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Why is my cache full entries to my bookmarked sites after sorting those bookmarks

Posted

Fx 3.6.3. By default, all my history, cookies & cache are always cleared on close. I launched a new session and did nothing but sort my bookmarks. I did not visit any sites.

Yet my cache was full of entries to all of the sites whose bookmarks I had sorted.

Can someone explain to me why this happens? It seems like a privacy issue to me.

This happened

Not sure how often

== I just noticed it today very randomly

Fx 3.6.3. By default, all my history, cookies & cache are always cleared on close. I launched a new session and did nothing but sort my bookmarks. I did not visit any sites. Yet my cache was full of entries to all of the sites whose bookmarks I had sorted. Can someone explain to me why this happens? It seems like a privacy issue to me. == This happened == Not sure how often == I just noticed it today very randomly

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • -Displays PDF documents in the browser.
  • Gecko default plugin
  • The Flip4Mac WMV Plugin allows you to view Windows Media content using QuickTime.
  • RealPlayer Plugin
  • Shockwave Flash 10.0 r45
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; rv:1.9.2.3) Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.8

More Information

Application Basics
Name
Firefox
Version
3.6.3
Profile Directory
Show in Finder
Installed Plugins
about:plugins
Build Configuration
about:buildconfig
Extensions
Name
Version
Enabled
ID
CookieKiller
1.0.6
true
cookiekiller@joseph.moran
Flashblock
1.5.13
true
{3d7eb24f-2740-49df-8937-200b1cc08f8a}
oldbar
1.2
true
{46868735-c3fa-47ce-8ce7-cce51a66aceb}
SortPlaces
1.6.6
true
sortplaces@andyhalford.com
Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X
1.1.3
true
colesbury@gmail.com
Xmarks BYOS Edition
1.0.0
true
byos@xmarks.com
SimpleBlock
0.0.4
true
SimpleBlock@aksoftware.ne1.net
Cache Status
0.7.9
true
cache@status.org
Modified Preferences
Name
Value
accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar
0
browser.history_expire_days
7
browser.history_expire_days.mirror
7
browser.history_expire_days_min
10
browser.history_expire_sites
1000
browser.places.importBookmarksHTML
false
browser.places.importDefaults
false
browser.places.migratePostDataAnnotations
false
browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion
2
browser.places.updateRecentTagsUri
true
browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone
rv:1.9.2.3
browser.tabs.autoHide
true
browser.tabs.loadInBackground
false
browser.tabs.tabMaxWidth
600
browser.tabs.warnOnClose
false
dom.disable_open_click_delay
64800000
dom.disable_window_move_resize
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.close
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.directories
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.menubar
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.minimizable
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.scrollbars
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.titlebar
true
dom.disable_window_open_feature.toolbar
true
dom.popup_allowed_events
click dblclick reset submit
dom.popup_maximum
1
dom.report_all_js_exceptions
false
dom.storage.default_quota
0
dom.storage.enabled
false
extensions.checkCompatibility
false
extensions.checkCompatibility.3.6
false
extensions.checkCompatibility.3.6b
false
extensions.checkCompatibility.3.7a
false
extensions.lastAppVersion
3.6.3
font.blacklist.underline_offset
FangSong,Gulim,GulimChe,MingLiU,MingLiU-ExtB,MingLiU_HKSCS,MingLiU-HKSCS-ExtB,MS Gothic,MS Mincho,MS PGothic,MS PMincho,…
font.name-list.monospace.ja
Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro
font.name.monospace.ja
Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro
font.single-face-list
Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro
general.useragent.locale
javascript.options.strict
true
keyword.URL
keyword.enabled
false
network.cookie.cookieBehavior
1
network.cookie.lifetimePolicy
2
network.cookie.prefsMigrated
true
network.dns.disablePrefetch
true
network.http.sendRefererHeader
0
network.prefetch-next
false
places.last_vacuum
1269905322
print.macosx.pagesetup-2
PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0iVVRGLTgiPz4KPCFET0NUWVBFIHBsaXN0IFBVQkxJQyAiLS8vQXBwbGUvL0RURCBQTElTVCAxLjAvL0VO…
print.print_bgcolor
true
print.print_bgimages
true
print.print_command
print.print_downloadfonts
true
print.print_evenpages
true
print.print_footercenter
&PT
print.print_footerleft
print.print_footerright
print.print_headercenter
&U
print.print_headerleft
print.print_headerright
print.print_in_color
true
print.print_margin_bottom
0.5
print.print_margin_left
0.5
print.print_margin_right
0.5
print.print_margin_top
0.5
print.print_oddpages
true
print.print_orientation
0
print.print_pagedelay
500
print.print_paper_data
0
print.print_paper_height
11.00
print.print_paper_size_type
1
print.print_paper_size_unit
0
print.print_paper_width
8.50
print.print_printer
print.print_reversed
false
print.print_scaling
1.00
print.print_shrink_to_fit
true
print.print_to_file
false
print.print_unwriteable_margin_bottom
26
print.print_unwriteable_margin_left
23
print.print_unwriteable_margin_right
23
print.print_unwriteable_margin_top
26
privacy.clearOnShutdown.formdata
false
privacy.clearOnShutdown.history
true
privacy.clearOnShutdown.offlineApps
true
privacy.cpd.cookies
false
privacy.cpd.downloads
false
privacy.cpd.formdata
false
privacy.cpd.history
false
privacy.item.downloads
false
privacy.item.formdata
false
privacy.item.history
false
privacy.item.offlineApps
true
privacy.popups.showBrowserMessage
false
privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs
true
privacy.sanitize.sanitizeOnShutdown
true
security.OCSP.disable_button.managecrl
false
security.disable_button.openCertManager
false
security.disable_button.openDeviceManager
false
security.enable_java
false
security.warn_entering_weak
false
security.warn_viewing_mixed
false

