Please note, new blog at http://www.acheron.org/darryl/

Firefox Link Prefetching

Just saw a post on Pete Freitag's blog about Mozilla/Firefox prefetching. Apparently, you can prefetch URLs during browser idle time. From the Mozilla site:
Link prefetching is a browser mechanism, which utilizes browser idle time to download or prefetch documents that the user might visit in the near future. A web page provides a set of prefetching hints to the browser, and after the browser is finished loading the page, it begins silently prefetching specified documents and stores them in its cache. When the user visits one of the prefetched documents, it can be served up quickly out of the browser's cache.
All you have to do is place this in your code: <link rel="prefetch" href="/images/big.jpeg"> <link rel="prefetch" href="http://www.mozilla.org/projects/netlib/ Link_Prefetching_FAQ.html"> This opens up possibilities for developers to go and get content before a user has even requested it. However, it also opens up the possibilties for abuse. For instance, what if I decided to create a page that went and prefetched 10x10 MB images. Now, for someone like myself, who only has 200 MB bandwidth per month (blame Telstra!), this would be a big problem! I think they really should have limited the functionality so that you can only pre-fetch content from the same server the originating page resides. This would at least limit the exposure to such abuses. You can disable link prefetching by modifying the prefs.js file. user_pref("network.prefetch-next",false);

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