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Stack Overflow is not getting refreshed automatically. I have to press F5 explicitly to refresh the website. What might be the issue?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 21 '12 at 7:23

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We need more details - what exactly is not refreshing? What page? Did it ever used to refresh? –  Shadow Wizard Aug 21 '12 at 8:36
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4 Answers 4

Because Stack Overflow is huge compared to the other sites, the automatic "X questions with new activity" thing is enabled on individual tag pages only and not on the front page.

Beyond that, it should have real-time change notifications in all the (now) usual places - edits on questions and answers, new answers on questions, new comments, your reputation changes due to upvotes.

None of our pages fully refresh automatically. That'd be pretty bad, considering that in most cases people would be either reading or in the middle of writing something.

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Anna, while I have definitely seen that behavior in the past, it seems to have been disabled recently (at least for me). I left two browser windows (one Chrome, one Firefox) open on this page for over an hour. There were zero notifications coming in, even though in a different window I could see new questions were introduced in the meantime. It may be related but a few times I have been submitting an answer to a question and I saw the orange slidey at the top of the screen instead of the newer banner style. –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 22 '12 at 16:20
    
@AaronBertrand Interesting. I checked the C# tag page last night (prior to posting this answer) and it worked fine. Might be something else at play here. –  Anna Lear Aug 22 '12 at 16:58
    
I also left this page open and the notification area at the top didn't change to show your reply until I manually refreshed the page. –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 22 '12 at 17:30
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It depends on the page. Only some things update automatically (for example, notifications of new answers).

Other things don't update automatically (for example, browsing questions), and is by design.

Otherwise you might have JavaScript disabled.

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It also notify when new questions are posted on site –  Pramod Kumar Aug 21 '12 at 7:27
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It would be terrible if you browsed a list of questions, for example, the newest ones, and it suddenly updated everything so the title you were going to click moved away and you clicked the wrong question.

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Hopefully this doesn't anger the powers that be. The thought behind this was to have more access to waffles, rainbows, and unicorns.

Keep in mind you can always have a tab open filtering by a tag and it will automatically let you know if there are new questions. This is the preferable way to get live updates for questions.

But if you must, here is a simple user script you can use for the front page of stackoverflow. Do not abuse the timer. Clicking on "newest" constantly is probably a request once every 3 seconds. As such, this is set to poll once every 15 seconds. If you abuse the timer, you may be temporarily or even lengthily banned.

Run this script at the main page:

(function(){
 var int = 0;
 var si = setInterval(function(){
  $("#h-all-questions").text("All Questions refresh in " + (15-(int % 15)));
  int++;
  if( int > 300 ) { clearInterval(si); $("#h-all-questions").text("All Questions"); }
  if( int % 15 != 0 )return;
  $.ajax({
   url: 'http://stackoverflow.com/questions',
   type: 'GET',
   success: function (result) {
    $("#questions").replaceWith($(result).find("#questions"));
   }
  });
 },1000);
})()

It will poll for 5 minutes and then shut itself down. Please do not abuse this by removing the shutoff switch. If 5 minutes passed without clicking then you probably went afk. If not, you can always restart the poll.

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For anyone thinking of using this: the warnings Travis has scattered liberally throughout this answer are not idle; too many requests in too short a time-span can result in your IP being blocked network-wide - this is an automatic process, and if you hit it you (and anyone who shares your IP) will have to wait it out. If you really need live updates, you're better off picking a tag and letting the websockets-based built-in refresh feed the new questions to you. –  Shog9 Oct 10 '13 at 20:52
    
@Shog9 - Should I remove this answer? –  Travis J Oct 10 '13 at 20:54
    
@Shog9 Out of curiosity, how long would this IP ban be? Is it automatic? –  Kendall Frey Oct 10 '13 at 20:54
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Doesn't bother me; there are browser extensions that can do the same thing (with much less care). Just wanted to emphasize your comments about not abusing it. –  Shog9 Oct 10 '13 at 20:55
    
It is automatic, @Kendall - how long it lasts (from a few minutes to much longer) really depends on how heavily you're hitting the site. Particularly obnoxious IPs or subnets can find themselves blocked indefinitely (this is generally done manually though). –  Shog9 Oct 10 '13 at 20:55
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