Summer Project: Firefox Plugin to Override Window.Alert

When I don’t have work to do, I get antsy.

And right now, I’ve got no work to do.

So I’ve come up with a project for myself:  remember how I created a Firefox Plugin a few months back?  I’d like to make another one – but this one will actually serve a useful purpose.

Have you ever been to a page that suddenly started spewing window.alert boxes at you?

If you haven’t, open up Firebug, and paste this into the console:

for(i = 0; i < 10; ++i){ alert(i); }

Now imagine if instead of 10 alert boxes, it spewed hundreds…or thousands….or god forbid, it uses a while(true) loop, and throws infinity alert boxes at you.

It totally cripples Firefox. It’s a super simple browser DoS attack.

Mozilla knows this, but so far, no solution except for killing the Firefox process, or disabling Javascript manually, or with NoScript (a plugin that I highly recommend).

Google Chrome has solved this problem by providing a checkbox on alert dialogs that allow a user to disable future popups from the current site.

Cool.  I want Firefox to have the same feature.

So, this summer, I’m going to try to build a Firefox Plugin that will override the standard window.alert function, with one that provides a checkbox, letting the user disable future alerts.

I don’t even know if this is possible, but I’m looking into it.

I’ll blog my research and progress as I go along, and share my code / final plugin when it’s all finished (or when I abandon it…hey, it happens).

So stay tuned.

One thought on “Summer Project: Firefox Plugin to Override Window.Alert

  1. David Wolever

    Wow, I think you will win an (albeit small) part of The Internet (and my heart) if you do that. Better yet, if you could get rid of the whole “pop up” thing entirely… Is there a reason not to just do a lightbox-esque overlay on the page?

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