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Top 10 Firefox Extensions to Avoid

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the segfault-plugin-still-highly-recommended dept.

538

jcatcw writes "First there were the 20 must-have Firefox Extension and ensuing Slashdot discussion. Now Computerworld has the top 10 to avoid. For example, NoScript, which does make Firefox safer, but isn't worth the hassle, Or, VideoDownloader for slow downloads, when it works at all. Then there's Greasemonkey — on both lists."

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Missing from the list (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18676837)

GoToGoatse - The extension takes you to that famous page everytime you click a link.

I'm still not sure why anyone would install it though.

Re:Missing from the list (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676865)

Obviously to pull a prank on poor unsuspecting, unknowing-of-the-infinite-blackness-of-that-hole that is goatse.

In fact, thanks for mentioning it. Time for some fun.

TLF

Re:Missing from the list (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676979)

Heh, you're a little over a week late...or do they sell "Belated April Fools Day" cards at the drug store?

Re:Missing from the list (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677283)

What's a goatse?

Re:Missing from the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677511)

To prank children and ill-received employers? ;-)

Sorry but the list is BS (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676879)

For example, NoScript, which does make Firefox safer, but isn't worth the hassle Says who?

Re:Sorry but the list is BS (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676969)

No kidding. This article should be renamed:

What users need to do to maximize our cashflow.

Re:Sorry but the list is BS (5, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677115)

It derides fasterfox for wasting bandwidth (a genuine concern), videodownloader on spurious speed/usage claims, and adblock specifically by saying "where would the web be if everyone blocked ads."

This news source is not objective and is, therefore, made of Fail.

Re:Sorry but the list is BS (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677273)

Run Dup0r on their site, the extension that duplicates the Slashdot stories linked to a website.

Re:Sorry but the list is BS (0, Redundant)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676981)

Says who?

Er... I thought was fairly clear. The author(s) of the article are "who".

Re:Sorry but the list is BS (3, Insightful)

fraudrogic (562826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677135)

Adblock and Adblock Plus
Obviously, we have some bias when it comes to ad-blocking extensions.......But if everyone blocked ads, how would sites such as ours continue to offer content free of charge?


You know, I can give them the same answer I would for a dvr skipping commercials: Because I can and I will, that's why I use Adblock Plus. Its fantastic and does it's job. I despise commercials and ads. I'm sorry it creates revenue for you but that's not my problem. Are they really asking us to deliberately look at ads just for their financial benefit? You either need to be witty/interesting/funny or trick me into seeing your ad, you don't get my eyeballs that easily. I would like to seek products that I want and that's the point in which I would like relevant products to come and seek me. Not randomly. If ads work and create revenue, great. But don't tell us to allow personal annoyances for your financieal gain.
As for their content being "free" because of ads. Well, if they made me register and pay for their content, what are the chances I would (hint: 0%). So what we end up with is this technical cat and mouse game. Hopefully consumers win and we don't end up in the universe of Minority Report.

The web with NoScript is so much better! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677343)

Sure, I miss some content, but normally NoScript is saving me so much time getting there and missing junk adds, flash garbage etc.etc. that the benefit outweighs the losses hundreds of times over.

constantly having to whitelist sites so that scripts can execute in order


I admit I don't use myspace / facebook and things that go boing (though I guess that even if I did, whitelisting two sites one time wouldn't really stress me out) but I have to say that you are sadly deluded if you think that I keep whitelisting your site to see the stupid scripts on it. Most of the time, if it doesn't work straight up, then it's a good sign that the content wasn't worth it. You learn this quickly since on the first day you use noscrpt you do try whitelisting, but soon you realise you aren't really seeing anything worthwhile.

Simple message: if you are designing a site; make sure it works fine without the scripts. Otherwise you will lose viewers who just don't care enough.

Re:Sorry but the list is BS (1, Informative)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677369)

For example, NoScript, which does make Firefox safer, but isn't worth the hassle
Says who?


Well, not so much in that it doesn't work, but rather, that much better alternatives exist.

Personally, I use QuickJava, which makes enabling/disabling Java and Javascript (separately) just a matter of clicking an icon at the bottom of the window. So I can keep it off 99% of the time, and on the rare occasion that I need Java, I can just whack the button and instantly have it enabled.

Even then, though, you could argue that FireFox makes it easy enough to change those from the Options pane. Personally I find it useful to have a one-click toggle, but YMMV.

Hey, I like NoScript (5, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676881)

I use NoScript not for security but because it cuts out one more way that web sites can annoy me, with their javascripted pop-up ads.

