Now This Log

« 24 January 2002 « - Back Archives Next - » 26 January 2002 »

day permlink Friday, 25 January 2002

permlink Browser feature request

Browser feature request: I'd like to be able to turn JavaScript on or off per browser window instead of for all open browser windows. I'd also like the on/off switch to be accessible via a button on the toolbar or a keyboard shortcut so as to make the change a quick and easy operation. Motive: I hate surfing with JavaScript enabled on general principle; the number of sites that abuse the ability to programmatically affect your browsing experience is rather greater than the number of sites that do useful and/or unobtrusively helpful things with it. Not to mention that it's still possible for Badly-Written JavaScript to crash my browser (or that the browser is at fault when handling Good JavaScript; either way the experience sucks). There are those sites, however, which require JavaScript to be on in order to be fully accessible. Say, weblogs that require you to have it enabled to even view others' comments [boo hiss], or pages that use JavaScript to pull content from another address into a page. (At least one LiveJournal I know of does this; without JavaScript it's a blank box in the middle). These sites aren't really bad, because it's a safe assumption that the visitor has it turned on (90%+ of surfers do based on stats from some of my sites); I just wish I could visit them without having to go through the "oh yeah, I need to turn that on don't I" dance. Often it's just easier not to visit. Then there are the sites that show you absolutely nothing on the home page unless it's activated and have no message at all to indicate to the average, non-programmer visitor what the problem is. (TMBG, I'm looking at you.) I'd like to be able to enable such sites to work without opening myself up to risks from other windows I may open while visiting the first site; thus the wish for per-window activation. If this were implemented, one could imagine having a set of sites you could 'trust' to run JavaScript by default but leave it off for all others, or ask per site where it's detected, or whatever. This is done in some browsers for cookies now; the interface would not be so different for making JavaScript activation decisions. And for the 90%+ of people who don't care, it could of course have an 'always on' option. I imagine this is a complicated thing to ask, but there it is. Maybe in version 9 browsers... Weaker, compromise position: I would be partially mollified by a toolbar button or keystroke to turn on/off JavaScript for all browser windows without having to open the bloody preferences window every time it comes up (a three-step process at minimum). This should be relatively trivial for browser vendors to implement compared to the above. Related coding note: This technique [found via Kottke] was very useful when I had to make a JavaScript-enabled banner ad but wanted to keep it as backwards-compatible as possible (that is, browsers with JavaScript off get to see a real link instead of something useless like "#"). permlink     6 comment(s)  
"one could imagine having a set of sites you could 'trust' to run JavaScript by default but leave it off for all others" Can't you do that in I.E. now? I'm running it on a Mac, but even in my version I can add sites to my "Trusted" Security Zone, set it to a custom level, and then turn off scripting for it. Granted, it's a lot more hassle than the methods you mention, but it works. (My Linux boy tells me that Konqueror and Opera have this functionality as well.)
      ...posted by Kris on January 25, 2002 6:32 PM
What he said! My browser of choice (Galeon) allows per-site filtering of images and cookies, but not javascript. It does let me toggle javascript directly in the menu bar (and that means I can easily assign a keyboard shortcut for it if I want), but it's a global option, not a per-window option. It wouldn't be hard to add the per-site stuff to the javascript filtering though. I imagine it'll show up fairly soon.
      ...posted by Seth on January 25, 2002 7:30 PM
Just looked in my Mac IE preferences again... Well, glory be. I had seen the 'Security Zones' section before but the interface was so opaque that it never was clear to me what in fact its capabilities were, and it sure didn't seem worth finding out. It's not exactly what I expected (and it's so obscured I don't imagine more than a few tenths of a percent of the user base actually use it), but in the end it will give me most of what I want. Thanks! I'll write it up for the front page in the next day or two.
      ...posted by Steve on January 26, 2002 12:05 PM
I use mozilla, and have it set to not allow sites to open windows on their own. This gets rid of the majorly annoying JavaScript issues for me and lets me browse with JavaScript turned on. I've created a feature request for the per-window idea, though. Steve, if you're interested, you can add yourself to the CC on this bug: and you'll get email whenever something happens with it. It might take a while, but if the feature catches the eye of an interested mozilla developer, you could see the feature show up sooner. My C/C++ is too rusty (circa high school) for me to even think about trying to implement it. -matt
      ...posted by matt on January 26, 2002 1:50 PM turns out you can install some xpi to do this already. -matt
      ...posted by matt on January 27, 2002 1:11 PM
Allow me to put on my "reactionary *nix bigot" hat for a minute: one tool per job! This really isn't the sort of function that belongs in the browser level; it belongs in a filtering proxy. But since that would probably be too much work for 99.96% of the population to mess with, I suppose putting something of this nature into the browser wouldn't be a Bad Thing. 8^)=
      ...posted by John Anderson on January 28, 2002 8:25 AM
Add a comment...

permlink Word: extricate

Time for some audience participation. Word of the moment: extricate Please use a form of the word in a sentence. One sentence per poster. No warranty implied. permlink     10 comment(s)  
My imaginary friend Kate built her own replicator by cobbling together bits of information from various Star Trek episodes and a few Calvin and Hobbes strips and while working on this replicator she caught her leg in some of the hardware and had to request my asistance, which I gladdly provided, and I was able to extricate her in short order with one unexpected side effect in the output hopper: I now had an extra Kate. (OK, it's a run on, but I couldn't help myself :)
      ...posted by matt on January 25, 2002 8:01 AM
I was unable to extricate any meaning from this exercise.
      ...posted by Kylis on January 25, 2002 9:03 AM
Num'rous arts lack extricable meaning; so too this post.
      ...posted by Steve on January 25, 2002 9:29 AM
No matter how hard I tried, I was unable to extricate myself from the obligation to get something done at work today...
      ...posted by rf on January 25, 2002 9:38 AM
This story about how Rudy the Cat needed to be extricated from a garbage disposal wherein he'd stuck his head chasing some leftover salmon is quite amusing.
      ...posted by Mrs. NowThis on January 25, 2002 10:14 AM
Roxy the call girl couldn't figure out what happened to the doughnuts she'd left on the kitchen table. As it turns out, an extricate them. (I feel like I'm on Match Game '76!!)
      ...posted by TheBrad on January 25, 2002 10:57 AM
I was going to submit a sentence, but now I'm too astounded by Rudy's adventure to think...
      ...posted by Kristie on January 25, 2002 11:03 AM
As the angry mob pressed in to lynch me for using 'ineluctable' in a serious sentence, I considered how best to extricate myself from this pickle.
      ...posted by D on January 25, 2002 2:32 PM
"When I returned Mary Jo and the car were gone." Yes, Senator Kennedy, but why didn't you extricate Ms. Kopechne from this dangerous situation before you ran for help?
      ...posted by Donny on January 25, 2002 4:30 PM
Borrowing heavily from the brilliance of Matt above: Ric Ocasek showed up disheveled on my doorstep sans Paulina and claimed to have learned that consumption of large quantities of leather had become inextricably linked to his continued survival. First he ate my watch and nEXT RIC ATE my shoes
      ...posted by Dave on January 25, 2002 4:33 PM
Add a comment...

« 24 January 2002 « - Back Next - » 26 January 2002 »

Home - Log - NowThis Consulting - Writing - Media - Links - About
© MCMXCVII-MMVI Steve Bogart