The Firefox Web browser is quickly becoming one of the most
prominent Web browsers available. The fact that it is cross-platform makes it a
comfortable browser for users who have to use more than one OS. There are,
however, a number of hidden “gems” that you can enable that make
Firefox even more powerful than it is “out of the box.”
To increase the speed of opening Web pages, there are two
options you can tweak. The first is to enable HTTP pipelining, which allows
Firefox to request multiple files simultaneously rather than one at a time. To
enable this, type about:config in the
address bar. Scroll down the list until you find network.http.pipelining and set it to true. You can also enable network.http.proxy.pipelining
To speed up rendering speeds, you can tell Firefox not to wait
the default quarter second before drawing Web content. The option to look for
here is the nglayout.initialpaint.delay,
but it may not be displayed in the preference list by default. If not, right-click
on the screen and select New | Integer. Type nglayout.initialpaint.delay as the preference name and the number 0
as the value. By default, Firefox uses a value of 250 (milliseconds).
Finally, the last gem is not a preference modification but an
invaluable extension that is extremely useful for anyone doing Web development.
In Firefox, click Tools | Extensions and a new box will open. Click on Get More
Extensions. In the new page that opens, click on Developer Tools under the All
Extensions sidebar. Jump to the last page and install the Web Developer
extension. Once the extension is installed, restart Firefox and you’ll see a
new toolbar with a number of options that include the ability to quickly
validate HTML and CSS, view image dimensions, outline tables and table cells,
and a lot more.
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