Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Forward compatibility of filters [Done] · 2013-02-04 09:31 by Wladimir Palant

Done, this proposal has been implemented as of 2013-07-08.

Current state

A small number of our users stays on outdated Adblock Plus versions forever, e.g. 0.5% are still on Adblock Plus 0.7.* (mostly 0.7.5.5). There are similar numbers for Adblock Plus 1.3.10 which is the last version that can be installed on PowerPC Macs by regular means. Outdated versions create issues for filter list authors who don’t want to cause breakage for these users and have to use backwards-compatible filters like foo$popup,image,~image instead of just foo$popup. This is largely because Adblock Pus simply ignores unknown filter options.

Goal

Eliminate the need for backwards-compatible filters in future, so even when the current Adblock Plus version becomes outdated it will no longer have trouble with new filters.

Proposal

  • Instead of ignoring unknown filter options, ignore filters using such options. This should be a better forward-compatibility approach in the long term. It will also eliminate the need for the special handling of the $donottrack option.
  • For the scenarios where this isn’t enough, send Adblock Plus version to the server when updating filter subscriptions. As an extreme measure, the server can give a different version of the file to people with outdated Adblock Plus versions.

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Comment [1]

  1. snapper · 2013-03-11 05:51 · #

    Just checked and I am using 1.3.10 in Fx 3.5.16 on debian 6.0.7 (squeeze). This being the latest stable release of the linux distro. Not having a more recent copy in the repository, I downloaded Fx18 from the Fx website, but was presented with a folder of files I don’t know what to do with (I was expecting a .deb file).

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