Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2009 (Minneapolis, MN) with: Kurt Wiersma

Bravo To FireFox's Restore Session Feature

By Ben Nadel on

An Adobe PDF just crashed my FireFox. I had about 12 windows/tabs open at the time. I was almost peeved (but managing to keep my cool). I then went to re-open FireFox 2.0 and was presented with the option restore my former session. Not having done this before I was not sure what would happen. To my most excellent suprise, all of my windows/tabs were reopened (except for the one that crashed the app) exactly as I had them before!

Wicked sweeeeeeet! Bravo to FireFox. As if I needed any more reasons to make it my primary browser.

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Reader Comments

It's a great built in feature for Firefox 2! Previously they didn't have it but it was available as an extension. Went by the name of Crash Restore I believe, could be the wrong though. Nonetheless I remember reading before Firefox's 2.0 release they would be including the functionality by default. Genius if you ask me.

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I love it. I am a multi-tab browser hog. I usually have at least a half dozen tabs open in an given browser session and it's not uncommon for me to get several dozen going while I'm searching for something in particular and want to open a few links to return to read later. The restore session thing has saved me a big headache a couple of times already.

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One of the main reasons that I use Opera as my main browser is that it has had this and other usefull tab and navigation functionallity for ages. I use Firefox a lot as well, it is an awesome browser, but I'm tired of hunting down extentions to add functionality which comes right out of the box in Opera (and usually better implemented as well). As for browsing/surfing Opera is my prefered choise, without question.

On the other side, there are some of the FireFox extensions that are invaluable when doing development work, and since I do that most of the working day, I usually have FireFox and Opera open side by side, using the strengts of both.

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I find this "feature" very annoying, because even though you're supposed to be able to turn it off, it continues to try to restore sessions every time I open Firefox. I can't simply log off and let Windows close my open applications; Firefox has to be closed before logging off or it tries to restore sessions.

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Hmmm. I don't know about turning it on or off. Sorry. To be honest, I rarely ever exit windows anyway. Usually I just lock my computer for later use.

Have you tried messing with the config (about:config in url). There must be something in there that turns this feature off.

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I find this feature annoying too. How can I shut it off? I don't leave Windows running 24x7 so it's more convenient to close everything at once via Windows shut down and then start FireFox the next morning without a lot of questions.

Frank

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Ahhh..... found this.

"Session data is stored in the 'sessionstore.js' file, located in the profile folder. To disable this feature, set browser.sessionstore.enabled to 'false'."

Frank again

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Heh - even better, set FF to always restore previous session. Then it doesn't pop up the annoying question dialogue (often leaving me wondering why the hell FF is taking so long to load - because the dialogue is under another window.
Now that I know it will always restart where I shut it I clean up my tabs as I finish with them and don't fuss about bookmarking a page of vague casual interest - because I know I can find it again.

In this age of energy consciousness I now make a real effort to shut off my PC when I am not using it for any length of time. I used to run the pc 24/7, but there really isn't a need unless I am downloading or rendering.

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Good suggestion. I have several window that I will always have open, so restore makes sense (for me). As far as the energy conservation, that's a good point. I should really think about putting it in Stand By mode at night. I think that's basically like shutting it down, but without the long reboot.

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How do we access the sessionstore.js feature?

Sorry.. but I think I recall that there was a way to access this other than just finding the sessionstore.js file in the program files area...

Something about entering some code in the (internet) ADDRESS WINDOW .. at the top of the browser area on Firefix.. which then makes firefox display the entire list of options and settings.

Can someone help me with this. Thanks.

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The only two that I know of to be entered in the URL (but there might be more) are:

about:config
about:plugins

Does that help at all?

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