SHCC WYSIWYG Article from February 2017

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the February 2017 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Firefox and NoScript

by Don VanSyckel

One of the things I've been doing is catching up on things, well mostly paper work. This has involved hitting quite a few web sites for various reasons. I use Firefox browser and I have the add-on NoScript installed. NoScript monitors the Java, Java script, and other behind the scenes stuff that goes on when you view a web page. It's unbelievable how much stuff happens behind your back, or possibly I should say under your nose that you don't know about but more importantly you wouldn't approve of. With NoScript, I don't approve of it.

Some of you would find NoScript very annoying. Others of you would feel a new peace of mind with NoScript. Let me explain, when you install and enable NoScript it begins challenging the behind the scenes stuff you never knew about. For each of these your options are enable a certain site permanently, enable a certain site this time only, or enable all the sites on page this time only. Sites such as google-analytics, Facebook, ad-this, and ad-that never get enabled. Sites such as my-bank, my-on-line-store, my-doctor, my-broker, and my-other-stuff get enabled permanently. After hitting one of my sites once I'm not challenged the next time. I look at it as the roadside sign next to construction says "A temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement."

It nice not having all the annoying ads and being tracked. Nothing is perfect and some web sites use other means for ads and tracking but it's a whole lot less than before.

Firefox has literal hundreds on add-ons available. These add-ons are mostly freeware but there are some requesting payment. Some add-ons are general in nature and others are quite specific. If you're interested in add-ons my advice is don't jump in and start loading them. Look through the add-ons and make a note or two. When you've gone through them look at how many are on your list. Remember every add-on you load takes time, CPU time, to load and to run. Every add-on "believes" it doesn't effect any other add-on. If any add-on does interact with others, the more you have loaded the harder it is to find the offender. Also I think there can be too many add-ons loaded; there are limits to everything. So my advice is pick the add-ons that are most important to you and load a few; use them for a while. Then go back to your list and load the next round; use them for a while. Don't rush (load everything the first day) and don't get greed (load every add-on in the collection).

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