I have noticed that some browsers (in particular, Firefox and Opera) are very zealous in using cached copies of .css and .js files, even between browser sessions. This leads to a problem when you update one of these files, but the user's browser keeps on using the cached copy.
What is the most elegant way of forcing the user's browser to reload the file when it has changed?
Ideally, the solution would not force the browser to reload the file on every visit to the page.
I have posted a new answer below which is a combination of my original solution and John's suggestion.
Another idea that was suggested by SCdF would be to append a bogus query string to the file. (Some Python code, to automatically use the timestamp as a bogus query string, was submitted by pi..)
However, there is some discussion as to whether or not the browser would cache a file with a query string. (Remember, we want the browser to cache the file and use it on future visits. We only want it to fetch the file again when it has changed.)