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OSCON.

Session

HTTP Caching and Cache-busting
Michael Radwin, Technical Yahoo!, Yahoo! Inc.

Track: Apache
Date: Wednesday, July 28
Time: 4:30pm - 5:15pm
Location: Salon H

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A user's web experience can often be improved by the proper use of HTTP caches. Radwin discusses when to use and when to avoid caching, how to employ cache-busting techniques most effectively, and how to diagnose problems with caches.

In particular, this talk will cover:

* Overview of HTTP caches
- Shared caches vs. private caches
- Proxy caches and HTTP server accelerators

* How to encourage caching for static content
- Reduction of network bandwidth usage
- Improved browsing and page-rendering speed by avoiding network round-trips

* How to discourage caching for personalized or frequently-changing content

* How to disable caching for sensitive content
- Cache-busting for accurate hit-metering and advertising statistics
- Cache-busting for sensitive information (e.g. personal financial data)

* "Expires" vs. "Cache-Control" and other HTTP headers

* The best of all worlds: unique URL tagging techniques that defeat proxy caches but work gracefully with browser caches

* Sending HTTP headers
- Apache's mod_headers and mod_expires modules
- PHP's header() and mod_perl's $r->header_out() functions
- Using HTML tags

* Debugging HTTP caching problems
- Using the Web Developer and Live HTTP Headers extensions for Mozilla
- Diagnosing MSIE with Ethereal
- Text-based debugging
- Rolling your own HTTP proxy



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