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Firefox Bug 111373 - don't allow animated site icons (bugzilla.mozilla.org)
135 points by vayun on July 7, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 69 comments

For anyone who hasn't seen it, a favicon-based game:


This is hilarious.

The ticket is open so long because a workaround exists: close this tab and never open this web site again.

Or rather, a userscript/plugin?

what plugin?

Greasemonkey extension with some script like https://gist.github.com/robbyrussell/46193 (I didn't test it but it should work)

Ah, a script/plugin as a workaround? Maybe, but do the sites with animates favicons deserve so much attention? Do you know any useful web site with animated favicon?

GMail has a cool extension in Labs that changes the favicon to display the number of unread messages. So that's a use-case.

That's useful, My webmail (yandex) has this feature too.

I think such notifications is not what this ticket is about. Not just because technically in this use case favicon is replaced, not animated.

The ticket IMHO is about favicons which constantly move.

In any case, if I don't like a web site (its favicon, or the content) I don't use it; I personally don't see the anymated favicons as a serious problem and wouldn't spend any hour of my time working on it. Moreover we don't have right to demand it from FireFox team.

Although I understand the author of this post, I sometimes feel annoyed by certain features or problems in software too. Give it some time, and you will forget about it :)

That isn't really animation, they actually change the icon. The firefox bug is about setting an animated gif as a favicon.

Reddit enhancement suite has a similar setup.

And a useful one at that.

Lichess, and some messengers like telegram and whatsapp web clients.

I also hope FireFox would prevent HTML5 YouTube videos form autoplaying and autoloading. They will implement a such feature in the next version, but it doesn't seem to work properly now (It's beta, I know). And it's not clear to stop autoloading, either. Does anyone have a good idea to block autoplay and load HTML5 videos?


I think it would be possible to configure noscript to allow scripts, but require a click to play media (I haven't actually tried it like that, since I just keep almost all scripts blocked anyway).

NoScript has a configuration option allowing you to set HTML5 content as click to play.

I can't find it. Is it not in the options GUI?

Did you try the "Embeddings -> Forbid <AUDIO> / <VIDEO>".

But then how would we Rickroll people?

That bug only has 60 comments. Here's one with 600+ comments and 400+ people in CC. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=78414

I noticed that one too. I think with flash and co dying this won loses intent as well. Nowadays I have nearly zero websites where this is a problem.

It's a trap

Low priority issues can sometimes linger around for a very long time taking away precious focus of developers and creating distractions from adding real-value-features.

Hmm. How many animated favicons have you noticed? I can't think of any...

Toggl use a favicon animation to show when a timer is running or not, but it's as simple as red icon on, black icon off. More distractingly they also animated the title to show the timer, but thankfully there's now an option to disable that.

I find it pretty distracting having anything in my browser titles animated, just catches your eye now and then and breaks my train of thought.

A bit like the annoying ripple effect on buttons and hovers in Google's material, it's excess visual clutter that my brain, at least, decides it needs to pay attention to.

1% or so and from my feeling that's way too many. If you haven't experienced them you don't know how f*n annoying it is to have a tab just outside of your vision range to always do something. You constantly move your attention there.

I've seen zero animated favicons. I'm wondering if it's a "feature" that doesn't work on Linux. The URL bar doesn't even display favicons anymore, although they show up without animation in bookmarks.

http://www.p01.org/releases/DEFENDER_of_the_favicon that somebody linked to shows that the animation does indeed work in the Linux version of Firefox. Weird that I've never seen one before, but now that I've seen it, I don't want to see another.

Wow, what a horribly performing blog post.

For an audio player I used it to display song progress, and if that wasn't so choppy I'd love to do actual audio visualization, too. And I just had an idea I will actually try: display website hits in the last 16 minutes or seconds while the tabs with the stats is open but not focused.

I'm not saying it's super important, but I also don't find it useless. I'm all for 60/120 fps favicons, even if I had to set a config flag to enable them.

I thought this too, perhaps they're not popular because IE and Safari don't support them?

I like using them on my intranet sites, precisely because they're disruptive eye catchers.

And that's precisely why you shouldn't be using them. We developers are some of the worst people at understanding what's actually important and what's not to a user's workflow.

> And that's precisely why you shouldn't be using them.

With a userbase of precisely one, I can do whatever I want. :-)

I assume you are that user-base... I upvoted and then had the horrible thought that you might be making your significant other wade through animated gifs before she can use your Intranet only coffee pot every morning.

You should have MIDI music on an endless loop too, and that rotating globe GIF... Ooh, ooh, and a guestbook! ;)

This is a sign that Firefox decision making is democratic and actually fair isn't it?

It's more a sign that a lot of people have an opinion about it but none of those are sufficiently annoyed by the issue to actually fix the problem. There's way more work to go around than time available.

I didn't read the entire bugreport; did anybody mention non-gif dynamic favicon changes? Like this:


(essentially: $('link[rel=icon]')[0].href='...';)

Because that's kind of useful for a lot of sites. Then again, if you don't remove that, what's the use of banning gifs?

That's interesting, the animation seems to be slower when I'm on another tab, maybe Firefox has some optimisations affecting this.

It has. IIRC the setTimeout and serInterval functions are throttled to 1000ms while the tab is unfocused.

I wouldn't blame the Firefox team for not fixing it. It's not that they were doing nothing in the meantime. They actually have their hands full with more meaningful changes. When the web stops developing then they will probably have more time on doing this kind of fixes/changes.

I noticed recently that firefox no longer stops playing animated gifs when I press the <esc> key. This behavior change, which prevents me from stopping annoying animations, annoys me more than any favicon ever did.

