
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Here is the obligatory we're not a social networking site link. ;) Still, the part about the warm fuzzy feeling is correct, problem is the refresh is very annoying. Ajax anyone? Perhaps a little Comet? –  jmort253 May 28 '12 at 20:00
    
Would it be bad form to mark this as a feature request? I know it's not a high priority for the dev team, but I'm sure it's something worth documenting. –  jmort253 May 28 '12 at 20:13
    
I don't consider this a warm fuzzy feeling. It's annoying. If it's a technical issue, then that's another issue. –  Tony_Henrich May 29 '12 at 5:19

1 Answer 1

I've often wondered why the page has to refresh to log you back in. It seems logical that the system already knows who you are, and a refresh isn't doing anything more than requesting fresh content from the server.

I haven't dug into this enough to know whether or not the banner is being "pushed" from the server or if there just happens to be a timeout delay before it appears, but could the development team use Comet or server push or Websockets to "push" the updates to the client instead of requiring a full page refresh?

The answer is that they're already moving in that direction, but they're targeting features that have the most impact on usability.

In fact, I've seen a lot of improvements in this area. For instance, one used to have to refresh to see the question and answer scores and to see if new comments were made. While a "new answer" banner would appear to alert you that a new answer is posted, actually viewing that answer required a full page refresh.

Today, question and answer scores are pushed to the browser, using what I can only assume is Comet (or some form of long poll, or Websockets).

# This fired automatically while I was typing, and it appears to save my draft,
  # judging by the response
http://meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/133855/editor-heartbeat/answer

Additionally, new comments and new answers are instantly available through an AJAX call invoked by a mouseclick. Reputation, flag counts, suggested edits all appear to change dynamically.

Therefore, judging by this steady progression towards an "app feel" and away from a "website feel", it stands to reason that it's just a matter of time before the development team gets around to making this log-back-in process more smooth and seamless.

UPDATE: From the official development team, they're using Web Sockets.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the automatic updates happen through websockets? –  Bart May 28 '12 at 20:12
    
It could be! I haven't logged into StackOverflow from a legacy browser in awhile to really be sure, but I'll update that. –  jmort253 May 28 '12 at 20:14
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FYI: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/129499/… –  Bart May 28 '12 at 20:15

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