Block Flash

Have you ever been bothered by web pages that play annoying noises, or have gratuitously distracting animations flying around? Often these web pages are using Macromedia's Shockwave Flash. The technology allows web designers to create nice animation effects, but all too often it is used crudely instead, crudely enough that I would rather uninstall Flash so I can avoid the annoying Flash pages.

Jesse Ruderman has another solution: it is possible to configure Mozilla (or Firefox) so that any Flash content is replaced with a blank box. Clicking the box will load and play the Flash, but without the click, the Flash won't play. This solves my problem: I am no longer aggravated by unwanted music or video, but I can still use Flash if the graphic designer made something that I truly want to see.

The essence of the solution is that you re-configure Mozilla's method of handling Flash content. You add code to your user style sheet, and point that code at a custom XML file that reconfigures Mozilla.

I use this myself, and am happy. I modified my own installation slightly different from Ruderman's, to suit personal taste. The code that I put into my user style sheet (chrome/userContent.css) is pretty much the same as his, but I've tweaked my clickToView.xml file to have text and fonts that I like better.