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Firefox 4 - Concession to the Copyright Police?

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JDS Jr
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 5:42 pm

In Firefox 3.6.15 and earlier I could find a flash video file that I watched using Firefox in the Cache directory with a nonsensical name and no file extension. If the file was closed (by viewing another page) I could then rename the file with a .flv extension and move it out of harms way before I closed Firefox for later viewing. When I tried using the new and “improved” Firefox 4, I found the temporary .flv file is now stored in Temp as a fla???.tmp file. I also found that it is now deleted immediately when I move to another page and not when I close Firefox. This means it is never left in the unlocked state where you would have the chance to rename it or move it using conventional means. This seems to be a step backwards for me so I have gone back to using 3.6.15? Is there a reason for this other than as a concession to the copyright police? Is there away around this without using another program to copy locked files?

I would think the content providers would also not be happy about this because if a user goes back to a page and looks at the content a second time after looking at the another page, that content has to be downloaded a second time as well instead of being reloaded from cache.

Bluefang

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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 6:53 pm

This doesn't have anything to do with copyright. Stop being paranoid.

There were some changes to the way Firefox handles the cache. The problem you're probably running into is that the cache file size limit (per cache item) was reduced to 5MB. If a file grows larger than that, it gets evicted from the cache.

Also, I believe that Flash uses it's own caching mechanism (at least it does on Linux).

If you want to download Flash videos, then install an extension like AdBlock Plus, Live HTTP Headers, HttpFox. Or use the built in Web Console (CTRL+SHIFT+K). Find the request that's downloading the video and directly download it.

Plus, there are a multitude of extensions designed to do this for you.
There have always been ghosts in the machine... random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul...

JDS Jr
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:50 pm

> This doesn't have anything to do with copyright. Stop being paranoid.

I think the best thing here is to say “to each his own” and let it go at that.

> There were some changes to the way Firefox handles the cache. The problem you're probably running into is that the cache file size limit (per cache item) was reduced
> to 5MB. If a file grows larger than that, it gets evicted from the cache.

I really do not see why the developers would all of sudden now decide to not save files over 5 MB for space considerations when it was never done before. Hard drives are so much larger today that even a 50 MB file is nothing. Why set such a low limit now when it wasn’t necessary in the past when hard drives were so much smaller? Why not at least wait until Firefox is closed before dumping them? A single session cannot take up that much space.

Is there a way of setting this so you can have larger files in the cache? I did not use 4 very long before I went back to 3.6 but I did not see a way during the short time I was using 4.

> Also, I believe that Flash uses it's own caching mechanism (at least it does on Linux).

I cannot say if it does or does not, but I do know that when I went to back to 3.6 that “feature” went away so it would appear that it has more to do with how Firefox is handling the files and not Flash.


> If you want to download Flash videos, then install an extension like AdBlock Plus, Live HTTP Headers, HttpFox. Or use the built in Web Console (CTRL+SHIFT+K).
> Find the request that's downloading the video and directly download it.

(CTRL+SHIFT+K) did nothing when I tried it in 3.6 but I am sure there are programs that work as you suggest, at least for certain web pages. I have even used “Easy You Tube Downloader” but that is not really the point. The point is why would they make such an unnecessary change? And while I am ranting, why now all of sudden do you complicate things by adding all those sub directories in the cache? I would think simpler is better particularly when there is now one for each hexadecimal number plus more sub directories under those. Perhaps there is even additional layers generated as more files are cached but I did not use 4 long enough to find that out.

LoudNoise
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:58 pm

You are not paranoid. Mozilla and the rancid owners of copyrights are out to get you. That is why these changes have been made. They know you are not about use an extension so they didn't have to repress those. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE CACHE CHANGES EXCEPT FOR THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Bluefang

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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 9:48 pm

I really do not see why the developers would all of sudden now decide to not save files over 5 MB for space considerations when it was never done before. Hard drives are so much larger today that even a 50 MB file is nothing. Why set such a low limit now when it wasn’t necessary in the past when hard drives were so much smaller? Why not at least wait until Firefox is closed before dumping them? A single session cannot take up that much space.

