Mark Vincze Mark Vincze - 10 months ago 40
HTTP Question

What's the simplest way to refresh a particular browser tab from a Go application?

I have a client-side Golang application running on my machine. I also have a browser open, and in that browser there might be a tab running my web application (which is completely separate from the Golang app).

From the Golang app, I would like to programmatically refresh the browser tab (and maybe if possible, bring it to front, but that's less important).

I researched quite a lot already, and I concluded this is not possible just by communicating to the browser, there is no standard (especially cross-platform and cross-browser) interface with which we can trigger the refresh of a specific tab of a browser.

So I suppose I'll need to have some custom JS code running on the website with which my Golang application can communicate and trigger the refresh of the tab.

What's the easiest way to do this?

(I was looking at livereload.js and lrserver, but these all start with the premise that there is a folder of content we'd like to watch and automatically reload on any change. But I don't want that, I just programmatically want to trigger the refresh. Also, this Golang app is not hosting the website, it's just a separate client-side application.)

Answer Source

As suggested by some comments, there seems to be no API through which we could connect to a browser from Golang, query the list of tabs, and refresh a particular page (at least not in a cross-browser and cross-platform way).

One possible approach to do this is to host a small WebSocket endpoint in Golang, and connect to it from the site we want to refresh. Then send a message through the WS connection every time we want to reload the site, and in JavaScript call location.reload() when we receive the message.

I described all the details in a blog post, and uploaded a complete working example to GitHub.