Adblock Plus on the crossroads · 2006-12-21 15:09 by Wladimir Palant
Now that Adblock Plus has reached a certain level of maturity and made it to rank 1 by downloads on AMO, there is a question about how it should be developed further. Incremental improvements will continue of course, there are still nice things to be added (the ability to unblock immediately above all). But Adblock Plus has reached a point where it already has most of the features that the general public needs. Most new features will become available as separate extensions.
I hope to show a first development build of the Element Hiding Helper soon. This extension will incorporate some code from the Aardvark extension to allow you easily select the element on the page that should be hidden. Once this is done a dialog window will allow you to choose the parameters by which this element should be recognized (domain, tag name, attributes, in advanced mode attributes of surrounding nodes and custom CSS expressions as well). It will generate an element hiding rule and add it to your list automatically.
Other extensions on my plan are Share Your Adblock List (somebody is writing the server part for it at the moment, and hopefully some of the code from Adblock Plus Filter Uploader can be reused) and Filter List Optimizer (should provide the functionality of redundancy checker and deregifier in a more comfortable way, also add a way to test the performance of the list).
- These binary modules would need to be compiled on at least 3 different platforms for each release.
- The extension would contain at least 3 versions of the same code (binary modules for each platform).
- Adblock Plus would loose some of it openness since it would ship with binary modules might be compiled from their source code in the Adblock Plus CVS — or not.
After thinking through it, I decided that this should not be done. However, maybe I can push the same code into Gecko, ideally Gecko 1.9 so that Firefox 3 will have it already. It would replace the current image manager that can block images already but isn’t as powerful as Adblock Plus, thus solving the conflict between the two (users keep blocking with the image manager and blaming Adblock Plus for not being able to remove the filter). As a part of Gecko it would also receive proper review, and many issues would be caught immediately (Adblock Plus attaches to a very sensitive part of Gecko, so these issues are not uncommon). The user interface would stay an extension so that the legal and moral aspect of this would not yet be a problem.
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