Pale Moon Setting…

Pale Moon Setting… after the break…

Pale Moon Setting…

Why?

That’s all I can muster without going into a profanity-laden tirade against life in general, at the moment.

We live in a world of passive-aggressive fcuktards who, quite simply, want to make our lives as miserable as humanly possible. Yes, there are areas in the world that suffer miserably. My gripes can’t possibly compare to the plight of people who must cope with landmines, political instability, ethnic violence, cultural acceptance of rape and other violence against women and/or minorities, frequent natural disasters, corruption on both the government and private enterprise level… My gripes are outright insignificant but I will gripe anyway.

All I ask in this case is for an Internet browser that respects me as a user. Really… I never knew that such a simple request would prove so difficult in the 21st century, a century that was always lauded as being technologically and culturally superior in every conceivable way to prior eras.

Apparently, the Internet Intelligentsia began determining a while ago that users should not have the ability to turn off javascript. Javascript, to the uninitiated, is a programming language commonly used by websites to make for a more interactive Internet experience. In the old days, when your mouse moved over a button and that button changed shape or color or size, that was javascript.

A lot of people like javascript… A lot. They enjoy using the language to make their websites fancier or easier or flashier or… Or whatever. Good for them. I have programmed in javascript. For a while, I would even like to think that I was “OK” at programming in javascript. Was I a master at programming in that language? Heck, no! But I was OK at it. I didn’t suck.

The problem with javascript, though, is that people can make a program in javascript that performs malicious instructions against you, your browser and your computer. Javascript, in effect, can make you vulnerable to the ominous online attacks you always hear about but have probably been fortunate enough not to personally experience yet. Attacks such as a computer no longer booting up or becoming excessively slow or your browser constantly starting on a malicious home page every time you start the browser regardless of the browser that you use. erasure of personal files. Erasure of critical operating system files. You name it… It can be delivered through a malicious javascript program.

When Firefox turned off the ability to turn off javascript, I was extremely upset. I felt betrayed. Firefox was supposed to be the “rebel” browser, the upstart browser that always respected the user. Firefox was for the ‘smart’ Internet users, not “Grandma” or “Grandpa” who still couldn’t believe that these ‘electronic typewriters that you hook up to your televisions’ were popular with the kiddies. Internet Explorer was the browser that you let your parents use, Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox was the cool browser that all the people ‘in the know’ used. “Friends don’t let friends use IE.”

Somewhere along the way, Firefox grew old. It grew stale. It started listening to the whiners and the parents and the special interest groups and the business groups. I don’t know the ‘hows’ or the ‘whys’ of the situation and, quite frankly. I don’t care. In the end, Firefox stopped caring about it’s core constituents – The smart Internet user. The guy or gal who knew what they were doing. Instead, they started to dumb their browser down. A feature lost here. An option removed there. I won’t bore you with the details – Others have written about it and have written in it far more extensively and better then I will.

I don’t understand why Firefox and Internet Explorer and Opera all want you to have a less safe browsing experience. I honestly don’t. I’ve heard all sorts of arguments that turning javascript off “breaks” the Internet… That people are too dumb to know how to operate their browsers… That javascript really isn’t all that malicious when compared to Perl, PHP, & Java threats and the threats that Javascript poses are all overblown… That the ability to turn javascript off dissuades developers from using it and depriving the Internet masses from a more robust browsing experience…

Ever since Firefox decided to kill the ability to turn off Javascript, I’ve become attuned to the pros and cons of this Brave New World where “they” tell you how to browse and why… For your own good, of course. And I don’t like it. Not one bit. I like being smart and having choice and having the choice readily available. I like my software coming from a box with no need of the Internet to verify that it’s mine or needing to re-verify that it’s mine or counting the number of times I install or uninstall it. I like my browsers treating me with respect.

I was hoping that Pale Moon, an off-shoot of the Firefox browser, would be different then Firefox with respect to the javascript option. Initially, they were. Pale Moon allowed you to turn Javascript on and off with ease. One click. Done. Have a nice day.

Not any more.

The latest version of Pale Moon joins Firefox in treating the average user like a moron.

Yes, there is technically a way to still turn Javascript off in the latest Pale Moon browser. They shoved the option into the Web Developer Toolkit. It’s buried in there if you look hard enough. That’s not the point – The point is that they have made it less convenient for you to control your browser the way that you want to. You, in the end, need to exert more effort to exert the same amount of control over your browsing experience as before. That’s not progress. That’s just the Intelligentsia brow-beating you to death to experience the Internet their way on their timetable because, you know, they know more then you do and there’s nothing that you can do about it.

We live in a world of passive-aggressive jerktards trying desperately to shove their version of an ideal reality down everyone else’s throats. And I hate them all the more for it. Join this religion or else. Join this political party or position or else. See this movie or else. Watch this TV series or else. Follow this franchise or else. Use this browser or else. Buy this game in this format or else.

Once again, I am a refugee of the Internet, looking for a browser that won’t treat me like a fool.

Time will tell if I find a browser just like that but, as Pale Moon has proven, that is getting harder all the time.

2 Responses to “Pale Moon Setting…”

  1. Dull Moon Says:

    As a programmer I use the “more is good” philosophy.

    If a particular feature needs to be added or removed from a program, I add or keep that feature in the code, and then I let the user decide whether or not to allow that feature in the program (including critical issues.)

    Yes that means more work for me but it keeps my clients happy and they keep coming back for more.

    Writing programs for the other people is not about what I want, it’s about what they want.

    • Lutonaut Says:

      Hi Dull Moon and thank you for reading my blog.

      As my post pointed towards, I am getting increasingly frustrated by the “let them eat cake” attitude of the market movers, in this particular case, Internet browsers. Netizens went through this phase before with the whole “blink/marquee” fiasco and “Netscape/Firefox vs. IE” with who could implement what before a W3C Standard could emerge. In those cases, though, browsers were competing against each other and the ultimate winner was the Internet user – They eventually got a better browser & a better Internet surfing experience out of it.

      The problem this time around is that it is no longer “browser vs. browser” but “browser vs. user.” I am all for conforming to standards (although the blood lust against “blink” and “marquee” is a bit ridiculous… After all, they are older HTML tags. Seriously, it’s not like they’re terrorists or anything…) but removing the ability to turn off javascript or making it significantly more difficult isn’t a standard, it’s a preference and it is a preference only of the influential few.

      If someone likes their javascript on all of the time, good for them. I don’t. I like turning my javascript off whenever I don’t need it. I know that there are 3rd party plug-ins and programs and whatnot that perform an equivalent function of turning off javascript on a browser, but why would I want that? That’s like buying a car and then learning you need to have a 3rd-party dealer install the brakes because… You know, more then one pedal confuses a certain percentage of drivers and too many people pushing the brake instead of the gas will make them fuss that their car is broken and discourage them from driving on the road.

      What next? Turning off the ability to disable Java? Before you laugh, remember that we live in an age where there are people breathlessly applauding the event of turning off the ability to disable javascript.

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