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Apologies for my ignorance in advance.

This is a question that I suspect is more connected to PHP/Zend, but it also has relevancy to Magento.

When running a dataflow import why does the page not timeout, what are the mechanics that make it work.

Additionally, how does the script output updates before (such as: successfully imported product 'N') the script finishes. Usually when I run a script in Magento it only provides the echo text after the script finishes.

How does this work?

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Using chrome, open the developer toolbar. then start an import. You will see that the page is sending constant (timed) AJAX requests to effect the row import, and get back the progress.

This is why it never times out - it is not just one page request, from start to end - the page you are on is in fact 100% loaded.

The constant AJAX calls to the import controller is what keeps it going.

You should be able to trace the code flow easily enough from the above given starting point.

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