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Mozilla about cache

Posted by felipegaucho on August 15, 2007 at 1:26 AM PDT

I continue my studies about web applications optimization focusing in the browser side. My previous blog was about YSlow, the excellent add on of Firebug. Now, I focused more to understand how browsers cache works and how to trace problems caused by its storage strategies.

The browser side was a great concern few years ago, when the power of the client machines and the available broadband were quite restricted. Nowadays, it really doesn't matter if you push 1 or 2 MB of data over the Internet because the most part of the users will not feel much difference. Despite that, as engineer I am always looking for an optimal configuration and dropping useless characters in the server response or simply ignoring the garbage around my site goes against my sense of quality.

Well, if you want to thing about old concerns, you must go old school and check the old books, so I found this very old and yet useful reference about using Mozilla to inspect the web pages contents. The most part of the text is already obsolete, but there is a forgotten pearl in the end of the page, it is about cache.

Mozilla Cache Manager

From the original page: The cache manager in Mozilla provides you with full access to see what's in the memory and disk cache.

The single step to inspect your browser cache is to load the following address in your browser:
about:cache. That's it, then you have access to all information about the objects in the memory and also in the disk cache. You can also include the type of device you want to inspect: about:cache?device=[memory|disk]

A friend of mine just notified me about other interesting tricks in the address bar of Mozilla, including the about:config

A new javascript minifier: YUI Compressor

Another good new for the web developers is the YUI Compressor, a javascript minifier that promises to work better than its predecessors. Thanks for Milfont for this last minute tip :). There is a lot of controversial on how much it impacts on web performance or how much is worth to spend time and money doing small optimizations, but for now I accept the thesis about quality as an overall concern - let's see.

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