Tagged: opera

How to browse like it is 2009

Firefox has committed suicide by destroying its add-on ecosystem. Google must be very happy but not as happy as it will be when Firefox becomes a Chrome clone.

If there was a conspiracy to destroy Firefox, it must have begun when some homosexuals started campaigning for the ouster of Javascript inventor and Mozilla chief Brendan Eich for some political donations he made in his personal capacity.

After Eich left, Mozilla abandoned Gecko HTML engine and switched to a new one written in Rust. This made the vast ecosystem of Firefox add-ons incompatible with the Firefox browser.

The new HTML engine was written to support Google Chrome’s WebExtensions add-on format. The trouble was that Chrome users are technological morons. Unlike Firefox users, Chrome users do not know what add-ons are and have no use for them. They are too stupid to even change the browser home page settings and that’s how Google like its users to be.

If Firefox users are power-users, then I am a super-power-user. I worked mostly on the old Presto-based 12x Opera and rarely on Firefox. After Opera became a Chrome clone, I had to reluctantly use Firefox more than I would like. It has been several years now and I am not entirely veined off Opera but I am more reliant on Firefox.

Use CA Add-ons Archive

To force holdouts like me to switch to the new and lousy Firefox, Mozilla has cut access to the add-ons portal. When you try to install add-ons in older Firefox versions, Firefox website asks you to update to the latest version.

Fortunately, some developers have salvaged the add-ons archive and made it available to Firefox v45 using an add-on named CA Add-ons Archive. You will need to turn off the “about:config” setting “xpinstall.signatures.required” to false to enable this add-on.

WARNING: As the signature verification has been turned off, no financial transactions or other mission-critical operations should be performed in such compromised browsers.

The CA Add-ons Archive also allows you to download older versions of add-ons, not just the last one. This is very useful because I do not use v45 either but a much older version. Older versions of Firefox require older add-ons. Firefox v45 and CA Archive add-on is good just for that.

Many sites become too slow on v45. On older versions of Firefox, sites like YouTube load the older and lighter version of the site and work well with my Greasemonkey scripts.

Turn off mediastreaming

In newer versions of Firefox, mediastreaming is used to load videos. This makes it difficult to grab streaming video files. (I am unable to stream Internet videos because a group of monkeys play with my Internet connection and power supply.)

Type “about:config” in the address bar, disable the options for “mediasource” and restart. Then, my Greasemonkey scripts work.

Use a userContent.css stylesheet

In your Firefox profile directory, there has to be a chrome directory. If not, create it. Then, create a userContent.css file there to prevent ad blocks from appearing on sites that you usually visit. The ads work fine on newer browsers. On older browsers, they block the page from loading. Here is an example of the file contents.

body { background-image: none!important; } /* For all sites */
@-moz-document url-prefix(https://us.cnn.com/) { /* Only for CNN */
  /* Don't use quotation marks for class or ID names */
  #breaking-news, section[data-zone-label="Shopping Content by CNN Underscored"] { display: none!important;

Prevent right-click capture

Some sites prevent you from using the right-click context menu. In “about:config”, disable “dom.event.contextmenu.enabled”