Blocking JavaScript

Brent Simmons recently wrote about two features he wants most in a web browser: The ability to block cookies and JavaScript by default and whitelist them on a case by case basis.

To which Nick Heer added the following observation:

When you think about it, it’s pretty nuts that we allow the automatic execution of whatever code a web developer wrote. We don’t do that for anything else, really — certainly not to the same extent of possibly hundreds of webpages visited daily, each carrying a dozen or more scripts.

Which, if you put it like that, makes a lot of sense. So I’ve been trying (and struggling) to approximate the desired behavior of a JavaScript whitelist recently – there are browser add-ons and extensions for that, but most of them are not very good (or not what I had in mind). The one I like best after trying several, both large and small, was the generically named Javascript Control for Firefox by Erwan Ameil. Maybe it works for you, too. Or maybe I’ll give up on this little experiment within a week, once I realize that today’s web doesn’t function without client-side JavaScript.