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Alden Bates' Weblog

Feigning normality since 1973

Strange FireFox prefetch problem

Filed in: Website Management.

I've noticed a couple of times an odd bug occuring when navigating forward through the issue pages on the NZDWFC site. Because they include a "next" metalink, FireFox will always prefetch the next issue's index page. This means if you click on the link to the next issue, FireFox already has the page and just needs to download the images.

However a couple of times this has somehow gone wrong. When I've clicked on the link to the next issue, nothing has happened. This seems to be a relatively rare occurance (It's only happened to me twice, as I say) but I'm mystified as to what's happening.

Because I have the access logs, I can see roughly what's happening but it doesn't help:

  1. after loading the issue's index page, in this case TSV 20, FireFox loads the index page for TSV 21. This appears from the server end to have gone as normal.
  2. FireFox re-requests the page and gets back a status of 206 (partial content) indicating that FireFox requested a small piece of the file. Total transferred: 15490 bytes (the TSV 21 index page is only 4978 bytes in size).
  3. Whenever I click on the link or try to load the page from other links, FireFox repeats step 2 and doesn't load the page.

The only way to fix this appears to be to clear the cache. I presume the cached page has somehow become corrupted, but it's hard to tell what's happening.

Posted April 20, 2006 11:17 PM

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