Proposals for Incorporating Machine Learning in Mozilla Firefox

Friday June 18th, 2004

Blake Ross writes: "I will be doing research this summer at Stanford with Professor Andrew Ng about how we can incorporate machine learning into Firefox. We're looking for ideas that will make Firefox 2.0 blow every other browser out of the water. People who come up with the best 3-5 ideas win Gmail accounts, and if we implement your idea you'll be acknowledged in both our paper and in Firefox credits. Your idea will also be appreciated by the millions of people who use Firefox :-). We'll also entertain Thunderbird proposals."

#80 Smart Cookie Manager

by clip

Wednesday June 23rd, 2004 11:49 AM

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I prefer to maintain control over cookies consequently I am frequently having to respond to cookie prompts, clean up stored cookies and clean up my cookie exceptions. Perhaps I suffer from cookie paranoia but I would like to see smart cookie management that did some of this for me. There are at least two aspects to this.

First learn which types of cookies I typically allow and which types I typically block. For me this is not always 'site' based. When the allow cookie prompt is displayed set the default based on learned preferences. For example a cookie with the word "ad" or the word "count" might default to block. This allows me to maintain control via the cookie prompt but a quick hit of the Enter key and I'm moving on. I might even be more inclined to disable the cookie prompt message once Firefox smart cookies caught on to my likes and dislikes. That implies when the prompt message is disabled, smart cookies would decide for me if the cookie is allowed or blocked.

Second learn how I manage stored cookies and exceptions. There are various categories of cookies that I will allow but I do not want to store indefinitely. Learn what cookies I repeatedly delete from my stored cookies. Learn what cookies I repeatedly delete from my exception list. For example while hunting down the best price on an item I might allow some sites to save cookies. But when done I will clear them all out. These are redundant tasks that could be automated. This could be done each time Firefox loads or better yet an option to schedule it; on startup, on shutdown, every 10 days, or every 30 days.

I suppose the above idea could be extended to the various pieces that make up Firefox security including cache, passwords, etc. For example Smart Cache Clear, Smart Cache Update, Smart History Clear etc.