Yeah, it takes a moment to re-enable JavaScript for sites which insist on using it for navigation (which is itself annoying, but sometimes a site has content I want.) But it's less than the aggravation of having the text I'm trying to read covered with a pop-up layer.

I don't mind polite advertising, but anything that moves (Java, Flash, and most recently Javascript) is going to be worthless unless I absolutely require it.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676917)


NoScript is a total pain in the ass, but I love it.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (1, Interesting)

splutty (43475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677097)

NoScript is pretty much a gift from heaven as far as I'm concerned. The only annoying thing in it is that the 'temporarily allow' option is for the browser's lifetime, and not only for the window- or session-lifetime.

But not getting bothered by popups unless I really need them (which is rarely) is one of the best things about the whole addon. I've been (ab)using the 'Intaweb' for a long long time (Yes, I did use gopher...), and the amount of irrelevant crap nowadays is staggering. A page being 270K in size with only about 150 words of usable information is to me an absolute waste. If you'd be using a 14K4 modem now (yesyes.. I know...) you wouldn't even be able to browse anything anymore.

And then people wonder that 'my internet is so slow'...

And I've been known to just wget a page and run it through strings to read articles ;)

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677149)

I avoided installing NoScript for a LONG time because it -is- truly a hassle. (Actually, I had it, and removed it within a few days.) I finally installed it the other day to stay because of the Ajax vulnerability found where sites could cross-site-script and view information from other sites that I'd logged into. The fact that this is not only possible, but possible on multiple browsers... That's scary. So NoScript stays now.

It's a heck of a lot easier than turning off JS altogether, which is the only acceptable alternative. In addition, it helps protect against future hacks that are found as well.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677153)

I totally agree. Once you visit your usual sites and get your white-list built up, it's really not that problematic.
I really like that I can allow java script from the home site (like slashdot.org) but forbid script from an embedded site (like doubleclick.net).


Re:Hey, I like NoScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677185)

I've used it as well, as well as many of the other fine extensions they list. This was the most pathetic excuse for an article I've seen on slashdot in quite a while. They basically took a list of the best extensions and found ways to complain about them.

What it should have been in a list of the most buggy extensions that have given them hell: You know, like a useful warning.

This article was flame bait.

PrefBar: An easier NoScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677193)

> Yeah, it takes a moment to re-enable JavaScript for sites which insist on using it for navigation (which is itself annoying, but sometimes a site has content I want.) But it's less than the aggravation of having the text I'm trying to read covered with a pop-up layer.

How about PrefBar [mozdev.org] ?

It takes up a small amount of vertical space, but gives you one-click toggle switches for just about everything -- clearing cache/cookies, a pull-down for specifying a user-agent, whether or not to send referrer, whether or not to animate (or even load!) images, colors, fonts, cookies, whether or not to use your ad-blocking proxy (or select another proxy), and whether or not to run Flash, Java, and of course, Javashit.

When you can turn on/off Javashit with a single mouse click, you stop caring about which sites are permitted to use it. Turn it on for the 10 minutes you're using Google Maps or your bank's website, and leave it off the rest of the time.

It's like NoScript on steroids. Good thing CNet doesn't know about it, or it'd be even higher on their "avoid" list than NoScript.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677199)

Exactly, you only have to whitelist a site once. And it takes all of 2 seconds. Annoying scripts however, will fuck with you every time you visit a site. It's not long until the benefits manifest. And since we tend to spend most of our time on sites we've been before, it's really pretty rare that I have to whitelist anything.

In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to deal with client side scripting at all. It's inconvenient, dangerous, and downright impolite. If you want me to see your page, do your processing on YOUR computer. Until then, noscript will have to do.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677323)

There are good uses of JavaScript. Google uses it pretty well; I use Google Maps and GMail continually. The latter really doesn't NEED JavaScript, but it does add some nice features (like the inline autocomplete for addresses.)

But it's a lot of rope for a web site to hang itself with, and more often than not it's evil.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (5, Informative)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677309)

One more "me, too". I hate dancing baloney on a web page, and doubly so when it's for useless, distracting, intrusive advertising. Not to mention all the stupid security problems that come up [ckers.org] when you just blindly trust any code to run in your web browser.

