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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition by Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy

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Client-Pull Documents

Client-pull documents are relatively easy to prepare. All you need to do is embed a <meta> tag in the header of your HTML or XHTML document. The special tag tells the client browser to display the current document for a specified period of time and then load and display an entirely new one, just as if the user had selected the new document from a hyperlink. (Note that currently there is no way to change just a portion of a document dynamically using client-pull.) [<meta>]

Uniquely Refreshing

Client-pull dynamic documents work with Netscape and Internet Explorer because the browsers respond to a special HTTP header field called Refresh.

You may recall from previous discussions that whenever an HTTP server sends a document to the client browser, it precedes the document’s data with one or more header fields. One header field, for instance, contains a description of the document’s content type, used by the browser to decide how to display the document’s contents. For example, the server precedes HTML documents with the header “Content-type: text/html,” whose meaning should be fairly obvious.

As we discussed in Chapter 6, you can add your own special fields to an HTML document’s HTTP header by inserting a <meta> tag into its <head>. [<meta>]

The HTTP Refresh field implements client-pull dynamic HTML documents, enabled by the <meta> tag format:

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="field value">

The tag’s http-equiv attribute tells the HTTP server to include the ...

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