Noah_SUMO
  • Moderator
98 solutions 607 answers

First of all, I find it odd you have Firefox 3.6.8 as the latest out now is 3.6.3. Maybe you modified that on your own?

Anyway what cache are you talking about? The History sidebar you mean? The actual folder that holds the history cache? Or some other location? Please be more specific.

First of all, I find it odd you have Firefox 3.6.8 as the latest out now is 3.6.3. Maybe you modified that on your own? Anyway what cache are you talking about? The History sidebar you mean? The actual folder that holds the history cache? Or some other location? Please be more specific.

Question owner

Hi Noah.

(I've been on holiday - my apologies for the delay in responding.)

Yes, it is a modification I made to prefs on a specific profile I use for testing projects related to internet privacy and security for a consumer privacy education nonprofit. I intentionally use this profile when submitting posts to see how Mozilla's own web properties handle such strings and to record the comments, if any, others make with regard to the modification; I do mention in my leading sentence I am (or was at that time, anyway) using Fx 3.6.3 just for that very reason, but I do apologize if it caused any confusion. I am happy to see Fx appears to respect the user's setting.

So back on topic:

The cache I am referring to is the listing of entries that appear when typing about:cache into the Awesome Bar. In my case, specifically, this would refer to the RAM cache as it is the only cache (of the three I know of: RAM, disk, and offline) enabled on any of my profiles.

I have attached a screen shot of the cache entries after I completed a manual sorting of 3 bookmarks just a few minutes ago; the key for each entry is the URL associated with each of the bookmarks sorted (by "sorting" I mean I took 3 bookmarks out of the Unsorted Bookmarks folder and dropped them into other folders according to my own personal bookmark classification protocol, ie: Wikipedia bookmarks go into one folder, Google bookmarks into another, bookmarks to sites related to Linux yet another, so on and so forth...) This was all done within the Bookmarks Organizer; no other windows were open and no pages loaded while I was moving the bookmarks.

The content of each cache entry is typically the html of the page the bookmark points to, if indeed the URL of the bookmark points to an html page, either directly (bookmark to www.example.com/page.html) or by some form of standard redirect/default server behavior (bookmark to www.example.com opens www.example.com/index.html, for instance, as the default Apache server behavior). Unfortunately, the screen shots of those pages are huge (1-2 mb in size saved as GIF!) so if you'd like to verify their content as I've reported here, the shots have been uploaded to ImageShack; these links are direct links to the file and because the screenshots are so big in size (because of the narrow column set up in the entries, the pages are VERY LONG), when the image first loads you'll just see what looks like a blurry vertical line, you'll have to zoom in to get it to be readable).

macports bookmark cache entry linux.org bookmark cache entry gparted bookmark cache entry

So, I am sure this is obvious, but when I am disconnected from the internet and repeat the sort process described above, the cache is empty.