For a handful of sites, JavaScript is worth turning on; for everything else, there's NoScript.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (1)

MahGu (1076169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677315)

I like NoScript but I occasionally disable it. I don't know any web programming so I find what it reports going on behind the scenes very interesting. With that and Web Developer I get a better idea of what web pages are really all about. It is a drag for YouTube links, you get a bunch of script and then have to navigate up with Digger and search for the link.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677371)

FTA:

For some reason, paranoia seems to be cool among Web geeks [...]
Can you be paying attention to security and not be paranoid at the same time?

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (0)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677441)

I use and like NoScript too, but for the kinds of sites I visit, there are only a few where I want to block the JavaScript. It would be much more useful for me if there were an option to base it on a blacklist model instead of a whitelist model, so that I could just add the annoying sites as I occasionally run across them, and rather than having to keep whitelisting almost every new site I visit. Too many sites these days unfortunately need js turned on just to be able to navigate them.

Re:Hey, I like NoScript (1)

Suzumushi (907838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677541)

Agreed. In fact it was the NoScript extension that caused me to move from the darkside(IE) in the first place.

In fact, I would posit that if you are unable to understand the simple operation of NoScript, then you probably wouldn't be using Firefox in the first place.

Sure (4, Insightful)

utlemming (654269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676893)

Wow, that was the most biased article that I have read in a long time. The summary, for those that didn't RTFA, they pretty much say avoid all the things that make a web master's life difficult; it was from a website perspective and not from the user. Anyhow, it is not worth the read and definitely is not news.

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677177)

avoid all the things that make a web master's life difficult ... is not too bad an idea if you want the web to "just work". Don't install NoScript, AdBlock or Greasemonkey or stricter than standard popup blocking on computers of people who are going to call you when something doesn't work right away, unless you want to be called more often.

Re:Sure (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677195)

That's a great point. Gosh, a web site doesn't want me to install an extension that will disable script. I'm sure there's no ulterior motive there.


Article translation (3, Informative)

kpainter (901021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676897)

Number one extension to use: IE7 God, what a lot of drivel.

Re:Article translation (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677007)

Number one extension to use: IE7 God, what a lot of drivel.

Where can I find this "IE7 God" extension?

here's the tell... (5, Insightful)

Naurgrim (516378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676899)

They're just pissed that NoScript and AdBlock knock down their revenue stream.

"...while continuing to support the sites we love by allowing most ads to appear."

Bzzt - sorry. I chose to not see ads.

Re:here's the tell... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677085)

If you want to support the sites - how many times did an ad get viewed? - then you can just not display them with your userContent.css file. They still download, etc. but just aren't rendered.

Re:here's the tell... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677183)

If I want to support the site, I contribute time and money (notice the asterisk next to my name), not eyeballs.

Re:here's the tell... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677145)

>>Bzzt - sorry. I chose to not see ads.

Then don't view sites that have ads!

If you block the ads then use the site anyway, you're just freeloading.

Re:here's the tell... (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677495)

If you block the ads then use the site anyway, you're just freeloading.

Just don't put or allow annoying flash ads on your site. An annoying flash ad is an add that contain any of the following: sound, visuals that overlap content, pop-up/under, or new windows of any sort.

As pointless as the last article (4, Insightful)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676901)

Adblock is bad because it makes their site readable?

NoScript bad because it stops nasty/naughty javascript?

PDF download bad because it stops embedded PDFs breaking your system (but also stops hacked tracking links from working)?

TrackMeNot because it stops you being tracked and wastes bandwidth?

I'd suggest the only waste of bandwidth their is their site!

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676949)

Trackmenot did seem a bit rude. Sending random queries to search engines constantly (if the article is correct) sounds more like a DDOS than anything else.

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

rumplet (1034332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677089)

1 query per hour hardly makes a DDOS, I think google can handle it.

Oh, trackmenot just searched for "opinions on camp people". Where does it get its source material I wonder.

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677163)

Just in time... [slashdot.org]

Re:As pointless as the last article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677087)

PDF download bad because it stops embedded PDFs breaking your system (but also stops hacked tracking links from working)?
Uh, no. You *do* get tracked. You just don't get to read the PDF after you've been tracked.

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677139)

Soccer because you can't use your hands?
Darts because the object is to reach 0?
Gymnastics because Romanians are good at it?!

Oh, I thought we were talking about something else.

To be fair, I completely agree that TrackMeNot does nothing useful but waste bandwidth. There are far better ways to avoid external tracking.

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677383)

I completely agree that TrackMeNot does nothing useful but waste bandwidth. There are far better ways to avoid external tracking.
If they are better, and no more hassle than tmn, please let me know some of those ways.

Re:As pointless as the last article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677411)

Au contraire! Pollute their database - make all that stuff they've built up useless.

