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"To display this page, Firefox must send information ..."

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
reB00t
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2009, 9:34 pm

How many times have you seen posts like this?
Message "To display this page, Firefox must send information that will repeat any action (such as a search or order confirmation) that was performed earlier." Keeps Popping Up . I've tried just about everything I find in the message boards, forums and nothing works for me. Please help. FF3.0.10, XP


Part of the problem is that current Firefox browser assumes that POST request responses are uncacheable in all circumstances. The reality is that many web applications use POST method forms to generate temporary content pages. Post/Redirect/Get purists can argue that this is always bad practice and that web application developers should know better. But even the purists cannot deny that many average Firefox users are confused and upset with what they consider persistent, annoying, and unnecessary warnings.

Yes, in some cases these dialog pop-ups are necessary to warn users about resubmitting a post, such as a duplicate order. And yes, if re-submit is to occur, the user should be warned. But, in many cases back button/navigation form resubmits can be avoided and cached response page used instead. A browser should allow web application developers do decide whether caching a response page to a POST request is appropriate.

According to RFC 2616 Section 9.5:
Responses to [POST] method are not cacheable, UNLESS the response includes appropriate Cache-Control or Expires header fields.


Right now, Firefox 3.0.10 ignores Cache-Control and Expires headers on POST request responses. Instead it is forcing user to either cancel back button action or resubmit the form....

Edited: I stand corrected. Firefox is not to be blamed for the back button problems I'm experiencing. As it turns out, one of the extensions I have installed was causing cache handling irregularities. Upon updating this extension the problem was solved. See full explanation in my post below.
Last edited by reB00t on May 6th, 2009, 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

TtfnJohn
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2009, 11:55 pm

I'll add to this that the chances of a duplicate order occurring as a result of rereading a cached page are on the order of being struck by lightening, or less. Of all the orders I've placed over the Internet over the years the only time I've had to deal with a duplicate is with the current malfunctioning of Firefox.

The Post/Redirect/Get purists ignore the unfortunate fact that you're as likely, if not more likely, from my experience to end up manually attempting to prevent what they are attempting to protect you from. The purists are also ignoring the fact that it is not up to a browser to decide what is and what is not proper coding of a web page.

As you point out IE deals with this situation correctly. Opera, Chrome, Safari and Konqueror also deal with it correctly. WebKit deals with this situation correctly. AFAK, Debian's version of Firefox deals with this correctly, they are standards nuts, you know.

Should Firefox developers and engineers continue to believe that they are right in this, and they most emphatically are not, at least a swtich in the configuration to turn this pointless and annoying noise off would be an improvement.

In the meantime, Mozilla/Firefox should behave to standard and, if they have a problem with the standard, take it up with W3C rather than break the Web which is what they're doing right now. That they aren't indicates they know they won't get anywhere.

ttfn

John

malliz
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Post Posted May 6th, 2009, 1:43 am

I would suggest instead of lecturing you both file a bug. That way the devs will definitely see it
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/
If neither one of you file then your not part of the solution your part of the problem
What sort of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
"Terry Pratchett"

reB00t
 
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Post Posted May 6th, 2009, 5:13 am

My apologies for Firefox developers. Since my last post I've learned that Firefox 3.0.10 does cache POST request responses as one would expect. Here is quick explanation of what happened in my case and how I resolved the issue.

First I noticed that my FireFox was requesting fresh page on each back button action regardless whether it was a POST or GET request. Next, I started my FireFox in "Safe Mode" and the problem was gone. I disabled all my installed extensions and then turned them back on, one at a time, until I found the culprit. Unexpectedly, the culprit was Roboform extension version 6.9.90. Upon updating to version 6.9.94 the problem was gone.

Moral of the story: Don't jump to conclusions. Check your FireFox in safe-mode to make sure your extensions are not causing the problem.

Also a note to web application developers: If you want to make sure browsers cache your POST responses, make sure to set appropriate cache control http headers on the result page.

TtfnJohn
 
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Joined: June 13th, 2005, 10:17 pm

Post Posted May 6th, 2009, 2:06 pm

malliz wrote:I would suggest instead of lecturing you both file a bug. That way the devs will definitely see it
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/

If neither one of you file then your not part of the solution your part of the problem


Been there done that. Somewhere along the lines of two or three years ago. Repsonse, in a nutshell, was that it ain't a bug it's a security feature. Unlike my friend above I'm running a version of FF that, at the moment only has the google toolbar as an extention.

In all honesty it's not like they haven't seen it or are unaware of it, or the issues it causes, it's that they're stuck on "it's a security feature" and they're staying there.

Your sig suggests the line from Sherlock Holmes about investigation before leaping to conclusions. There's another old saying that goes when you point a finger at someone there's four pointing back at you.

I'm glad reBOOt found the answer to his problem but that doesn't change the essence of it.

Thanks all the same.

malliz
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Post Posted May 6th, 2009, 5:59 pm

At no time did you state a bug had been filed. If you had stated that it had been filed and had given the dev's reason for not fixing it it would have weakened your somewhat long winded rant so you chose not spoil your argument with the truth.
What sort of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
"Terry Pratchett"

Frank Lion

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Post Posted May 6th, 2009, 6:07 pm

TtfnJohn wrote:...There's another old saying that goes when you point a finger at someone there's four pointing back at you.

Well, amongst a community of mutants maybe. Us normal people would have just three fingers pointing back and indeed that is what the actual 'old saying' says.
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TtfnJohn
 
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Joined: June 13th, 2005, 10:17 pm

Post Posted May 6th, 2009, 8:22 pm

Frank Lion wrote:
TtfnJohn wrote:...There's another old saying that goes when you point a finger at someone there's four pointing back at you.

Well, amongst a community of mutants maybe. Us normal people would have just three fingers pointing back and indeed that is what the actual 'old saying' says.


Some of us count the thumb, though to be quite correct it can be pointing up or down or off at an angle in just about any direction.

We mutants have to do something with our extra finger, you know, as we have it there!

ttfn

John (who will be quiet about this for another 12 months or so)

zariahart
 
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Joined: December 28th, 2004, 1:13 am

Post Posted February 20th, 2010, 2:34 am

Yes, I would also very much like to see firefox fix this annoying feature, to make it an option you can turn off if you choose,
just like the other options in the tools menu!
I have noticed that there have been several threads with the exact same complaint started, but that firefox has consistently closed each discussion, falsly as "solved"!

wwww
 
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Post Posted March 28th, 2011, 9:58 am

And a year later and it's still the same and it's still just as annoying as ever, and it's the main reason I only use Opera for websites where I need to look back a page frequently.

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