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Sorry if this is a repeat question, but I was unable to find a similar question when I searched meta.

I have noticed the following weird behavior when browsing SO:

I usually wait to answer python questions, so I'm mostly sitting on SO/questions/tagged/python. As expected, after some time passes, I see a new question notification (presumably a real-time indicator that a new question has been asked; image below), clicking which, loads the new question(s).

new question indicator

If instead of clicking on the loader, I choose to refresh the page instead, I would expect that the new question would load on the refresh. This however, does not seem to be the case - the new question is usually lost when I refresh immediately after I see the notification (an the notifier is gone, too). Interestingly, this is still the case if I click on the notification (to load the new question) and then hit refresh.

On the other hand, if I wait for some time (don't have an exact bound on the time. All I can say for now is "under 5 minutes") before I hit refresh, the question loads on the page. This is also the case if I keep refreshing the page like a madman - after --a while--, the new question loads on the page.

Possibly important technical details about how I access SO:

  1. OS: Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)
  2. Browser: dedicated app created with fluid.app (v 1.6.1).
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The questions page is cached for (I believe) about 5 minutes, so I'm pretty sure this is behaving as intended.

When the question is shown to you via the real-time notification, it's shown to you, not necessarily to everyone on the page just yet.

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If that's the case, then shouldn't the new question still show up when I refresh the page? –  inspectorG4dget Nov 22 '12 at 5:10
@inspectorG4dget Nope, because the page is still cached. When you refresh, whatever you got via web sockets that power up the real-time stuff is gone. –  Anna Lear Nov 22 '12 at 5:11
I get that. But then, there is a new registered socket when I refresh, so a notification for the new question should be sent through the new socket, yes?… unless such notifications are sent ONLY when the question is posted, in which case, no user who opens the page for the first time within 5 minutes of posting a question will be able to see it until the 5 minute cache time has lapsed. Please confirm/deny –  inspectorG4dget Nov 22 '12 at 5:15
@inspectorG4dget The latter is correct. Notifications are a one-time deal. If you're there to see it, you see it. If not, you're gonna have to wait for the page cache to update. –  Anna Lear Nov 22 '12 at 5:16
Possibly off-topic/not-constructive: what is the proper protocol for turning this into a feature-request post? Is it as simple as a retag or would I have to make a new post? –  inspectorG4dget Nov 22 '12 at 21:48
@inspectorG4dget I'd make a new post with a specific suggestion (and reference this one for context). –  Anna Lear Nov 22 '12 at 21:54
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