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Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane

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Hack #15. Work with Web Proxies

Make Firefox automatically discover the settings it should use for accessing the Web.

The Web is full of proxy and cache servers. Firefox only has to reach the one nearest to you in order to provide connectivity. If your environment includes web servers hidden behind complex security arrangements, this hack will help you point Firefox at the right proxies.

Overview of Proxy Options

There are four strategies for proxy access: none, static, PAC, and WPAD. Setting up proxies is not the same thing as implementing full server control of Firefox configuration items [Hack #29] . However, it does have some features that are similar to remote configuration.

The Firefox Options dialog box is the starting point for proxy configuration. The General panel holds the Connection configuration item. Depending on your desktop arrangements, such as if your window is slightly too small, you might not see that item. To fix that and expose the Connection Settings... button, just enlarge the window by dragging its bottom right corner outward.

Figure 2-2 shows the Connection Settings subdialog.

Proxy connections dialog box

Figure 2-2. Proxy connections dialog box

The four radio buttons in Figure 2-2 are alternative values for a single preference:

network.proxy.type  /* an integer, default = 0 */

Table 2-1 shows the relationship between the dialog options, preference values, and their associated standards.

Table 2-1. Dialog ...

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