Refresh considered harmful
Along the same lines as my recent post entitled "Polling and pinging considered harmful", I'd like to add the ubiquitous "Refresh" function to the list of "bad system design" features. The only real excuse for having a user-visible "Refresh" (or even timed-refresh) feature is the lack of a decent underlying information distribution architecture.
There's no need to clog the network will excessive "refresh" traffic. And there is certainly no excuse for having the poor dumb user manually poll information sources. There's no good reason for having unchanged data flow all the way across the net on each refresh request. Many of those refresh requests are simply because the dumb user can't be sure whether the visiable information is up to date.
A solution to the "polling and pinging" problem for feed files (such as RSS) would enable the elimination of the user-visible refresh function as well.
-- Jack Krupansky