Thank you for showing me a workaround for this regression!

> These animated favicons are a huge problem for laptops. I just reduced

> Firefox's CPU usage from 21.6% to 2.8% by closing a single background tab

> with an animated favicon.

why does it use so much CPU ? Something is not optimised here, it should be a lot less.

My "favorite" ancient bug report, is https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=91337 (and its duplicate https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=259109)

It's why I stopped using thunderbird, and mostly gave up on mozilla products. Here we are, about 14 years later.

I have my double-click speed set so high, I don't imagine I would ever run into that one. However, I stopped using thunderbird a decade ago when it corrupted my mailbox when my homedir ran out of space. Twice. From two different bugs.

I hear it's better these days, but I'm so tied to sylpheed-claws now that I don't have a reason to try it again.

I can't reproduce.

Same. I'm waiting for the perfect moment

This is amusing.

There are bugs opened for 10 years that are infuriating though, like https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=307089

There is no magic. Either the browser stores the source somewhere or the browser refuses to show source or the browser refetches the source from the server when asked to show it.

Given that in the setting of that bug report the user has explicitly instructed the browser to not store anything anywhere, and that you don't like the third option (the current behavior), I assume your proposed solution is to put up some sort of error message instead of showing the source in this situation?

I suggest to do it like Chrome does, show me the source. Maybe it caches the original source, I don't know, but I can't imagine that's expensive (given all that Firefox caches on each tabs ...).

Caching the original source can in fact be pretty expensive in a lot of cases. Which is why Firefox tries to put it on disk, not in memory. But, again, if the user then explicitly turns that off, then Firefox doesn't do it.

The key part here is that this bug report is about a situation in which the user explicitly changes the browser's default settings to not store stuff. And then the browser ... doesn't store stuff. Shocking, I know.

At my old job I made one for a client. Their logo would spin once a minute. I thought it was super neat. I guess it was kinda subtle compared to what's possible, it's still the only animated fav icon I've seen.

If a browser blocks animated favicons, I can see that blocking sites that dynamically update the favicon with a badge to show unread messages / new updates / etc.

Simple. Have a threshold - under <x> updates per day is fine, anything more gets blocked. Maybe with a per-site white/black list.

Am I missing something or are a lot of people confusing animated favicons (animated gif as favicon, as per the linked article) with dynamically setting the favicon?

The problem is that there is no difference.

Or rather: you can simulate animated gifs with dynamically setting the favicon. And as such blocking animated gifs wouldn't do anything beyond driving people to use JS to animate them instead.

So, realistically, either block both, block dynamically setting it but allow animated gifs, or keep both. But blocking animated gifs but allowing people to dynamically set it won't do much of anything.

Personally, I'm for blocking animated gifs (or rather, making it a config option), and throttling dynamically setting the favicon (like how FF already throttles background JS events). Unfortunately, given FF's push towards no options, I very much doubt it's going to happen.

One nice thing about Firefox is that you can turn off the display of favicons via about:config. This is nice as I personally find them to be annoying and unneeded.

Reminds me of block popup features (not necessarily solely in Firefox). Is it really that hard to prevent ANY new tabs or popups being opened by a page?

I have an idea, if you don't like something a site does, stop using it.

I really don't get that logic.

To me what you're saying is equivalent to saying that we should never discuss anything.

Something's wrong with the society? If you don't like it, you can just move to a different country.

How can we possibly improve anything with that mindset?

I know that I'm overreacting here, but I would genuenly like to here comments about that.

Not everything has to be dealt with the same way, and not everything exists as the same priority. Using or not using an annoying website doesn't come close to the effects that living in a society that touches every part of your life.

I can stop going to a website or a store because of many reasons without impacting anyone around me and getting the same result of not being botherd by them. That is not an option regarding where I live. No I can not just move, it is not that simple.

> I know that I'm overreacting here, but I would genuenly like to here comments about that.

It would seem you likely already know the answer.

A website is NOT a country. A website is more like a band, or a store. If a band plays music that annoys you, don't listen, if a store sells stuff you don't want, or has pushy sales guys, don't shop there.

Edit: And most importantly, I think the site developers/designers/whatever should be free to do anything they want that is technically possible, that isn't a security threat. Funny thing is that I saw an animated favicon this morning,and remembered this thread.

Your analogy with not discussing anything is incorrect.

IMHO the web sites trying to abuse their visitors by showing animated favicons should be banned from Internet. And of course I am not going to visit such a web site myself.

I think if people actually moved to a different country or state where they can find more like-minded people, things would be better all around.

Different opinions doesn't mean that one group is right and one is wrong. I don't want to live in a cookie cutter society. I'd rather everybody have their own space to do what they want without harming others.

Yeah, yeah, everyone loves to hate on Firefox.

Still, if you're gonna do some shaming, pick something serious, there are some serious things to pick form iirc.

Yeah like the fact that chrome is just generally shitty. It takes 30 seconds to open and then uses half my RAM, but nah, lets hate on FF. OSS is such an easy target too, seeing as most communication is done out in the open.

When chrome developers make closed source tools for flash that's fine, "It's all about business and they're a private corporation who can do what they want" but whenever the FF devs make any decision about anything they get criticized, and most of the people doing the criticisms are chrome users and people who swear by chrome for web development, but they seem to be the same people who completely ignore other web browsers as if chrome is all that matters. Back in the day we had to target all major browsers, now there's a group of people who have a major hard-on for chrome and don't give a shit about any other ecosystem and for some reason they think they're "good" programmers.

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