FoxyProxy is bad news

01 Mar 2007

At work we have to go through a proxy to get to the outside world. So every time I take my laptop home I need to switch the proxy setting on my browser. Lame. Surely there is some sort of Firefox plugin to help me with this tedious task.

And there is. But Foxyproxy isn’t it.

It’s crazy heavyweight and unpredictable. The heavyweight part is that you can define different proxy settings and each of those settings can have white and black lists (with wildcard or regex matching) that decide whether or not to use a proxy. Or you can mix and match proxies for different sites. All that I could live with, but I just spent a few hours tracking down a bug that didn’t exist because of Foxyproxy’s weirdness.

The feature I was working on involved calling out to an outside system. But the browser just spun and spun when I tried it. After a LOT of time spent talking to people about the right configuration for this 3rd party system I guessed that just possibly this was a proxy issue and uninstalled Froxyproxy (and used Firefox’s built in proxy system). And it worked like a charm.

I went back and looked at my settings for Foxyproxy and I couldn’t for the life of me see how it wasn’t using the proxy to connect to the third party system. And yet it was ignoring the proxy for this one call and one call only. Very hard to debug, as it’s one of the last things you’d expect to stop working.

My coworkers are saying good things about SwitchProxy, but I’m a little bit skittish after getting burned on this.