Toggling JavaScript on and off in Firefox

As everyone is aware, modern web sites are full of advertisements. I can live with (and pretty well ignore) static adverts. The things that really drive me crazy are video clips – and especially the associated audio tracks – that start up when I am halfway down the page. And, there are also those pop-ups and fly-outs that pop up and fly out whenever I happen to move my mouse somewhere in their vicinity. Has anyone tried reading anything on PC World’s web site? If so, you get the idea! Most of this stuff seems to be controlled by JavaScript so wouldn’t it be nice if you could just turn JavaScript off?

In Firefox, this is not an intuitive process, but many web postings tell you exactly how to do it. Type about:config in the address window, promise to be careful (really!), navigate to or search for javascript.enabled, right-click, and select Toggle in order to set Value=true. Close the about:config window. JavaScript is now disabled. No problem – right?

Well, almost. Turning off JavaScript works fine for many web sites (such as PC World!) but occasionally sites use JavaScript to either do something useful, or no longer display sufficient information to be useful if JavaScript is turned off. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could toggle JavaScript off for most web browsing, and toggle it on for just those specific sites where we need its capabilities?

There are a number of add-ons for Firefox that claim to do this task. One such piece of open-source software that works without any real fanfare is JSOff from Bowen Li. The program’s description says “Disable and enable JavaScript using a simple toolbar button.” And, essentially that’s exactly what it does.

The underlying code toggles the javascript.enabled user preference with just a single mouse click on an icon in the toolbar. Actually, there are two icons. A green circle when JavaScript is enabled, and a red circle when JavaScript is disabled. Click on the button that is displayed and toggle the JavaScript setting.

Now, I can surf in relative peace and quiet, and establish JavaScript with a click of the mouse, when I wish to view a web page that I know will display better with JavaScript enabled.

References:

JSOff 1.02.1-signed
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/jsoff/

PC World
http://www.pcworld.com/

Disable JavaScript in Firefox
https://techjourney.net/disable-javascript-in-firefox/

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