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Master Firefox's Hidden Configuration Tools

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Moz/FF

I often write that the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox browser does thus and such, or doesn't do this or that other thing. What I mean is that the program has no menu command or preferences dialog box to give users control over its cache, performance, and other settings. In truth, there are other handy but hard-to-discover ways of configuring Firefox to behave according to your wishes.

Firefox inherits a number of hidden configuration interfaces from its Netscape ancestors, namely its 'about:' URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). For instance, in last April's Internet Tips column (under "Clear the Cache"), I wrote that unlike Internet Explorer, Firefox doesn't allow you to view the contents of its cached Web pages and related files. While it is true that you won't find a menu command or setting in the program's interface for that task, reader Fran Snyder, who contacted me via e-mail, notes that all you have to do is type about:cache into Firefox's address field and press to view links to the contents of the browser's memory and disk caches.

So why would you ever want to peruse your Web browser's cache?

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