Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Firefox version 23 JavaScript options removed.

 *Go to the last paragraph if you want the answer ;)

Recently Mozilla released the version number 23 of their Firefox browser, to my surprise they have removed the option not only to enable/disable JavaScript but also the advanced configuration of what sites can do with your browser.

Why? They believe that Firefox has some features which most of their users don't use enough that will potentially "break" the browser for them, therefore only users that are clever enough should have access to those features (via add-ons, developer tools and about:config).

I do agree with some of the options they want removed like the option to disable the "Navigation Toolbar" and their "SSL" options but the ability to disable JS from the general options (or at least the developer tools) is very important. Note that they don't really removed the option, they just moved it to about:config.

The option will be back into the Developer Tools in version 24 but I wonder why they couldn't wait until v24 to remove it from the general options? What was so urgent after so many years of having that option there? Now I have to keep going to about:config to disable and re-enable JS in order to  develop my sites, big inconvenience :/

I know there's probably some add-on (like noscript) that let you configure JS in a more convenient way but I don't always have access to the Internet or the time to go and install an add-on on every single computer I use.

Oh and don't forget those annoying sites with infinite pop-ups that won't let you close your tab or window and can only be closed by disabling JS first (yes 2013, the problem still exists), regular users are used (or directed) to go to the options, not having to go to about:config to break other things.

Mozilla use this as their excuse: http://limi.net/checkboxes-that-kill/ but they end up contradicting themselves by moving the option to about:config since now the 'dumb' users have to go and "break the product" from there.

For me this wouldn't be much of an issue if they'd just moved it straight into the Developer tools.

To anyone looking for a fix, their options are either install noscript or go to about:config, search for javascript and double click javascript.enable option in order to disable or enable it. About the "Advanced options" I believe the only alternative is noscript.

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