The fact that the browser is making requests as the result of simply dropping a bookmark into one folder from another is potentially a privacy problem for the user, not to mention the server-side impact such behavior has on the accuracy of a web page's statistics.

These requests in the cache entries are not reflected in the browser History nor does the Bookmark Organizer indicate that activity has occurred - "Visit Date" on the 3 bookmarks referenced above shows a date other than today.

Also, you've piqued my curiosity - what is the folder you refer to that holds the "history cache"? What is the path to this folder in OS X as I don't have such a folder in any of my profiles - in OS X or in Linux either... the only folders present in my profiles are:

  • bookmarkbackups
  • chrome
  • extensions
  • minidumps
  • searchplugins

Thanks in advance, cheers.

-tom

Hi Noah. (I've been on holiday - my apologies for the delay in responding.) Yes, it is a modification I made to prefs on a specific profile I use for testing projects related to internet privacy and security for a consumer privacy education nonprofit. I intentionally use this profile when submitting posts to see how Mozilla's own web properties handle such strings and to record the comments, if any, others make with regard to the modification; I do mention in my leading sentence I am (or was at that time, anyway) using Fx 3.6.3 just for that very reason, but I do apologize if it caused any confusion. I am happy to see Fx appears to respect the user's setting. So back on topic: The cache I am referring to is the listing of entries that appear when typing <code> about:cache </code> into the Awesome Bar. In my case, specifically, this would refer to the RAM cache as it is the only cache (of the three I know of: RAM, disk, and offline) enabled on any of my profiles. I have attached a screen shot of the cache entries after I completed a manual sorting of 3 bookmarks just a few minutes ago; the key for each entry is the URL associated with each of the bookmarks sorted (by "sorting" I mean I took 3 bookmarks out of the Unsorted Bookmarks folder and dropped them into other folders according to my own personal bookmark classification protocol, ie: Wikipedia bookmarks go into one folder, Google bookmarks into another, bookmarks to sites related to Linux yet another, so on and so forth...) This was all done within the Bookmarks Organizer; no other windows were open and no pages loaded while I was moving the bookmarks. The content of each cache entry is typically the html of the page the bookmark points to, if indeed the URL of the bookmark points to an html page, either directly (bookmark to www.example.com/page.html) or by some form of standard redirect/default server behavior (bookmark to www.example.com opens www.example.com/index.html, for instance, as the default Apache server behavior). Unfortunately, the screen shots of those pages are huge (1-2 mb in size saved as GIF!) so if you'd like to verify their content as I've reported here, the shots have been uploaded to ImageShack; these links are direct links to the file and because the screenshots are so big in size (because of the narrow column set up in the entries, the pages are VERY LONG), when the image first loads you'll just see what looks like a blurry vertical line, you'll have to zoom in to get it to be readable). [http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1426/macportsorgcacheentryco.gif macports bookmark cache entry] [http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/7463/linuxorgcacheentrycompl.gif linux.org bookmark cache entry] [http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/6820/gpartedcacheentrycomple.gif gparted bookmark cache entry] So, I am sure this is obvious, but when I am disconnected from the internet and repeat the sort process described above, the cache is empty. The fact that the browser is making requests as the result of simply dropping a bookmark into one folder from another is potentially a privacy problem for the user, not to mention the server-side impact such behavior has on the accuracy of a web page's statistics. These requests in the cache entries are not reflected in the browser History nor does the Bookmark Organizer indicate that activity has occurred - "Visit Date" on the 3 bookmarks referenced above shows a date other than today. Also, you've piqued my curiosity - what is the folder you refer to that holds the "history cache"? What is the path to this folder in OS X as I don't have such a folder in any of my profiles - in OS X or in Linux either... the only folders present in my profiles are: *bookmarkbackups *chrome *extensions *minidumps *searchplugins Thanks in advance, cheers. -tom
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17339 solutions 156761 answers

MAC: /Users/<username>/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/<profile>/Cache

MAC: /Users/&lt;username&gt;/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/&lt;profile&gt;/Cache