The problem wasn't storing large files, but handling cache eviction.

* If you put a large file in the cache you potentially evict a large number of other entries. Essentially, you're replacing a bunch of small resources (which are much more likely to be re-viewed) with a single large item (which is likely only going to be viewed once or twice).

* If you, say, watch a bunch of YouTube videos in a row, what you essentially do is evict all of the useful cache items and replace them with items that really don't belong in the cache. so you get a high turn-over of large items (making them pointless as cache entries) at the cost of initially evicting useful cache entries.

Basically, not storing large files makes the cache more efficient and useful (to the browser).

You can read the discussion behind these changes here:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=81640
BugZilla is not a public forum. Do not comment in the bug.

Is there a way of setting this so you can have larger files in the cache? I did not use 4 very long before I went back to 3.6 but I did not see a way during the short time I was using 4.

Unless you want to re-compile Firefox, no. It's is hard-coded.

(CTRL+SHIFT+K) did nothing when I tried it in 3.6

The Web Console is new in Firefox 4.

The point is why would they make such an unnecessary change?

And I can ask you the exact same question. Why are you using cache in a way it was never designed or intended to be used?

The Cache is not supposed to be something accessible to the user. It was designed around the needs of the browser, and as such, it will change as the browser's needs change.

And while I am ranting, why now all of sudden do you complicate things by adding all those sub directories in the cache? I would think simpler is better particularly when there is now one for each hexadecimal number plus more sub directories under those.

That was done for performance reasons. It is much faster to update a bunch of very small folders than it is to update one extremely large folder.
There have always been ghosts in the machine... random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul...

Nitecrsr
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Post Posted March 25th, 2011, 9:35 pm

JDS Jnr:

I queried this situation on the Usenet group <mozilla.support.firefox> and received no response.

I too like to retrieve video form cache, and it's always worked fine for me up till FF
3.6.16.

There is an extension <Sothink Web Video Manager> but it costs (~$40??).

I've just given up, and switched (back) to Opera.

Pity

Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted March 25th, 2011, 10:06 pm


KWierso
 
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Post Posted March 25th, 2011, 10:08 pm

I've just given up, and switched (back) to Opera.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:2.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0

Clearly.

nitecrsr
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Post Posted March 27th, 2011, 8:32 am

KWierso wrote:
I've just given up, and switched (back) to Opera.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:2.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0

Clearly.


For sites with video that I know I'll want to save...

LoudNoise
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Post Posted March 27th, 2011, 8:40 am

Seems like a waste of time since Download helper will not only do what you want to do but is also a heck of a lot easier then collecting the FLV out the cache.
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SomeDude93745
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Post Posted April 7th, 2011, 6:39 am

They are using a codec (The video site) that splits up the file into little bits (kb size) in the firefox cache and uses a cache_map file to piece them together to play on your screen.(this makes lousy laggy video viewing)
So if you copy 1 to HD and rename as .flv and try to play with vlc its not got the other bits needed to be recognize as a video.
Its like a scrambler for cable TV.
These selfish pigs will never learn how they are cutting off their nose to spite their face.
Youtube and 90% of other sites are fine but some are using their own delivery method(which is once again laggy and lousy) and you can not get the video its just scrambled data.

SomeDudeyGuyDude432
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Post Posted April 7th, 2011, 6:40 am

LoudNoise wrote:Seems like a waste of time since Download helper will not only do what you want to do but is also a heck of a lot easier then collecting the FLV out the cache.

Not going to work with sites like this.
http://rightnetwork.com/episodes/drug-w ... ead-part-1

habub
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Post Posted April 8th, 2011, 11:39 pm

I believe this setting should be configurable. I am using 3g internet with very low datacap and bandwith. And every time using a 9mb flash game I am suffering from long load time and datacharges. No way to add exception for a specific url or file size?

Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted April 9th, 2011, 2:25 am

The cache can be viewed by typing about:cache?device=disk into the address bar and pressing Enter. Please note that if you have a very large disk cache, Firefox may stop responding for a while. Worst case scenario, Firefox might completely freeze.

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