Until a couple of hours ago, my usual experience on SE sites has been that the homepage, individual question pages, etc., would be revalidated and reloaded whenever I navigated around with Back and Forward buttons. As I understand it, this was accomplished with
maxage=0 or something very similar, and ensured that I would see the freshest content (subject to server-side caching, of course).
This all changed while I was out to dinner, and now there is no
maxage=0 and the browser is caching pages indefinitely.
Steps to reproduce:
- Load the front page of Server Fault, Mathematics, Programmers, Super User, or any site but Stack Overflow (where I haven't yet tested).
- Click on a question.
- Wait a few minutes or even hours, so that the front page should have received new content.
- Click Back.
- The front page reloads, showing all new questions posted since I originally clicked the question in Step 2. This is what was occurring until this evening.
- The cached front page loads, showing only the questions present when I originally clicked the question in Step 2. No questions posted since that time appear. The timestamps show the wrong number of "minutes ago". On watching the Network tab, I see the browser does not attempt to revalidate the page.
- Click Forward to return to the question from Step 2 above.
- The question page is reloaded and any new votes, comments and answers appear.
- The cached question page is loaded, and appears as it did when originally accessed. No new votes, comments or answers are visible.
This is getting to be a real pain, as it means I'm almost constantly having to hit F5 as I navigate around the site, to be sure that I'm seeing something current.