Firefox Popup-Window Titlebar Fixer

Firefox Popup-Window Titlebar Fixer

Problem

Firefox has a "feature" whereby popup-windows that have the location-bar or tab-bar removed (minimal chrome), will prepend the page’s domain-name to the titlebar. This clutters the titlebar and pushes the actual page title off which is extremely inconveneint.

Unfortunately there is no way to turn off this function and worse, the Mozilla developers refuse to provide any options for users to control this; they’ve taken on a very Google attitude and deny users the choice, they decide for us. 😒 This isn’t good because web-applciations are the standard now and being able to have them run in a popup window outside of the main browser with minimal browser-chrome is essential these days, and actually being able to see the title is necessary (imagine if every window in the OS prepended a long string and pushed the program’s title out of sight).

We’ve taken the liberty to write a program to patch Firefox to disable this "feature". It would have been much better if the developers had provided users with the ability to whitelist sites like you can with cookies and other permissions, or at the very least, provide a global toggle in the about:config page (there are plenty of advanced options in there that could expose users to security threats, so their excuse that this is for security is specious ¬_¬).

Solution

The program looks for Firefox installations then patches browser\omni.ja to remove (comment out) the JavaScript code that prepends the domain to the titlebar if the window doesn’t have the location bar shown. It’s not ideal, and the checksum in the archive no longer matches, but it works just fine and has no other side-effects. You’ll need to re-patch the file every time Firefox is updated, but it’s worth it.

(Currently it only runs on Windows, but may be ported to Mac and *nix in the future.)

Downloads

Download fixFirefox

Usage

Just run the program and it will find and patch all Firefox installations, or you can specify one or more paths where Firefox installations are located to patch those instead (specifying a path will disable automatically searching for Firefox in standard locations; you can run it twice to do both).

Make sure Firefox is not running before running the patch.

fixFirefox [[/? | /h] | /u] [path1] [path2] ...

    -?|-h   Display this usage information
    -u      Undo the patch and restore the 'browser\omni.ja' file
            if backup file is not found, manually revert the patch
    path... The location of a Firefox installation(s) to patch
            specifying paths prevents searching default locations

Screenshots

Firefox popup window with domain-name prepended to titlebar
Firefox popup window with domain-name prepended to titlebar
Firefox popup window without domain-name prepended to titlebar
Firefox popup window without domain-name prepended to titlebar

One thought to “Firefox Popup-Window Titlebar Fixer”

  1. NB:

    As of Firefox 76, it is no longer possible completely remove all browser chrome from popup windows, which means that Firefox is no longer viable for neat and tidy web-apps that don’t waste precious screen space like a video window (as seen in the screenshots).

    I have posted a bug-report about this, but apparently it wasn’t a bug, it was a (poorly thought-out, short-sighted, and narrow-minded) decision. Their argument is that it can be risky, but that’s true of everything, including access to cameras, reading files, viewing your location, and so on. They don’t remove those, they just provide permissions and access-lists to let users select which sites can do what. This should be the same. I’ve made this argument before in regards to prepending the URL to the titlebar, but they just act like Chrome devs and ignore feedback and insist on doing things their own way and treating popups as somehow different and more dangerous than other things. 🙄

    Before giving up and resigning myself to having to stay with Firefox 75 and no longer updating (since there are no good alternative browsers to switch too), I did respond and stated my case.

    It looks like maybe I was persuasive enough that they are actually looking at it instead of just shutting it all down as “wontfix”. Here’s hoping they decide to allow chrome-less browser windows so that Firefox can be a useful browser for web-apps and the future of the Internet. 🤞

    If you care about this, consider chiming in at the bug-reports.

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