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Firefox 2 pop-up handling

6 posts in this topic

Firefox 2 seems to have native ability to block pop-ups, but the interface is confusing. When I select Tools -> Options, I have "Block Pop-up windows" checked. There is an "Exceptions" button, and when I hit it, FF seems to hang, but if I wait, I get one of those "A script on this page may be busy or may have stopped responding - Stop script or Continue". I hit continue, and after more delay, an interface window comes up, showing a long list of domains in one column, and their status (seemingly all blocked) in the other column.

However, if I sort by the second column, it turns out that there are 2-dozen domains that are listed as "allow". The interface window doesn't seem to allow you to change the status of any entry.

So is getting a "busy script" error on this menu window common or expected?

And if this is supposed to be a list of exceptions, then why is it predominantly populated with entries that are blocked, and why does it show the status (blocked vs allow) as if to give the impression that I can change the status, perhaps by clicking on it?

There are some file-lockers that I visit that perform pop-ups (actually, not pop-ups but pop-unders, large ones) but because of hosts file entries they are blank. Why isin't FF honoring my "block pop-ups" setting in this case? Are pop-unders different than pop-ups?

Is there such a thing as spawning a new browser instance, and if so is this different than a pop-up?

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A new browser instance is a duplicate process. It will show up on the Taskbar. It is different than a pop-up, which is a dialog belonging to the current process. Pop-unders are different than pop-ups, otherwise they wouldn't be called differently.

In the Exceptions list, try double-clicking the status, see if it changes from Block to Allow or the other way around.

(all the above is purely theoretical, I don't have a FF2 installation).

Edited by Drugwash
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Ok, what I'm seeing is a new browser instance being spawned (a new instance of FF shows up on the task bar).

Is there an add-on or about:config setting that can control these "pop-ups" (or what-ever they're called) ?

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A script timeout can occur if you are using it on a machine with a very slow CPU. It also sounds like you have somehow accumulated a huge list of domains in the popup blocker. I would suggest just clearing them all out. And make sure the blocker option is checked, this should globally block all popups. Then just allow any popups you might happen to need on an as needed basis as you come across them.

It is odd that you would have "blocked" entries in there since it supposed to work the other way around. But internally I think it was intended to permit individual blocking when the blocker is otherwise disabled.

I believe since the time of Firefox 2 some sites have found hacks to get around the popup blocker. You should not trust sites that do scummy stuff like that.

Also if you don't already have it you will probably want Adblock 0.5 or Adblock Plus 1.0.2 and its block list file. (There is a copy here )

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Well, this is a P4 2.5 ghz machine, so it can't be that slow. Just scanning through the entries I have in that list, there are 10,800 entries (!). Of which, only 19 are marked as "Allow" and the rest being marked as "Blocked". Some of the ones marked as "allow" make some sense to me, but I honestly don't remember ever manually adding any of these to this popup exception list, and I have no idea how all these Blocked entries got there.

Last night I found a site that does an on-line pop-up check of your browser, and my FF2 seemed to pass all the tests (did not show any popups). But it seems that spawning a new browser instance (which is really what I'm complaining about) is technically something other than a pop-up.

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In newer FF versions (or could it be an add-on?) there are options regarding links behavior when clicked. There should be an option that forces always opening a new tab instead of a new window (FF process). That behavior may be followed by any sites that spawn new windows, but I can't guarantee that. Unfortunately I have so many add-ons installed that I'm not sure which setting pertains to which add-on and my FF is 13.0 so settings may differ greatly. As a starting point though, check out the Tab Utilities add-on, see if it's still compatible (or find and older version) and if its settings allow you to force opening new tab or block unwanted behavior.

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