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677141)

Adblock is bad because it makes their site readable?


No, it's bad because it sometimes breaks people's pages.

NoScript bad because it stops nasty/naughty javascript?


No, it's bad becaues it stops all javascript. Today more and more sites are using ajax because it actually enhances the browsing experience.

Run a website of your own, see how many people call or email with problems that are caused by noscript and adblock... and they don't know any better because some relative of theirs told them to install that stuff.

It's one thing to run those extensions because you know what they do and you know the consequences. It's quite another to recommend that other, not so tech savvy, people install those extensions.

Re:As pointless as the last article (3, Insightful)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677255)

You always need to code to the lowest common denominator, which'll be a browser without Javascript. At the very least popup a message about it.

As for a site broken by Adblock: how about not using horribly intrusive ads? They don't work except maybe with the moron element.

Re:As pointless as the last article (3, Insightful)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677523)

You always need to code to the lowest common denominator, which'll be a browser without Javascript. At the very least popup a message about it.
agreed. ajax is a feature not a requirement. my smartphone doesnt do ajax, and more and more people are getting them, so building even reduced functionality should be a priority.

As for a site broken by Adblock: how about not using horribly intrusive ads? They don't work except maybe with the moron element.
it would be useful to note that if your target demographic is the moron element, you arent losing anything by breaking functionality to people who have adblock installed. additionally, if you do have adblock installed then why are you going to a website targeted at the moron element?

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677543)

You always need to code to the lowest common denominator, which'll be a browser without Javascript. At the very least popup a message about it.

How, exactly, do you make a popup message without javascript? ducks

Re:As pointless as the last article (2, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677425)

I seem to remember days when one could design a wonderfully functional and snazzy-looking page from naught but caffeine and HTML..

oh for those days, when pages merely DISPLAYED things that I wished to VIEW.

Re:As pointless as the last article (3, Informative)

Zebai (979227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677379)

They really pushed it by mentioning adblock, but they totally lost their credibility when they mentioned PDF download, the only people who will EVER want to view a PDF in browser, are those who don't know there are other options.

And to top it off, when you didn't think site could lose any more karma, i see a link to another article

http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/4251 [computerworld.com] Why Firefox has lost its mojo

This article states that IE has bridged the gap in features and quality because a few copycat features they've implemented. So, computer world is on the do not visit these idiots list. I admit, i dont like firefox 2.0 as much as 1.5, but the only reason for that is I get a nasty memory leak when viewing tags that have way to much flash or js (fault of the website as much as firefox).

Re:As pointless as the last article (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677445)

Yes, I completely agree with your WTFs list. ComputerWorld seems to be more interested in informing their clueless readers how to be good "netizens" than what is useful for their readers. Besides, if you're a clueless computer world reader, then you're probably already wasting shitloads of bandwidth every day forwarding on shitty jokes via email, "free computers from Microsoft if you forward this email to 10 of your friends!" emails, downloading tons of youtube "ow, my crouch!" videos, and other retarded crap through all the interweb tubes. Who cares if I decide to use FasterFox to speed up my browsing experience? If the website owner is smart enough to block my attempts to cache tons of pages off his site, then so be it - that's his (or her) prerogative!

NoScript is a must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18676913)

Unless you like being bombed by an endless stream of crap, that is.

Any "Performance" tweaks as well (4, Informative)

Pope (17780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676915)

Avoid any so-called "performance" tweaks that do nothing but open a few dozen connections to every web server you visit. It's fucking pointless and does nothing but piss off server admins. Cut your max connections down and make sure pipelining is on to get real, actual performance increases.

Re:Any "Performance" tweaks as well (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677539)

It's not pointless. If the browser is limited to two connections, then it is going to block loading images, JavaScript, etc until after the HTML and CSS has entirely finished downloading. Limiting the number of connections increases the latency for loading websites significantly. Graph a typical page load sometime if you don't believe me, you can easily halve your page load times by using things like alternative hostnames and CSS image tricks.

Having said that, it's not a good idea to go against the RFC, and that users should switch pipelining on.

Adblock and Adblock Plus?!?! (5, Interesting)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676933)

Adblock and Adblock Plus

Obviously, we have some bias when it comes to ad-blocking extensions, as Computerworld is an ad-supported site. We also understand that these are very popular extensions. But if everyone blocked ads, how would sites such as ours continue to offer content free of charge?
Who says free content at the price of advertising is a good thing? Take a good look at TFA. Do you SEE those ads? I'm on page two, which weighs in at 136kb. That's for what, two paragraphs of text? And don't forget -- gotta navigate all 4 pages for maximum impressions!

