At the moment original browsing history component of Firefox looks pretty sad. It doesn't keep history forever.

In the past it was something like places.history.expiration.max_pages;151042.

Today I have installed addon called Expire History by Days and now max_pages variable changed to places.history.expiration.max_pages;999999.

But 999999 isn't really enough. I believe I visit more than 1000 pages per day, meaning it will keep my history for less than 1000 days. It is better than it was before, when I couldn't see where I went 2.5 months before.

Default CTRL-H search is really bad in Firefox, even worse than in Chrome(I took description from the page of Norwell History Tools addon):

Firefox displays it in such way that multiple visits to sites are displayed only once (the last visit). This makes firefox history look like it's no longer a log, but just useless censored collection of urls even though all the data is collected and stored. It makes it impossible to perform even simple investigative task like looking up where and when you might got infected with malware. What is sad part is that all modern internet browsers do the same thing or even worse...

Referer, browsing breadcrumbs, clicked links info is limited to the peculiarities of firefox - it's far from complete and truthful representation of your Internet history. It will vary according to different factors like installed extensions, link type being clicked, how the link is being opened, content being viewed and how it's being viewed.

All named anchors will break browsing history timeline (referrer info): like modern web2, web3 interfaces, gmail, search engine redirects or wikipedia internal linkage.

Another instance where firefox makes your history very confusing is that it uses only one title for multiple visits to same url. Say you visit CNN daily and it's title changes daily, but firefox edits this url title every single time so if you look at visit to CNN from year ago you will see todays title. S­o­­f­t h­y­p­h­e­­n­s (­i­­nv­i­­s­i­­ble­, no­n pr­i­­nta­ble­ cha­ra­cte­r) ­i­­­s a­­n­o­­t­h­e­­r ­i­­­s­s­u­e­ th­a­t m­­i­­ght pre­­ve­nt yo­­u fro­­m f­i­­nd­­i­­ng yo­­ur h­i­­­sto­ry e­n­try e­v­e­n ­i­­f yo­­u kn­o­w e­xa­­ctly ho­­w ­i­­t ­i­­s ca­­lle­d. So­­me­ s­i­­­te­s, ne­ws­le­tte­rs, e­m­a­­i­­l publ­i­­­she­rs, e­tc use­ th­i­­s te­chn­­i­­que­. So­ yo­u a­re­ no­t cra­­zy ­i­­f yo­u ca­­n't f­i­­nd th­a­t e­n­try ­i­­n na­­t­i­­ve­ f­i­­re­­fo­x h­i­­s­to­ry v­i­­e­­we­r. ­i­­ use­d ­i­­n th­i­­s pa­r­a­gra­ph pro­b­a­bly 10­0 o­f soft hyphens.

It looks like that If you have a web page open for more than 20 minutes and you click a link on that page firefox will register it as coming from nowhere if domain is not reachable/unavailable/expired firefox doesn't log it and you will not be able to find such visits in history as if your actions never happened.

Why don't I just use Expire History by Days + Norwell History Tools addons? Because of the problems(listed above) of original browsing history component of Firefox. And Norwell History Tools addon isn't that good, too(you can't even change sorting there).

Developers say they don't support keeping history forever in Chrome and Firefox because it will slow down performance, bluh-bluh-bluh. It could be the case 25 years ago, but I don't believe that with modern technologies that's so hard to keep complete history(URL, Title, even all text on the pages itself, so you can search not only in titles and urls but also in the text of visited pages) even of hundreds of millions of pages.

I understand that it will take much longer to search through 100 million of pages than through 150k of pages, but now I just don't have a choice: Now I can only search through last x amount of forced by developers visited pages(places.history.expiration.max_pages). And it should be done in the way that I can choose for how long back I want my browser to search: search only in last 150k visited pages or search in last 100 millions visited pages. Or maybe I want to search in first 10 millions visited pages(starting from first visited page ever and ending on the 10M visited page) and not in the last 100 millions, etc.

Is there some 'proper' browsing history addon for Firefox with rich support of searching techniques, like regular expressions, search through text of body of the visited pages, which keeps history forever, etc.?

  • If I go to the Bookmarks and History panel (⇧⌘B on Mac or History menu > Show All History) I see all my previous history, with sites not consolidated. Can't say if it's not deleting the oldest entries, though.
    – SilverWolf
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 20:18


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