How are supported applications chosen for Adblock Plus? · 2010-02-11 19:30 by Wladimir Palant
It is time to formalize how I choose which applications/application versions to support in Adblock Plus. There are several categories here:
- Applications with very high user numbers (particularly with high numbers of users testing Adblock Plus development builds): that’s currently only Firefox. Supporting multiple application versions is possible, bugs will usually be caught by the community before an Adblock Plus release. Still, once a Firefox version gets close to end-of-life (Mozilla will no longer ship security updates) its user numbers drop considerably and it gets harder to get Adblock Plus properly tested there. Which is one reason why I am targeting mostly the versions supported by Mozilla (currently Firefox 3.5 and 3.6) and drop support for outdated versions eventually (Firefox 3.0 support is currently being phased out).
- Popular Mozilla-based applications: that’s currently Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. Here the idea is to support the versions that correspond with supported Firefox versions (that’s currently Thunderbird 3.0 and SeaMonkey 2.0 which both correspond to Firefox 3.5). However, if two versions are very different and supporting both is complicated I will most likely support only the latest version — any complicated solution is error-prone which is dangerous given that Adblock Plus is less tested with these applications.
- Applications with trivial porting effort: that’s Songbird and Prism currently, supporting them basically requires adding an overlay file. Only latest version will be supported, more applications (like Wyzo) can be added if somebody asks me to — but it certainly speeds things up if that somebody starts with the implementation. And it is of course essential that users of that application report bugs, otherwise broken functionality will simply go unnoticed.
- Applications with high porting effort: e.g. Fennec and K-Meleon, their user interface requires a very different approach. The rule here: I’m not going to do it. If you want them supported you should give me some code. And even then I will think twice whether I want be the one to maintain it.
- Applications not based on Mozilla’s Gecko engine: forget it, I am not writing Adblock Plus from scratch just to support your favorite browser (be it Chrome or Safari or Opera or Internet Explorer). And even if somebody gives me the code — I am not going to maintain two unrelated projects. This asks for an independent project and in fact, there are already independent projects to implement ad blocking for all of these browsers.
Just a reminder: Adblock Plus source code is open for everybody and I am happily accepting patches.
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