Really, sites like Slashdot, Google, etc. have it right. Minimally intrusive ads with quality content == a good experience for most users.

Re:Adblock and Adblock Plus?!?! (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677159)

Do you SEE those ads?

Um, NO. I filter those out. But I can take the high road, 'cause I use Opera.

Re:Adblock and Adblock Plus?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677203)

Actually no I didn't see those ads as I'm using both adblock plus and noscript. Oh and by the way, another extension to "avoid" is refcontrol which allows you to block or send fake referers to the website to avoid being tracked.

Re:Adblock and Adblock Plus?!?! (4, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677261)

"And don't forget -- gotta navigate all 4 pages for maximum impressions!"

You hit on one of my pet peeves -- web sites that break a single article into multiple pages. I rarely go beyond the first page, and I only read the first page of this self-serving article. If I knew ahead of time that this was one of those articles, I would have skipped it entirely. Maybe a [WARNING: multiple pages] heads-up is warranted on future Slashdot postings.

Re:Adblock and Adblock Plus?!?! (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677285)

Do you SEE those ads?
Nope, thanks to AdBlock *AND* (GASP) NoScript

Re:Adblock and Adblock Plus?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677423)

slashdot has ads? oh, you mean the slashvertisements.

That article sucked (4, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676937)

...but that's probably because my NoScript and AdBlock settings impaired my viewing experience.

Adblock.. (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676939)

They practically beg for you not to use adblock or adblock plus. I say too freaking bad. If they really want to keep cheap bastards like me from using their site, they will have to do some artful coding to detect that I am not looking at their 3rd party ads.

Re:Adblock.. (2, Interesting)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677401)

AdBlock used to offer an option of loading but not displaying the ads, though I don't see it in AdBlock Plus. It's effectively impossible to detect that, unless you do something like Salon, which grants a "day pass" for watching an ad. Just add a simple captcha to the end of the ad if you really want to be a dick about it.

But the future of Internet advertising is with astroturfing, viral ad campaigns, etc. That can't be blocked with any technical solution.

A little Bias (4, Interesting)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676947)

I also love how they put in 'Adblock' and 'Adblock Plus'. They say, well we don't like it being an advertising web site, but trust us, it is not very good.

I thought 'Adblock' was a great extension and very effective.

I also like 'Noscript', it is simple to prevent sites that insist that they and every site they connect to should be allowed to run javascript on your browser. 'Noscript' allows me to specify only the sites, like the one I am browsing, to actually run Javascript instead of every ad aggregator that wants information on you.

NoScript (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676961)

Yes maybe for the average user it's a hassle but for me, I LOVE NoScript. It does what I want and allows me to filter websites.

I actually use AdBlock as well, another nice extension.

I used to have VideoDownloader but then I realized I wasn't using it...I found no need to download those videos.

Scribefire, another one that I tried and never used...Gone from my FireFox

Ooops, looks like slashdot cut me off at page 2....

wrong and opinionated as expected (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18676995)

fasterfox - I am sure this only appeals to dial up users (like me, unfortunately), there is no way they are going to be a bandwidth hog.

videodownloader - I use this all the time and love it, not many problems, maybe 1 out of 10 times I get a page not found. When I am on dialup and use this I let the video play completely in the browser, while I go drink a beer or walk the dog. When I come back and the video is done I click the videodownloader icon and instantly get a save to disk dialog and save the file. It obviously pulls if from the FF cache.

NoScript is in fact worth the hassle (3, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677001)

FTA:

Does NoScript make Firefox safer? Sure. Is it worth the hassle? No. For some reason, paranoia seems to be cool among Web geeks, but for the most part, it is totally unwarranted unless you're sending and receiving sensitive data. Most typical Web surfers who install this extension remove it after the novelty wears off.

Paranoia is not "cool among Web geeks,", it's an unfortunate necessity when wandering the jungle that is the World Wide Web. How many times do we hear about exploits using JavaScript? Too often, in my mind's eye. If a particular site that you trust needs JavaScript to run, then whitelist it, even if just temporarily, with two mouse clicks.

I don't call it "paranoid," I call it "due caution" and it is, in fact, worth the minor hassle.

Re:NoScript is in fact worth the hassle (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677045)

The problem with non-geek users is that it's often not obvious at all that it's the lack of javascript that is breaking the site. Sometimes, the symptom of breakage is the LACK of something. If you aren't a bit techy, you won't notice that it isn't there.

