Using LXR

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Mozilla relies on Linux Cross-Reference (or LXR for short) in order to navigate, link to, and generally communicate with one another about the source tree. You can access Mozilla's LXR at As a developer working on Mozilla projects, learning to use lxr effectively is essential.

In this exercise you will take one or more common top-level actions and attempt to trace them through the code to see where things live and how they work. You are not expected to understand everything you read; however, you should have be able to get a general sense of the flow of things through XUL, JavaScript, C++, etc.

List of Topics to Investigate

Pick one of the activities from the list below (do more than 1 if you finish early), or add your own if you have one applicable to your project.

Create a link out of the title and document what you find with lxr links and description in that page.

  1. Go > Back (ALT+Left Arrow)
  2. View > Reload (CTRL+R)
  3. View > Reload (CTRL+R) (#2)
  4. Right-click an Image > View Image
  5. Edit > Find in this Page...
  6. Bookmarks > Bookmark This Page
  7. Tools > Clear Private Data
  8. Find any files used by the PNG decoder and their relationship
  9. File -> close tab
  10. Stop Button
  11. Figuring out the tab context menu
  12. -reload -goback -preview image


In addition to using lxr you might also wish to try a similar tool: the Mozilla Cross Reference (mxr). Both will give you the same basic features, but mxr is more feature rich.