May 06 2005

Fun With Google Accelerator

Published by at 12:00 pm under Technology

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Damien has just introduced me to the Google Web Accelerator and by chance it appears that we have stumbled upon some hidden features. When Damien tried to access the Performance Data for the web accelerator it failed to load the page in Firefox (http://localhost:9100/races) so he tried typing the address manually into Firefox, only he typed http://localhost:9100/race (missing the s off the end).

This typo seemed to take him to a page that allows for entering a url that is then loaded up, on the next page, in two frames. Looking at the src attributes for the frames it appears that the top half is being loaded via the Google Web Accelerator and the lower half is being loaded directly (bypassing the Web Accelerator). Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any more information given about this race and the url entry page does say this feature is still under development.

This chance find got me thinking… what other features are being hidden in the black box? And so I did the only sensible thing and started poking around in the files that got installed for the Web Accelerator. Six files were installed into Program Files\Google\Web Accelerator:

  • GoogleWebAccClient.exe
  • GoogleWebAccFirefox.dll
  • GoogleWebAccFirefox.jar
  • GoogleWebAccFirefox.xpt
  • GoogleWebAccToolbar.dll
  • GoogleWebAccWarden.exe

Most of these files are rather boring. GoogleWebAccWarden.exe seems to be just the system tray icon which gives you access to the preferences, performance data, etc. GoogleWebAccToolbar.dll is the plugin for Internet Explorer to display the same menu as the system tray icon and also display the time saved by using the Web Accelerator. GoogleWebAccFirefox.* are the plugin files for Firefox and do exactly the same as the Internet Explorer plugin.

Which leaves us with GoogleWebAccClient.exe. This is where I struck gold. Armed with Editplus I opened up GoogleWebAccClient.exe to see what I could find in the way of resource strings. I already knew what two of the available special urls were for the Preferences and Performace Data so that’s where I started my search. The first hit for preferences took me straight to line 1880, on the same line was races (the url for Performance Data) and race (the url that Damien stumbled upon). On this same line there were also some other urls (along with what I think they’re for/do:

  • /proxy.pac (proxy configuration file)
  • /mousehover
  • /_pagestats
  • /afternavigation
  • /beforenavigation
  • /preferences (proxy preferences configuration)
  • /cache
  • /preloadingpages
  • /pingz
  • /races (performance data)
  • /advraces (more advanced performance data – including showing which files have loaded slower because of Web Accelerator!!!)
  • /benefit (last page access or total benefit from using Web Accelerator)
  • /resetbenefit (resets the benefit data)
  • /ticker
  • /race (comparison between direct and Web Accelerator loading of a web page
  • /reconnect
  • /exclude
  • /is_excluded

I sure there is a whole host of things that can be done with this information but this is all that I’ve managed to find out so far.

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