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OhhhhhFFs. Oafs. What happened to Firefox? Not surprising its market share has crumbled away, there’s so much wrong with it since about version 18 (or 5?) . . . seems now there is no longer any option to really set the default encoding recognition to UTF-8, which means FF can’t be made to work as a convenient tool to view plain page fragments any more — unless you’re a Windows-using American, addressing only that part of the domestic Anglo audience which has never had any exposure to either traditional typography or emoticons, to take two examples. How many of that remainder can even read ASCII I couldn’t say, but that’s the market segment Mozilla are catering to here.

Apparently this default is now set in Gecko, and so can’t be changed in FF about:config. You could recompile it, presumably, if you really wanted to. Oh, and adding a BOM doesn’t trigger recognition, and the menu option retains the UTF-8 setting on reload even though the display is mojibake — not interpreted as requested. And changing locale doesn’t make any difference.

Seriously, Mozilla, if you don’t want people to be able to view fragments and text files, don’t allow FF to open anything without an HTML header. Then your project can just die off quietly and you can all go home and find something useful to do.  <angry dinosaur emoticon placeholder>

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