Re:NoScript is in fact worth the hassle (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677395)

it's often not obvious at all that it's the lack of javascript that is breaking the site

So that yellow bar that rolls out at the bottom of the browser window with the big "options" button isn't obvious? If the users are that blind, they need a screen reader anyway and that fancy flash ad probably can't be read.

Re:NoScript is in fact worth the hassle (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677147)

OK, bad form to reply to one's own post, so sue me.

Later in the article, regarding Greasemonkey:

Greasemonkey

Hey, wait just a minute. Wasn't this on our list of best extensions? Well, yes it was. Greasemonkey is a really nifty extension to use, as long as you know what you're doing with it. It can potentially get you in trouble because it allows JavaScripts written by other people to run in Firefox. If one of those scripts is malicious, your system could be at risk.

Which is why you use NoScript!

To stay out of trouble, you should use Greasemonkey only with scripts you know are safe, either because you're familiar enough with JavaScript to satisfy yourself or because the script has enough comments at userscripts.org to indicate that people are using it with no ill effects.


OK, the author rips NoScript for blocking JavaScript, and then cuts into Greasemonkey for...wait for it...ALLOWING JavaScript!

Call me confused.

Noscript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677009)

I agree, it's far less bother to disable script in about:config, avoid sites that require js for basic functionality and forget about it.

NoScript sometimes breaks DHTML (2, Informative)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677015)

This is a good opportunity to bring up a problem with NoScript. It seems to have a flaw with certain sites. With digg, it sometimes makes the thumbs and the show/hide comment links not work properly. It breaks the thumbs completely and instead of the show/hide working in a DHTMLish way, it instead follows the href version of the link. This bug doesn't show up all the time, but on a page where it does show up, you can reload over and over and still get the bug every time.

It does this even when all the sites it lists for the page are set to allowed. But if you set it to "Allow script Globally" (basically, letting EVERYTHING through) and reload the page, the bug goes away. So something there is being blocked that shouldn't be.

Re:NoScript sometimes breaks DHTML (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677311)

it should break all DHTML. no javascript == no DHTML. you can still get some dynamicy stuff to work, like mouseover, using :hover in CSS, but that wont work if the browser isnt CSS compliant *COUGH* IE *COUGH*

Re:NoScript sometimes breaks DHTML (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677435)

Good to know. I've occasionally noticed problems on pages where I thought I had the NoScript settings proper; perhaps this is the same problem. Most of the time I decide it's just not worth the trouble, or occasionally bring it up in IE instead.

I've noticed that there have been updates to NoScript lately. I wonder if they fix those problems. It's one thing when some obscure site has managed to confuse the thing into mis-parsing the DHTML or something, but Digg is too well-known for NoScript's developers to have ignored.

Breaks Digg? (1)

dankenstein355 (995487) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677533)

That's no bug... It's a feature!

#3 = Adblock? No bias there (5, Insightful)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677033)

But if everyone blocked ads, how would sites such as ours continue to offer content free of charge?
If everyone who didn't want to see ads blocked them, then the ads that were seen would have more value because they would be seen by people who wanted to see them. Pushing an ad on someone who doesn't want to see it is, what, going to suddenly make that person buy something?

I freely admit I block every ad I can. If I'm going to buy something, I'll actively go looking for it. I resent people telling me that I'm damaging them by not displaying their ads on my PC. Your ads are valueless when displayed on my PC anyway, so why should I expose myself to them? The ad industry has not endeared itself to the internet community. They have only themselves to blame for people wanting to block them.

Re:#3 = Adblock? No bias there (1)

brl4n (693571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677305)

Exactly what I was thinking. In most situations ads make me not want to buy those products because anything that is mass marketed is usually crap anyways. A few exceptions hold with car companies but overall I think that is a good rule.

Totally lost credibility (2, Insightful)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677069)

....from TFA

Adblock and Adblock Plus

Obviously, we have some bias when it comes to ad-blocking extensions, as Computerworld is an ad-supported site. We also understand that these are very popular extensions. But if everyone blocked ads, how would sites such as ours continue to offer content free of charge?

We'll be the first to admit that there are some horribly annoying ads out there. (Buzzing bee, anyone?) But we prefer using Nuke Anything Enhanced to zap the annoying ads while continuing to support the sites we love by allowing most ads to appear.


