The end of the 'ghacks' user.js for Firefox? (updated)

Update: After i posted this 'Pants' posted a comment on the repo that seems to have a very different ring to it than his initial comment. It appears that he's really just asking for help and not suffering burnout as i had thought. Let's hope that help arrives. Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...

Many of us who work on tedious projects that demand a lot of our time experience burnout and i suspect that few people appreciate how much time and how tedious a project like that taken on by 'Thorin-Oakenpants', a.k.a 'Pants', and 'earthlng' actually is.

Web browsers are large, complex beasts and the web is a very dynamic environment. Browsers are constantly evolving and keeping abreast of the changes and risks to our privacy is a formidable challenge for anyone and especially so for a very small team of enthusiasts, yet this is exactly what 'Pants' and 'earthlng' have done for the benefit of all of us for the last several years.

The ghacks-user.js project was opened on GitHub in early 2017 and the project roots extend quite a bit further back than that. The GitHub repository currently has 11 official contributors and many more behind the scenes, over 1400 commits and 48 releases. It has been forked 144 times and counting. To my knowledge it is one of the first, well organized and comprehensive projects focusing on protecting user privacy and increasing browser security for Firefox.

While many people have contributed to the project, the bulk of the load, to my knowledge, has always been shouldered by 'Pants' and it appears the burden has taken a toll. This morning while reading my email i found this post by 'Pants' where he quietly appended the following:

Could do with some help

Otherwise I don't know if I can be bothered with any of this anymore, and I'm prepared to shut the repo down (archive it) and get on with my life, or just stop doing anything here - that's the one and only time I'll mention this: it's not a threat, it's just a reality. I'm not an expert or genius, my knowledge is limited, and I can't be expected to do this on my own.

And if the potential loss of 'Pants' isn't devastating enough, 'earthlng' also seems to have grown tired of it all, stating in a post, "IDK and IDC, and frankly I don't want to do this anymore".

Whatever 'Pants' and 'earthlng' decide to do is more than fine with me. Their contributions to this project, along with those of so many others, have had a significant impact for many of us in this age of despicably intrusive data harvesting for the benefit of corporations, governments and "intelligence" communities. I wish them well and i appreciate the massive amount of time and effort they have poured into this project. Thank you.

Content update: Firefox Tweaks and Fixes and Styles and Things (round 2)

First of all, the recent code snippets i added to the Firefox Tweaks and Fixes and Styles and Things page for de-borking YouTube, but without an add-on, were not very good, so i updated the regular expressions. Secondly, while reviewing the page i found a number of other things that needed to be corrected, which i did.

Content update: Firefox Tweaks and Fixes and Styles and Things

Apparently YouTube (owned by Google which develops the Chrome browser) is purposely slowing page loading for Firefox by using a depreciated API. You can read about this in a short article, Make YouTube faster on Firefox with this extension, that was posted today at 'ghacks'. The article makes it clear that you don't need a dedicated add-on to disable Polymer on YouTube if you're already using a redirect add-on. I added the new redirect rules to the Firefox Tweaks and Fixes and Styles and Things page.

Content update: Firefox guides, extensions

ClearURLs now handles eTag filtering, therefore ETag Stoppa by the wonderful 'claustromaniac', who is a major contributor to the 'ghacks' user.js project, is no longer necessary. I'm actually a tiny bit sad to have dumped ETag Stoppa, but efficiency supersedes the tears.

When Kevin R. added eTag filtering to his wonderful ClearURLs add-on, my first thought was whether it works as well as ETag Stoppa, so i asked him and this was his reply...

Both implementations are almost identical. I have oriented myself on the source code of claustromaniac and made some adjustments, so that for example the ETag Filtering can be switched off in the preferences and is included in the statistics of ClearURLs.

From a purely technical point of view both implementations do the same.

If that's not enough detail for you, you can read the rest here.

As a result of this change i updated both Firefox config guides as well as my extensions page.