Mozilla are test piloting a new project called No More 404 on its official Test Pilot website.

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The add on for Firefox has been designed to provide users with the option of reading deleted versions of web pages.

In essence, the idea behind the project is that the new experimental feature in lets you bypass annoying 404 dead-ends and instead of receiving 404 error messages, the 404 No More feature will instead present webpages from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and replace the missing web pages with archive.org versions before the page before vanished.

Not that it’s perfect of course, old or popular pages are likely to have snapshots available, but Mozilla’s doesn’t work if there’s no central archive for the pages in question, or if the site automatically redirects browsers to another page, or encounters another kind of error.

The message users encounter in cases like this reads:

“This page appears to be missing. View a saved version courtesy of the Wayback Machine.” Users are then given the option to open the internet archive and see an older version of the page, or just go back.

In order to try it out users have to install the Firefox Test Pilot browser plugin in order to access their development features.  The 404 no more feature can be turned on or off along with some other experimental features.

The idea behind Test Pilot is that Mozilla thinks it will streamline the process of testing new functionality, features and ideas in Firefox itself, while also opening up the new functions to a wider audience than just dedicated beta users.

One of the best things about using Test Pilot is that users who run into trouble or suffer from compatibility issues can simply turn the offending component off but still use the rest of the browser extension without issues.