Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Google Maps and caching RSS feeds

I just decided to update the simple trip to have all the train stops between Geneva and Wengen and while the RSS feed now shows the new entries the Google Map is still showing the entry prior to the change. This might explain the slightly slower initial load time and the subsequent speed, it appears that Google are caching the documents rather than reapplying it everytime, indeed they aren't even checking that the document has been updated.

Which raises an interesting question about using Atom and RSS and indeed HTTP, because while you can indeed set a cache request (or no-cache request) on the document there is nothing to stop the other end making an arbitary decision. Now this certainly makes Google quicker to respond to subsequent requests, but it doesn't make the information more reliable. Now clearly the folks at Google have made a smart trade off between performance and information latency. But by making that trade off its made my service less responsive.

What a cracking example of the problems of the networked world... easier my arse.

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