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Some times I have issues with the wireless connection where I live. That issue is irrelevant to this (there are two IT departments managing this thing; there's nothing I can do about it). Most of the time it's nice and fast, but sometimes slows to a crawl (single digit KB/s sorts of crawl).

Anyway, I think Firefox (11.0 Ubuntu) might not be using its cache correctly. When (for testing purposes) I set it to "Work Offline", pages load on the order of a second. Normally, the same page (benchmarked on http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config_entries ) loads in around three seconds when the connection is working properly, and ten or more when it's not. I can confirm it's reloading things, since I see a spike on my bandwidth-use graph while when I open the page. I think image caching is still working properly, since it doesn't seem to be very much bandwidth used though.

Shouldn't Firefox just be using the cached copy of the page (checked; exists in the disk cache) instead of downloading a new copy, when I open the page in a new tab?

I know that some content is set to expire, so it should download a new copy. I don't believe that the example page has one of those. Under "Work Offline", pages like gmail did not load, so I assume that that is the proper behavior of pages that expire.

How can I either make firefox use cache unless the page has expired, or, better yet, display the cached page while it tries to load a new copy?

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You can try to install the Web Developer Toolbar and disable cache on it.

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But @zebediah49 wants to do the opposite. ;-) – Nicolas Barbulesco Apr 16 '14 at 12:53
1  
That is right. My mistake :) – awavi Apr 25 '14 at 11:41

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