Detecting server file changes...?

From what I understand, live.js is essentially known for providing developers with a means of determining whether a page (file, etc.) has changed on the server side, and in turn, forcing a browser to refresh when a change has been detected. Does this sound right?

So then, I’m curious: is it possible to create a development environment that leverages this type of functionality without including that JavaScript file all over the place and in every single file you might be working on?

For example, it would be awesome to be able to use this with Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. as well as homegrown projects, but these types of things often represent hundreds and thousands of different types of files, etc… So it would be terrific if something could be done that makes only 1 reference to <SOMETHING> whereby every saved change thereafter forces your browser to refresh the page. Heck, a non-refresh-refresh would be great too (such as what I believe “Live Reload” purports to do for those NOT on Windows 7).

I have 2 computers in my office and being able to detect changes like this on my non-development machine would be like a dream come true. I’ve managed to find a Firefox add-on that comes really close to doing what I want (minus the remote / server-side change stuff): it’s called Auto Reload. Basically, it’s an add-on that detects file changes and whenever it detects a change, it refreshes the page. It’s simple and it works. It even picks up back-end changes, too (i.e. - I tested PHP’s "var_dump(‘hello’) and it worked like a charm). The only downside to this add-on is that it only works if the browser is on the same machine as the web server (which makes sense; I’m just curious if something could be rigged to use something like this with a remote machine, too). That’s where I came up with the live.js stuff above…

But anyway, the only thing I can think of in all this is mapping a drive to the other computer which leads to the www folder I have in my development machine and using the Auto Reload add-on, watch the mapped location for changes. It’s kinda clunky versus what I see as being an ideal, but it would work.