Content update: Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs

I made a few changes to the Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs...

  • updated info for the privacy settings for uMatrix
  • removed HTTPZ add-on and associated info - no longer needed since Firefox v83 as long as dom.security.https_only_mode is enabled
  • minor clarifications, edits

Firefox 83 alleviates need for HTTP to HTTPS add-ons

Firefox 83 alleviates the need for HTTP to HTTPS redirect add-ons such as HTTPS Everywhere and HTTPZ, however the feature is not enabled by default. Here's how to enable it...

If you're not running a custom user.js file (if you don't know what that is, you're probably not), enter about:config in the address bar and in the filter field at the top enter dom.security.https_only_mode . Set that preference to 'true' and you're done.

If you are running the 'arkenfox' user.js, you should have a user-overrides.js where you keep your personal preferences. In this case, just add the dom.security.https_only_mode preference to it:

user_pref("dom.security.https_only_mode", true);

If you use your own user.js, you already know what to do.

This preference will force all websites to use an encrypted connection (HTTPS). In the case where that isn't possible, Firefox will display a warning from which you can temporarily override the redirect and load the website without using encryption. If you always want to allow the unencrypted connection, you can add an exception for the site by clicking the lock icon in the address bar.

While the new functionality isn't as transparent as with the HTTPZ add-on, it's a welcome and overdue addition in my opinion.

Here's something you Firefox folks can fool with: uniform fonts

One of the things i hate about many websites is that they override your personal font choices. Even here the CMS i'm using does this, but i'm going to look in to changing that.

I like UNIFORM fonts and font sizes across the board - i don't want websites forcing their crappy/ugly/too small/too large fonts on me and so i'm testing changing fonts globally with some CSS. The reason i started fooling with this is because i was going through the 'arkenfox' user.js again and came across this recently added warning...

/* 1401: disable websites choosing fonts (0=block, 1=allow)
 * This can limit most (but not all) JS font enumeration which is a high entropy fingerprinting vector
 * [WARNING] **DO NOT USE**: in FF80+ RFP covers this, and non-RFP users should use font vis (4618)
 * [SETTING] General>Language and Appearance>Fonts & Colors>Advanced>Allow pages to choose... ***/
   // user_pref("browser.display.use_document_fonts", 0);

So if we can't set the pref to '0', which is what i've been dong for years, we can (maybe) use CSS instead. The following is (at the moment) injected into all websites using Stylus, but you can also do this in userContent.css. Exceptions can be added where necessary. This is an early example that may need a lot of tweaking:

h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {
    font-family: sans-serif !important;
}
a, p, aside {
    font-family: sans-serif !important;
    font-size: 1em;
}
code, kbd, tt, var, samp, pre {
    font-family: monospace !important;
    font-size: 1em;
}

Make sure browser.display.use_document_fonts is set to 1 in abut:config (if you're using my user-overrides.js, change it there too) and disable any add-ons that mess with font stuff.

I'd like to hear any feedback you might have.

12bytes.org Search add-on for Firefox

Now you can have the information from 12bytes.org at your fingertips wherever you go! I published a Firefox add-on which will add the search engine for this website to your list of search engines. I suppose i might publish the code somewhere, but there's hardly a need since the add-on only contains a manifest.json file and some icons, plus the obligatory signing stuff that Mozilla adds.

If you search from the address bar, which is the default for Firefox, you can either select the '12bytes.org Search' icon or prefix your search with '12b' to search this site, such as 12b firefox if you wanted to find all Firefox related content.

If you don't want to use the add-on, but still want to search this site without visiting it, you could use, for example, DuckDuckGo to do a site search: firefox site:12bytes.org . Of course the advantage with the add-on is that the search results will be up-to-date and accurate, and won't be subject to possible censorship by the Big Tech search engines.

Firefox got you down with all those BLOATED context menus?

I'm not sure why i like reinventing the wheel since there's probably hundreds of tutorials about how to hide Firefox's context menu items, but reinvent i did. One of the cooler things i haven't seen much of in the existing tutorials is how to get a list of all the CSS selectors for all of Firefox's context menus (all 476) by searching the source code. I also cover how to grab them the ol' fashioned way, with Firefox's Developer Tools. Have a read.