Newsletter for subscription authors #1: Adblock Plus 1.3 and beyond · 2010-11-09 17:16 by Wladimir Palant
This mail provides important information for filter subscription authors about Adblock Plus 1.3, changes expected in Adblock Plus 1.4 release and Firefox 4.
Why am I getting this?
Your email address is listed as the contact address for at least one of the filter subscriptions on the Adblock Plus subscriptions list. This is usually because you used this email address when you asked us to add your subscription to the list. In the past we have been using this email address to contact you on issues, this is the first time you are contacted to notify you about changes — and it should stay a rare occasion. However, you will now also receive issue reports to this address (see below).
If you wish to change the contact address for your filter subscription (e.g. to a mailing list address — if multiple people are contributing) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This mail will go to the people responsible for managing the list of subscriptions (currently Michael and Eitan).
If you do not wish to receive anything from us please contact email@example.com about removing your filter subscription from the Adblock Plus subscriptions list. Please have understanding that we cannot leave your subscription listed if you don’t want to receive this information — we think that this information is essential if you want to provide a good service for your users.
New in Adblock Plus 1.3: the issue reporter
It is a common issue that users reporting filter problems by email or in forums fail to provide enough information — if they report it at all. In order to make this simpler Adblock Plus 1.3 has a new “issue reporter”. The user can click the ABP icon and select “Report issue on this page”. The wizard will collect all the necessary information and send a report. So far these reports are only stored on reports.adblockplus.org, but the goal is to get them to the people responsible.
Soon you will start receiving mails listing the reports concerning your filter subscription. By default it will be a weekly mail listing all reports in the past 7 days. If you wish more frequent notifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org about switching your subscription to daily mails.
Please note that not all the reports will be useful, this is unavoidable. If you notice a common issue that people are having with the reports system, or some piece of data that would make the reports more useful — please start a discussion in the Adblock Plus forum. Feel free to also suggest better ways to group/sort reports in the digests you receive.
The new system also allows giving immediate feedback for known problems. If there is a known problem with your subscription, please publish all the necessary information on the web (e.g. problem description, steps to fix the issue or work around it). Then send a link to this description to email@example.com as well as instructions on how to recognize reports concerning this problem (e.g. “Reported site is foo.example.com”). Please also remember to notify us once the problem is resolved.
Performance improvements in Adblock Plus 1.4 and impact on subscriptions
Adblock Plus 1.4 will speed up filter processing. This change will have a side-effect: the criteria for “fast” filters will change. The current rule is: a filter is fast if it has a minimal length (8 characters that aren’t broken up by any special characters are required). The new rule will be: a filter is fast if it contains at least one keyword. A keyword consists of at least three characters (letters, digits or %). There needs to be a separator at both ends of a keyword (a character that is not a letter, digit or %; an anchor: | or ||; separator placeholder: ^). Some examples:
||foo/bar^also contains keywords
*foo/bar*contains no keyword —
foolacks a separator at the start while bar lacks one at the end.
Some filter subscriptions won’t need to change at all. Others however use filters like
*120x240* — these should be changed anyway because they are prone to false positives (like preventing searching “120×240” on Google). You will soon be able to test the new algorithm with an Adblock Plus development build, please follow the development build announcements (expected to be ready for testing this week). Once that development build is out, install it and go into Adblock Plus preferences — all filters considered slow with the new algorithm will be marked as such. If a few filters cannot be made fast — that’s ok as long as they aren’t too many.
Firefox 4: Changed handling of the style attribute
Firefox 4 isn’t out yet, but you can get a beta version from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/beta/ (your current Firefox version doesn’t need to be replaced, simply choose a different installation directory). There is an important change that affects element hiding rules using the
style attribute: Firefox will no longer “rewrite” the value of the
style attribute. For example, if this is the webpage source:
<div style="border:1px solid #000">
Firefox 3.6 will correct the
style attribute into
border: 1px solid rgb(0, 0, 0); (added a space before
1px, a semicolon at the end and changed the color into its
rgb() form). So you would write an element hiding rule as
##div[style="border: 1px solid rgb(0, 0, 0);"]. This element hiding rule no longer works in Firefox 4 because there the
style attribute is left unchanged. So you will need a second rule:
##div[style="border:1px solid #000"]. Unfortunately, you will need two versions of all element hiding rules using the
style attribute, at least until Firefox 3.6 is no longer supported.
Commenting is closed for this article.