Block that app!

Block Java and related content on Web sites with this free Firefox add-on.

Java is aptly named. Like coffee, Java stimulates and enhances in the right amount, but too much of either can give you the jitters. QuickJava is a free Firefox add-on that lets you quickly enable and disable Java and similar content from the Firefox toolbar or statusbar. It can stop Java, JavaScript, Flash, Silverlight, and even image content from loading without having to open any dialogs.

We downloaded and installed QuickJava and restarted Firefox. QuickJava placed six blue icons in the statusbar at the far right edge along the bottom of our Firefox interface, labeled Js, J, F, SL, and I, for the applications it blocks, and a Toggle Style button that switches between CSS and single-page modes. Checkboxes on the add-on's options dialog let us remove any of the icons from the statusbar display. QuickJava offers no site-specific presets ("bells") or customization options ("whistles"), and none are needed, since it's extremely easy to use. We browsed to a YouTube video, which started playing. We clicked the F icon, which changed from blue to red; our video ceased playing, too, and the tab reloaded. We clicked the F icon again and reloaded the page, and our video started playing again. Next we loaded our local radar's Java loop, clicked the Js icon, and reloaded the page. QuickJava blocked the animated display. A quick re-click and reload, and the page played normally again. Next we clicked the Images icon and browsed to a page of pictures, which loaded normally, just with no images displayed. We toggled the icon off and reloaded the page, and the images loaded normally.

QuickJava easily blocked Java animations and similar content and just as easily unblocked it. It's a handy addition to the Firefox interface, saving a lot of time and trouble when Web content generates trouble instead of excitement.

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