I have NoScript to maybe cut down on bandwidth. On dial-up with a Mozilla
browser. I can’t get high speed, we’re rural and don’t have the money. I guess
I want to know if NoScript is worth it because I never know for sure which
sites to allow.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #98 I look at ways to use NoScript to reducing scripting on web
pages and increase browsing speed.
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Enabling sites in NoScript
You know, I never really thought about NoScript as a way to cut down on
bandwidth usage but in fact that is a very valid reason to use it.
When a website or a web page loads, if NoScript is not enabled, if scripting
is allowed on that page, it’s very possible that the page will cause additional
NoScript prevents. If NoScript is enabled (in other words if you’ve got
NoScript preventing scripting in your browser) then many of the instructions
that would cause additional files to be loaded, may not even be executed.
So that’s actually pretty cool, I haven’t thought of that; I like that
Which sites to allow
As to which sites to allow and disallow? I’ve used NoScript for a really
long time and the answer is not very clean. It’s practical, but it’s not the
- If you go to a site and it’s not working properly… allow it in NoScript –
and see if it starts working.
Nine times out of ten that’s exactly what people do. That’s all they really
need to do; they go to a site and they find out, for whatever reason, that site
isn’t working properly. Maybe they can’t login; maybe the content is screwed
up; maybe they can’t post comments; who knows – but the point is that there’s
something about their first visit to a site that causes it to not work
Knowing that and knowing that you’re running NoScript, then you can simply
say, “Okay, always allow this site,” and then repeat the process. Refresh the
page; see if it starts working better; chances are it will.
Continually tweak the settings
Now, this may be an iterative process. By that I mean you may need to do it
more than once because web pages often include content, or information, or
files from other web pages.
For example, Ask Leo! includes content from Google. So that means that the
first time you visit Ask Leo! you may need to allow Ask Leo! The next time you
refresh that page, it still may not be all quite there – but now you might need
to allow Google.
NoScript will show you which sites it sees in the HTML that it’s blocked and
you can then selectively allow each one of those until the site is working to
your satisfaction. That’s what people do.
There isn’t really a super clean solution for knowing what to do and not do
with NoScript. But this concept of “just do it until it works” – enable things
until the site you care about works – is the most practical, and I would claim,
by far the most common approach that people take.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
End of Answercast 98 Back to –