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04: Firefox Frustrations: Download dialogue delay (OK greyed out until timeout expires)

2020-07-04 11:16

Tags: firefox mozilla disablity frustration Location: home

Today I got fed up with having to hold my arms up needlessly waiting for software to run out a forced timer, causing myself additional pain and frustration.

For reference, I have a bulging disk in my cervical spine, and a host of other muscle/skeletal issues that stem from this. These issues make holding my arms up even to type or use a mouse quite painful and time-sensitive: the longer I do it the more pain I cause myself, and the more quickly I must disengage from the activity. The longer I push this and ignore it, the longer it takes to recover to the point I can resume these activities at all.

The final straw for me this morning was downloading csv and calendar exports for my weekly backups. The delay meant that for each of the many downloads I had to do in series, I had to hold my arms up an additional 3 or so seconds that were completely unnecessary. This turned what should have been a moment or two worth of pain into almost five minutes.

Indistinguishable from Jesse has a blog post from some time in 2004 or so that details the reason for this race condition in security dialogs. As someone who uses Firefox on Android and i3-wm only, the likelihood of a trick modal being placed precisely enough to allow someone trying to use it to attack me is impossibly low. If they even managed to appear at all: I rarely allow Javascript to run on sites in the first place (I find the things it is typically used for abhorrent). In addition, my ability to respond to the dialogues quickly enough also adds an additional layer of protection, meaning this "possible edge case" is all but null and void for me. Even if it weren't, I've suffered this forced "timeout" long enough, I decided it was time to do something about it.

These kinds of changes are made daily in software and unfairly affect disabled users to a much greater degree. And certainly to a more serious degree than those who implement them can possibly imagine (or in a lot of cases care, as this example illustrates to me). This one finally frustrated me on a day when my pain levels were already intolerable, and I'm glad I took the time to resolve it.

Just because your fix is justified, Jesse/Mozilla, does not make this kind of solution reasonable.

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