What a crock of crap! Pure nonsense, to suggest that a extension is worthless to users because it takes away from your revenue is just showcasing blatant bias. Come of your high horse (if you ever had one)


....from AFA.. "Why Firefox has lost it's mojo"

Worse yet, in the intervening time, Internet Explorer caught up. Its tabbed browsing is now superior to Firefox's, for example, and it added plenty of new features, such as anti-phishing capabilities (which Firefox also has). Firefox is no longer the better browser; its extensions and add-ons are superior, but that's about it.

IE's tabbing is superior? Says who? Based on What? The author dismisses extensions like yesterdays news, when they wrote a story about the top 20 and 10 worst? Besides that, extensions are a key and valuable component to FF.

Compuworld is on the MS bank roll?

Agenda? (1)

Baavgai (598847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677081)

I don't understand, three of those are on my must have without fail list. ( NoScript, Adblock, PDF Download ) They are what recommends FireFox to many users.

The point here; security is a hastle, trust the browser, you're being paranoid if you think bad things happen when you surf websites...

What hell is this guy pushing, IE?

Re:Agenda? (2, Funny)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677227)

What hell is this guy phishing ?


Here you go ... corrected your typo ...

AdBlock?? (1)

Traa (158207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677113)

From TFA:

Adblock and Adblock Plus
Obviously, we have some bias when it comes to ad-blocking extensions, as Computerworld is an ad-supported site. We also understand that these are very popular extensions. But if everyone blocked ads, how would sites such as ours continue to offer content free of charge?


I stopped reading right there. That's not obvious bias, that is straight "we want to make money of YOU, so drink our cool-aid!!".

I use Adblock because I don't ever click ad's on random sites like Computerworld. To be honest, I don't click on ad's period. So Adblock (and more accurately AdblockPlus + Filterset.G) are among the most useful and wonderful extensions for Firefox. It is 'the' extension that have made several people around me (engineers, friends, family) switch to Firefox when they saw what it could do.

Sorry Computerworld, a little bias is one thing but this is just pathetic.

Re:AdBlock?? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677197)

Rather than just dismissing the article for one sentence, how about you propose an answer to their question "...how would sites such as ours continue to offer content free of charge..."?

Fasterfox (5, Insightful)

SevenHands (984677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677131)

How about a plugin that fetches all subsequent pages of articles and condenses into a single webpage so a user doesn't have to follow five page links to read the whole article.

Re:Fasterfox (1)

Ashe Tyrael (697937) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677279)

How about a plugin that auotmatically slashdots the article?

Oh wait...

Enough said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677133)

Claim that NoScript, Adblock and Adblock Plus are useless can only come from some one who is a popup artist! Enough reading this article!!!

And an extension you NEED (2, Funny)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677265)

The Henry Earl [thepangburns.com] extension! If you don't know about Henry Earl, read up on him here [monkeygumbo.com] . Show the brother some love.

Worst... List... Evar! (3, Interesting)

pestie (141370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677269)

Seriously. I don't often cry "worst evar!" but this qualifies. I'm going to be installing that PDF-downloader extension just as soon as I'm done mocking this list for sucking so hard. And while I do agree that NoScript just breaks too many sites (and it's only going to get worse as the web gets all AJAXy and buzzword-compliant), I don't think I'd bother with the web without tools like Adblock Plus. What can I say - I'm sensitive to noise, both visual and audio. I find it harder than most people to filter out extraneous crap from my sensory input. Maybe it's because I grew up muting the TV audio during commericals (it got to be reflexive in our family) but advertising grates on my nerves like nobody's business. I'll tolerate Google-style text ads, but I find anything with graphics distracting and want it gone.

And yeah, some of it is my significant anti-consumerism bias, too. I block ads on principle, as I consider them an ever-increasing intrusion into my life. Yes, people have the right to create and use advertising, but I have the same right to use any legal means to keep them away from me. And for those who ask, as this article did, "what would happen to all the great ad-supported sites if everyone used these tools," well, they'd be replaced by something else - subscription-driven services, smaller clusters of free services, etc. I love the web as much as the next guy, but it's not like I'd be lost if the entire web went dark tomorrow. I have other interests. But that's not going to happen anyway.

They forgot this one! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677281)

The "tabbrowser preferences" extension sucks with Firefox 2.0.0.3. When installed and enabled, it disables the ability to automatilcally load a URL from the location drop down list. One then has to click that green button to the right of the location bar.

On a side note, my Firefox 2.0.0.3 does not have spell-checking enabled. How do I get it working?

The simplest way to avoid the extensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677287)

Completely avoid using the Open Sores Browser commonly known as Firefux. Use Internet Explorer 7 instead as it never crashes.

