Rapid requests and Favicons jam PNS

#1
Folks,
It seems that making rapid HTTP GET requests of the PNS will cause it to drop a packet and jam. Normally this won't be a problem, assuming you don't try to access it using several web browsers at once. Even if you use Javascript to generate lots of requests, the PNS seems to keep up - except in this odd case....
Using the Safari browser I found that for simple htm or cgi pages, the browser repeatedly looks for the page's "favourite icon", the favicon. It does an HTTP GET for this (favicon.ico) after issuing the GET for the page you want. Unfortunately this gets issued very quickly after the previous request and as a result it can cause the PNS to jam.
Using Internet Explorer 6 this doesn't happen - it doesn't keep asking for the favicon file. I assume it is being bright and having been told it's not there once it doesn't keep asking.
Since the PNS does not support ICO files you can't put one on the site to keep the browser happy. However, you can put this bit of HTML in the header of your pages to explicitly name a small GIF as your "favorite icon"...
<HEAD>
....<LINK rel="shortcut icon" href="mypic.gif"/> ...
</HEAD>
Once Safari has got the icon it doesn't keep asking for it, so the GETs don't hit the PNS too fast. This also has the advantage that you get the image appearing next to the address in the address bar, but of course it costs you some precious web space.
Just to be clear - it looks like you don't have to worry if you're using Internet Explorer, but I've not tried Firefox etc. so bear this problem in mind if you're not going the Microsoft route.
Cheers
Simon
 
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