Disable “New Tab Page” and “Smooth Scrolling” in FireFox

I really like FireFox 13+, it’s converging more and more towards Chrome(ium), with some neat details that will get into future versions of Chrome(ium).

Yet, there are two things I don’t like (just as I didn’t like them in Chrome) – the “new tab page” (“most visited”) and “smooth scrolling”.
“Smooth scroll” has been round for some time, but off by default. Now it’s on.

To get rid of both:

  • Open a new tab.
  • Type in about:config as URL. This will open FireFox’s geeky configuration. Accept responsibility for editing this stuff when opening for the first time.
  • Type newtabpage under “Search”, and double-click the “browser.newtabpage.enabled“; it will turn bold and it’s value (on the far right) will change to “false“. This will disable the “new tab page” – you can immediately check this by opening a new tab – it should be again charmingly empty.
  • Type smooth under “Search”, and double-click the “general.smoothScroll“; this will disable the smooth scrolling. Again, you can immediately check it out.

There are literally hundreds of settings under about:config that can change all of FireFox’s behaviour, up to breaking it inadvertently. Feel free to click around! 😉

Final rant – what the hell is going on with the version numbers? There are no more v4.5, or v4.5.2… FireFox and Chrome just switched to single digit versioning… AFAIC, they can call it “whatever is current version”, or just vInfinity…
IMO, it lowers the meaning of versioning per se – there is a reason for the minor (and subminor, …) versions – it means it’s essentially the same thing, with some improvements.
E.g. Chrome’s v16 – “multiple profiles on by default” is the major change… Or “style editor” in FireFox v11… that’s like saying that “cup holder made of aluminium instead of plastic” makes it a new model of a car!