I discovered that the NoScript addon (which they haven’t killed – so far) will block auto-refresh. The bad news is that it blocks many, many other script-based functions. You can disable individual blocked scripts, but it is a real pain. A Firefox addon “Refresh Blocker” would be much better.
The best solution would be for Firefox to stop killing addons. They have been doing this for a few years and each update renders Firefox less and less usable. Too bad, so sad. I have been using Firefox since its inception (named Phoenix which was a fork of Netscape as I recall) and I still prefer it over all the other browsers, BUT, it has to be a fully functional application in order to be useful tool.
Enjoy your travels and please keep me appraised on your Firefox API progress.