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Part of my custom form that gathers petition signatures includes some markup saying "last signer: Bob, 3 minutes ago", looked up from a database.

But if the user does not submit the form, eg they reload the page, or look elsewhere then come back to the page, the form is rendered from cache and so it still says 3 minutes ago.

What can I do?

Notes:

  • I am not using varnish or memcached or anything else fancy that might interfere with caching. It's a very simple sure. The behaviour is seen for anonymous users. The form is used in a block, and the block is defined with DRUPAL_NO_CACHE.

  • The form has AJAX submission (although it must work for non-js-enabled browsers, too). I have since learnt that:

cache: ... ajax_process_form() enables form caching for all forms that include an element with the #ajax property. (The Ajax handler has no way to build the form itself, so must rely on the cached version.)

no_cache: If set to TRUE the form will NOT be cached, even if 'cache' is set.

So the question seems to point to: how can I force a form cache reset for a page load that is NOT ajax-related, e.g. in hook_block_view()? As this would mean caching was ON (required by ajax), and can stay there for form submissions, but a page load without user input will regenerate the form?

  • Could you specify if you use Memcache, Varnish or any other caching layer? This form is a basic form used on a page, on a comment or what type of form is? Please, add more info. – gerzenstl Jul 25 '14 at 23:45
  • @gerzenstl edited as requested. – artfulrobot Jul 26 '14 at 8:40
  • Provide some endpoint that exposes an uncached JSON response with the latest information and then call that endpoint via JS/Ajax to place the information on the current page. – leymannx Dec 3 '19 at 17:53
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If you are not using Varnish or other server caching, first, I would try CacheExclude Module or something similar to prevent the page that the form resides on from being cached. In this way it should reload every time.

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  • Thanks for suggestion, I tried it but it did not make a difference. – artfulrobot Jul 26 '14 at 8:39
  • I note that cacheexclude relies on hook_init() but this code is not even getting called for repeat loads of the page - hmmm! – artfulrobot Jul 28 '14 at 8:36
  • that seems odd since hook_init() is designed not to run on cached pages... I don't know what to tell you, sorry – Geoff Jul 28 '14 at 13:44
  • Well, that'll explain that, then. But yeah, it rather undermines the efficacy of the module! – artfulrobot Jul 28 '14 at 14:19
  • it seems to yes. You could try turning it into a custom module that uses hook_boot() instead, but that precedes modules and user info being loaded, so it might be tricky to get everything working properly. – Geoff Jul 28 '14 at 14:21

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