XOOPS: Xoops, ShortURLs, Firefox, and Prefetch

Posted by: tlon 2006/1/3 14:40:17 12142 reads Mozilla introduced prefetch feature in Firefox 1.0.7 (or 1.0.6?) as default and shortly after Google introduced Web Accelerator based on prefetch. The self-claimed goal of prefetching is "to speed up web rendering for users".

What the implication of prefetch to XOOPS powered sites?

Mozilla and Google said the prefetch will not pull information from URLs with query strings. If you have not done any SEOs and changed Xoops URLs to make them look as statically generated, you should probably be okay (but better check your logs to make sure first).

But if you have implemented ShortURLs or SimplifiedURLs or similar mechanisms, you should start paying very close attention to your web logs now. If you have higher percentage of firefox users with prefetch ON, you could end up with an extremely slow server or worse yet you could potentially be kicked out by your host for consuming too much resource.

What can you do to protect your sites? Frankly there is not much you can do. Three options might be considered.

1. Remove URL rewrite
2. Redirect prefetch to a non-existant page
3. Ban Firefox all together.

Option 2 seems to be effective if you are not willing or unable to remove URL-rewrite.
More information could be found at Xoops Tips

Be warned - Firefox 1.0.7 (with prefetch ON as default) users are banned outright! Please upgrade your browser and remove prefetch or accelerator.

To anyone using prefetch or accelerator, please disable it now for the sake of your fellow webmasters and the environment. A decent human being would NEVER EVER go into a store asking for a specific brochure at the same time ransacking the store and taking every copy of all other brochures he/she could find, then unceremoniously trashed all the valuable brochures on his/her way out of the store. This is the exact behavior of prefetch.

Does prefetch speed up web rendering? NO, It does not! It slows down the server considerably as the server have to respond to so many wasteful requests (as many requests as the number of the links in the page). With so many unnecessary web requests (and associated database queries), you end up with an overwhelmed and slow responding server with wasted computing and electricity power.

Say NO to prefetch.

tl
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