COMBUSTING REYNARD BROWSER Firefox is turning its bin-diving eye to the scourge of notifications that pop-up when you're trying to surf.
The Mozilla Foundation, along with the open-source community, has been exploring how such a scheme would work for several months and has confirmed that it has a plan to roll out in Firefox version 72, due for release in early 2020.
The problem of notification spam has been getting steadily worse since the advent of pop-ups which invite you to subscribe to pop-ups updating you on the latest postings on that site. These only arrived in Firefox 44, and it feels a bit like Pandora's box has exploded.
After looking at the way that Firefox users interact with such messages, it was found that 97 per cent either ignored them or selected the option to block the notifications.
Under the new system, the notifications will be replaced by an icon appearing in the address bar to warn you that there's something to see. If you click on it, then and only then will you see what the notification says.
In other words, if you're not looking for it, you can happily go about your business without a feeling of FOMO.
Of course, there are lots of perfectly justifiable reasons for sending a notification, and the one thing that this doesn't do is differentiate between spammy ones and useful ones. The solution is to only display notifications that are based on some sort of user interaction. With one out of every 60 notifications currently being read, there's an argument that by weeding out the fluff, the important stuff will become more visible, and hopefully more actioned.
As a stepping stone, starting in the current version of Firefox, the 'Not Now' box for notifications has been changed to ‘Never', effectively blocking them for that site.
Anyone who just can't wait for Firefox 72 in January 2020 can check out the new system now - it's already appearing in Nightly Builds. µ
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