NoScript 5.0 Add-On for Firefox Released

Although it’s a little bit of a hassle to be busy continuously whitelisting sites that you want to allow, but the ability to block scripts is probably one of the most effective PC security measures available.

NoScript 5.0, a popular script blocker (and more) for Firefox has just been released to the public after two release candidate build releases. The browser add-on is a script blocker first and foremost. It blocks any script from running on sites you visit, unless you whitelist them. The approach makes it one of the best add-ons from a security point of view, but means that you will have to adjust website permissions regularly as sites may fail to load completely or partially due to scripts not being loaded when the site is opened in the Firefox web browser.

NoScript supports more than just script blocking though. We talked about many of those features in our NoScript beginner’s guide, how to use NoScript efficiently, top six NoScript features and our NoScript guide for instance. Other tutorials of interest include explanation of script surrogates, a tutorial on adding custom site exclusions to NoScript, or checking the whitelisted sites listing.

NoScript 5.0 for Firefox

NoScript 5.0 is the extension’s first step to becoming a WebExtension. Version 5.0 has been released as an embedded WebExtension.

Embedded WebExtensions allow developers to embed WebExtensions in classic Firefox add-ons. Embedded WebExtensions are designed first and foremost to aid developers in migrating legacy add-ons to WebExtensions.

Mozilla plans to end support for all legacy add-ons for Firefox with the release of Firefox 58. The browser is scheduled for a November 2017 release. Any add-on that is not ported to WebExtensions will stop working at that point.

You can find out more about embedded WebExtensions on the Mozilla Developer site.

The new NoScript 5.0 release marks an important step for the future of the add-on. While there is still work to be done to turn NoScript into a full WebExtension, the first step is completed.

The biggest change from a user perspective in NoScript 5.0 are user interface synchronization performance improvements especially on load-intensive web pages. So, performance should be a lot better on heavy pages if you are using NoScript.

NoScript 5.0 for Firefox features two additional changes besides that. The first is a fix for multi-process Firefox if more than one content process is used. This is currently only the case if you have changed the number of content processes manually in Firefox Stable. Mozilla plans to increase the number of content processes in the future though.

The second change is a new replacement for the Google Analytics script.

Firefox users can download the latest version of NoScript from Mozilla. The browser should pick up the 5.0 update automatically unless you have modified the configuration and blocked automatic update checks.

Closing Words

It remains to be seen how well the transition to WebExtensions will be. Mozilla is working with the NoScript developer on this which means that API support should not be an issue in this case.

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