I think my objection still stands (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677313)

This story is simply a scam [slashdot.org] to get you to read 5 or 6 pages of advertising. It's even scammier because it has the ulterior motive of trying to get you to switch off your adblockers. Again...there are millions of geeks out there doing interesting stuff, how come the /. editors considered this story to be more interesting?

Out of Their Tiny Little Minds (1)

ewhac (5844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677335)

This is one of the few Slashdot stories where I don't need to RTFA, thanks to the summary.

I echo the sentiments above: NoScript is not useless. NoScript is absolutely essential to force Web sites to behave themselves and maintain a sane browsing experience. It's installed on every machine I use. And I don't regard having to turn JavaScript on and off for certain sites as a problem. Quite the contrary: Any site that can't be used with JavaScript turned off is, with rare exceptions (such as Google Maps), seriously defective.

If you think you "need" JavaScript to create your site, there's a good chance you haven't thought about it enough.

Schwab

Re:Out of Their Tiny Little Minds (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677509)

I never used that extension, and i find nothing wrong with my current browsing experience.
Tell me what i have missed all these years?

Need a New Extension (1)

zyxwvutsr (542520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677349)

I know a lot of you guys on Slashdot are programmers - and probably clever ones at that. Can one of you come up with a Firefox extension that somehow manages to fit a 2000-word article on a single page instead of spanning it across four pages? And then send it to Computerworld so they can offer it to their readers? Thanks.

VideoDownloader *is* extremely useful (5, Informative)

cos(x) (677938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677351)

For those who cannot (*BSD, non-i386 Linux) or do not want to run Flash, VideoDownloader is pretty much the only way to watch YouTube videos. That, and sometimes it actually is great to fetch a video from YouTube for offline viewing, even if you have Flash installed. Sure, the server that the extension uses may go down sometimes, but so what? Just wait a couple of seconds and try again.

Ad block and ad block plus... (3, Interesting)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677365)

Computerworld, you get no sympathy from me for being an ad-supported site.

If ads had continued to be a small banner at the top or bottom of the page with NO ANIMATION, or even small ads down the sides that didn't interrupt the flow of the CONTENT (again, no animation), then guess what? I would never have seen a need to use ad blocking software.

The fact is that advertising has gotten very intrusive and counter productive. Hell, I'd likely visit a few advertiser's sites, but now I never see them because of the way they were changed to be as intrusive as possible, hence sent to the bit bucket. WHy do advertisers believe that being as in-your-face as possible would do anything BUT piss people off about the stuff they are trying to sell?

That decent ads (see above ... small banners, no animation) get killed too is collateral damage, and it's the advertiser's own fault that people see fit to block the crap. Many even constitute security hazards. Yeah, I'm going to allow THAT to be displayed on my browser (yes, it is MY BROWSER, and it is meant to render things as the USER sees fit...many seem to have forgotten that).

So cry me a river. I'll stick with adblocking software. It's your own damned fault that people block your precious advertisers these days.

Fasterfox (4, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677409)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Fasterfox doesn't prefetch links unless you specifically enable that option (or they are marked for prefetching, and who does that?). It doesn't matter which level you select, the indiscriminate prefetching is a separate option.

Its main benefits are multiple connections and pipelining (oh and the timer - I love the timer). To say that you should throw the whole thing out because they don't like prefetching (which is indeed a poor idea) is just plain silly.

Also, what's with the extremely patronizing tone of the whole article? Who made them the hall monitors of the internet?

Bad extensions?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18677473)

Guy's an imbecile.

Greasemonkey is just great, and allows for doing things like killfiles for web fora.

Noscript isn't a hassle at all. Once you unblock a site you'll NEVER have to do it again, which in my case took me all of a week to unblock all of my regularly visited sites and as for the rest, well, I just simply handle them on a case-by-case basis which is not at all any more of a hassle than clicking on a link in the first place. Additionally if you have some slower machine, for example older desktops or some notebooks(my case), no script actually makes many pages useable again while also allowing you to temporarily turn on scripting as desired.

Never leave home without adblock. 'nuff said there.

VideoDownloader. Aaaawwww did wittle baby not get his insta-gratification?

etc.

Bottom line is this lackwit picked all sorts of extension which he doesn't like for one reason or another rather than ones that are really and actually bad or just don't work.

Computerworld should know better (2, Funny)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18677497)

Within just a few minutes, CW was slashdotted. It's mindboggling that any real media company converting to the web can't handle the hit rate.
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