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Prefetching link/hint for next page

Whenever a user is viewing a comic page, Comic Rocket should include a prefetching link (hint) pointing to the next page, to speedup the loading of said next page.

A brief despription of prefetching from the MDC Link Prefetching FAQ:

Link prefetching is a browser mechanism, which utilizes browser idle time to download or prefetch documents that the user might visit in the near future. A web page provides a set of prefetching hints to the browser, and after the browser is finished loading the page, it begins silently prefetching specified documents and stores them in its cache. When the user visits one of the prefetched documents, it can be served up quickly out of the browser's cache.

Taking advantage of this is as simple as adding code such as the following to the <head> section of your page:

<link rel="prefetch" href="/path/to/resource">

Supporting browsers will fetch and cache the references resource file in the background, so that when it's used on a subsequent page it can be loaded from the cache rather than having to fire off an HTTP request. The same mechanism can be used to pre-cache images, JavaScript files, or even HTML pages.

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4 comments

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  • Ryan Smith-Roberts commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Possibly you could load the next page in an iframe? If you had both the current and next pages in iframes you could even animate the transition.

  • ruffsl commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Had a similar Idea:
    I would like the web app to precash the Next and Previous comics, just like the android app.
    This make reading much faster and enjoyably when the next page is loading while your reading the current. Especially now that most public WiFi could be considered slower that a typical 4G connection.
    Would there be a way to do this with an extension in Chrome or FireFox?

  • AdminJosh Triplett (Admin, Comic Rocket) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    According to https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Link_prefetching_FAQ , Firefox prefetches any <link> with a rel of prefetch or next. It doesn't prefetch <a> tags, though.

    Chrome apparently ignores "prefetch", and doesn't care about "next" either, but it'll pay attention to a rel="prerender".

    Other browsers don't seem to do prefetching at all.

  • AdminJamey Sharp (Admin, Comic Rocket) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've wanted to do this for some time now, but last time I tried it, I couldn't find a browser that respected the prefetching annotations. Looks like that was in 2010. Are they better now?

    Also, of the 1.5 million pages Comic Rocket is currently indexing, two-thirds don't have Etag or Last-Modified headers, and common webcomic software explicitly disables caching. I assume that <link rel="prefetch"> only helps for cacheable content.

    So I'm not sure this particular suggestion will have the effect you (and I) wish for. But when we get some time, we'll look into ways to make it happen!

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