Opera was sane: it did not reload a tab unless you asked for it. It just reopened everything from cache
No. That is NOT sane, normal, or desired. Webpages are live. ...
Not always. For example, I've been experimenting with portables to see how usable they are for displaying music. (Not playing music; I'm talking about readable "sheet" music".) Scenario: I'm going to an event like a jam session, my phone/tablet/whatever may not have Web access there, so I'd like to pre-load a lot of likely pages that I and a lot of other musical friends have put online.
But when I get there and wake up my gadget, most of the browsers instantly attempt to reload all those pages, find they can't, and display their "not available" message instead of the page they were showing. The buttons showing never include a "show the previous version from cache" choice; the info is just gone. I do a lot of web testing, so I have at least a dozen of the most "popular" browsers loaded on each. So far, the only browser I've found that doesn't fail this way has been Firefox, which just simply wakes up and continues where it was. So it's the only one I use to pre-load things for an event.
I've found it fairly easy to demo this at home. I just load up a few pages into a few browsers, show people that they all work when I switch between the browsers, etc. I suggest that others do the same on their cell phones. Then I invite people to join me on a short walk. When I get about a block away from home, my home wifi is out of range, all the other wifis have passwords, and I show them the screen, which shows an error message rather than the music it had a few seconds earlier. As we walk, the others also show the same thing happening in the browsers on their screens.
The vendors (especially Apple) reply that we should just use their apps, which can be set to not screw up that way. But to test my stuff on all those apps, I'd have to get a whole pile of cell phones and tablets, and also pay for service for all of them, which would cost me more money than I have. So I only test with browsers, which the vendors have (knowingly and with malice aforethought .-) set up to fail this way.
It's weird that Opera also fails this way. You'd think they'd be different. And maybe Opera and/or other browsers have a setting to turn off this automatic reloading. If so, I've never found it. Or, in a couple of cases, I found it in an early release, but it was gone after an upgrade.
Anyone know a general way to turn off this automatic reloading? I do suspect that it's possible with some browsers, but they do a good job of hiding it or renaming it so it isn't very recognizable.
In any case, notice that none of the "pages" I'm talking about are "live". They're just pages of sheet music, that stay the same until edited by a human. So there's no need to reload them at all. And discarding a page because there's no wifi service is inexcusable in any case. It's just pure user-hostility on the part of the vendors.