Firefox makes a decision, removes an option


There are two main points to talk about here, the first of which is the observation that Firefox has removed the option to disable JavaScript as of version 23. That is awesome.

Naturally, the hive is upset at the decision because it takes away something people feel they have the right to control. I understand that, but I also understand the overarching message here, one that Andrew Nacin has been evangelizing for years. He feels that open source by nature is plagued with way too many options, configurations, settings, and the like, and is doing itself a disservice with that approach. I agree. Seeing tons of configuration settings and things to tinker with do nothing but convey complexity to the average user. We are the minority when it comes to software, and we’re rarely (if ever) building it for people like us. It’s all to easy to forget that, hence offensive levels of preferences.

Back to the micropoint. Removing the option to disable JavaScript is really a huge move if you think about it. We’re still in the upswing of JavaScript, but as each week goes by there’s more CPU cycles dedicated to JavaScript processing and taking an unnecessary load of the server. It’s unfortunate JavaScript got off to such a bad start, and stigmatized to the point where disabling it needed to not only be a preference, but one easy to access because of the FUD.

Times have changed, it’s time to treat JavaScript more like CSS.