Art 511: Information on Netscape automatic page updating

Stephen Wilson, Professor, Conceptual Design, SFSU

*Information about Netscape use of META tag to support automatic page updating

< META > Tag

A new < META > tag included in the head section before the title can indicate meta-information
Supplemental information about the document that informs servers to initiate special proceeses. For example, Meta-information might include the expiration date of a document to support automatic agent updating. Netscape is already using the META tag to set up an animation process called "client pull". The META tag indicates that after a specified number of seconds, the client should either reload the current document or a new URL. The sample below shows the format. The HTTP-EQUIV is set equal to "Ref resh". CONTENT must be set equal to the number of seconds, after which the client should request a new page (0=fastest possible). If no URL is indicated the client will reload the current page; otherwise it will access the optional URL indicated. A ful l URL must be used. Some sites with time sensitive information such as stock quotes constantly update the same page so the reloading shows the changing information. Creating a string of sequential documents can create a limited form of animation. See the earlier reference section for pointers to additional information.

Standard format for command

< META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT= "number of seconds; (optional URL to be loaded)">

Example- reload same page after 2 seconds


Example - reload different page after 4 seconds


- This page created by Stephen Wilson, Professor Conceptual Design, SFSU (
- More information about the Conceptual Design program is available at (
- It is a resource used in Art511 Art&Telecommunications course (
- A comprehensive guide to Web design is available in the book World Wide Web Design Guide (Hayden Books) by Stephen Wilson
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