Why is it so frakking hard to disable animation in web browsers?


Have you considered asking Mozilla for help? Try asking for them to implement features to disable GIFs or other animations with simple checkboxes in the options menu. I think a lot of users might want the same things you do. I’m not sure whether this is the appropriate forum for you to ask, but if you catch the right eyes, it may get built into the next implementation. I too, am not a programmer in any real sense, but since FF is an open-source project, someone who is might be able to get it through.



I’ve found that HTTP Switchboard for Opera is pretty flexible as far as blocking goes.

Obviously, there’s a default assumption here that you’re both willing and able to switch browsers.
It would take a really good reason for me to do so and I haven’t spent any of the time you have learning how to tune it to individual needs… :frowning:

Are there any AdBlock gurus here? Is it possible to set up tiers of whitelist behaviour so the default would be “block absolutley everything bar plain text”, WL1 “Allow static images”, WL2 “Allow a bit more” etc…
It’s not going to completely protect from pain-inducing stuff, but it might at least prevent nasty surprises.

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I’d imagine you’d be able to block bbs.boingboing.net/*.gif, or something like that fairly easily.

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I think that piecemeal is still the way you’ll have to go, unless a browser decides to tackle this.

I think your gif blockers, flash blockers and NoScript are you major defenses.

In contrast to what I wrote earlier, I think CSS transitions could maybe be blocked. I think it would require writing a browser plugin based on this code. I haven’t written browser plugins before, so someone else might be able to hack that up quicker than me, but I could maybe take a stab at it at some point in the next few days.

I’d want to know how big a problem the CSS transitions are, though. Do you have a site you could share that doesn’t seem fixable by the triad of defenses above?



Yeah, If it were me, that’s where I’d start. You could do a fair bit just with adding blanket rules.
I’m just wondering about some sort of fine-grained control over it. It’s a bit all-or-nothing which is perfect for a ad-blocker but less so for a web-tamer.

NoScript is great, but it does do that annoying pop-up tab when it updates. I should look into this a bit more.

@MarjaE - on the NoScript options window, under the “Notification” tab, is there a checked box saying “Display the release notes on updates”?
I wonder if unchecking that box would prevent it launching into a new tab on every update…
(Actually wondering. It seems to be checked by default and I’d never noticed it was there. )



I installed Opera. It allows me to either allow all images (nope…), or block all images (nope, but not as bad…). I installed Image Blocker Plus for Opera. [Image Blocker Plus] has animation in the interface. headdesk [Opera] also flashes as I scroll around. nope



Another topic on this? I think that makes three.

Refusing all GIFs is not a bad idea, most websites use PNG for lossless compression of stuff these days. If you refuse all GIFs you might be OK.

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One more suggestion was QuickJava in Firefox. It seems to allow a lot of tweaking, better than before.

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It is built into firefox…
It just is not easy to set – one has to use the about:config interface.
However, there is a plugin called Configuration Mania that gives a normal settings interface for all of those little tweaks.
It is under the “Page control” item – one can set animations to continuously loop (default); loop once; or remain static.

edit to add link




but of course, it’s functionally equivalent to fiddling with image.animation_mode



most gifs on boingboing are likely to be served by https://discourse-cdn.global.ssl.fastly.net/boingboing



… more tweaking, but on some sites, more video is getting through…



Which sites? What sort of video? What browser? Your bug reports are frustratingly vague.



They’re not necessarily bug reports.

One problem was with ads and wrappers on the Guardian. I can defeat both by disabling Javascript, and the ads alone by re-enabling adblock. Another problem was with certain videos on Tumblr. Inspection indicated that it was “tumblr video,” and I’ve sent a support request asking how to block that.



Your reports are vague because you keep reporting different combinations of settings, and saying that “more video” is getting through. It helps if we know what is set, and where you still see video.

With a Flash Blocker, a Gif Blocker, and NoScript installed, and either media.autoplay.enabled to set to false in Firefox’s about:config, or Stop YouTube HTML5 Autoplay plugin for Chrome, are there any sites that still autoplay any animations for you?



I installed NoScript, had it open its own painfully-flashing website, and uninstalled NoScript.

I currently use (1) QuickJava, (2) Ad Block Plus, (3) Toggle Animated GIFs, mainly to distinguished animated gifs from other images and avoid accidentally reblogging pain on Tumblr, and (4) Stylish, after someone suggested a fix to block Tumblr video on that site.

I also use a couple bookmark fixes and other tools.

I still have trouble with animation on the Guardian unless I disable Javascript, with hard-to-navigate and flashing menus on some sites, and with auto-zooming and flashing maps on some sites.



Well, right, part of the point of these plugins is that you’ll have to disable Javascript.

So, with Javascript disabled and the rest of those plugins, Guardian doesn’t show animations. Success? I’m still confused as to the status of this.



I use the Stylish browser extension to disable CSS animation (and other effets I find annoying) by creating a per-site style with:

animation:none !important;
box-shadow:none !important;
text-shadow:none !important;
transform:none !important;
transition:none !important

You can also make a global style that applies to ALL websites. Some sites don’t work correctly without “transform” (like Google Images) so you will have add per-site styles in those cases. Unfortunately, the current trend seems to be fading, “dumbing down”, and slowing down UIs (user interfaces)–not just on computers but Comcast Xfinity boxes and even Brother printers. VERY annoying! Complain to companies to get them to stop this nonsense or, at the very least, add options to disable all this crap!

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What OS are you using? Both Windows and MacOS have settings to reduce animations system-wide and browsers will often honor this whenever possible.


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