HTTP redirects vs Refresh: 0

David Miller justdave at
Sat Apr 12 17:59:55 UTC 2003

On 4/12/03 6:37 PM +1000, Bradley Baetz wrote:

> Several places in the code put out a "Refresh: 0; URL=..." header. These
> places normally print out a message such as "Resubmitting your query
> with new columns..." or "Loading your query. Click here if the page does
> not redisplay automatically"
> Whilst I guess that this is informative, is there any reason that we
> shouldn't just redirect? The only reason that we ever see this is
> because of speed/latency issues (plus the browser may have a lower
> bound on the timeout) We should still put out the message, so that if
> the redirect fails teh user can still see stuff, but apart from that...
> Thoughts?

Posted to a Zippy bug after their QA reported that the refresh pages
weren't refreshing in IE 6:

Doing some quick research, I discovered that the Refresh header (both as an
header and when used in a META html tag) is Netscape-specific, and not defined
by any standard, which means to be standards-compliant, we really should be
setting the cookie and issuing a 302 redirect instead of having an intermediate
page.  The question is whether or not we can alter the QUERY_STRING portion of
the URL during the redirect...  I can't find any clear declaration of whether
that's legal or not in RFC2616...  we may have to just try it and see if it


HTTP/1.1 protocol specification (which doesn't define Refresh)

The IETF's HTTP-WG mailing list (which states Refresh isn't standard - poke
around the entire thread)

Dictionary of HTML META tags (which includes references to the specifications
which define them, and shows that Refresh was invented by Netscape and not a

Dave Miller      Project Leader, Bugzilla Bug Tracking System   

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