Javascript and CSS file versioning

Lately, I was in conversation with our QA lead, which made us realize of an issue that, certainly will cause inconvenience to the end users of the web application on which we are working on. Although the issue is very much common and is to be faced by all web developers, though it came late to me, I would defend myself by saying, ‘better late than never’.

Now the problem,

Our web application relies heavily on javascript and css and we follow a rapid release cycles. Each release adds a whole bunch of new features and modifications. Hence a lot of changes to the same old javascript and css files. After a rigorous testing the product goes live for the end users. Now there will surely users telling the current released is buggy and everything on a page breaks. But wait a minute, why this would happen as all went fine during testing. Oh yes, but did we notify the end users browser that our so and so js and cs files have changed and it needs to get a fresh copy of it for the things to work properly. Of course we didn’t, so what to do, tell the  end user to clear the cache(CTRL+F5), so that it makes browser to get fresh copy of all files, well isn’t this annoying.

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