Adblock Plus and (a little) more

How I "stole" the code that made Adblock a success · 2007-09-16 18:39 by Wladimir Palant

Update (2007-09-17): The author of these mails apologized to me — he seems to have confused me and rue. I don’t know whether rue has seen content policies being used in a different extension before he added them to Adblock, but the code he used was certainly mine.

Just wow… I got a mail from a fellow extension developer with some corrections to the History of Adblock. He notified me that his content blocker was first to use content policies and suggested that I correct the history. I declined because the history never claims that I was first when I came up with this concept in June 2003, I was (and still am) simply unaware of already existing implementations.

And that’s where things got weird. The next mail warned me that this developer will publish “proof” that I stole the code I used for Adblock. It seems that I installed an extension that was created for a government agency and “borrowed” the copyrighted code. Proof is web server logs from this government agency, and supposedly my ISP confirmed that the IP address there was mine. Since my ISP at that time was University of Bonn I find that rather hard to believe. Just a note: any IP address that doesn’t start with “131.220.” wasn’t mine.

And then there are supposedly logs from Mozilla’s IRC server where I asked about content policies on the following days. I am not sure, but I think I didn’t even use Mozilla’s IRC back then. And a note again: anybody not named “trev” is not me, I never used a different nick.

I find it just unbelievable that somebody can make such claims without having any real facts. Well, waiting for the “proof”...

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Comment [6]

  1. rick752 · 2007-09-16 19:40 · #

    ???
    Well now, that IS weird?
    Are you sure it is just not an opponent playing with your head? There have been some weird ‘goings on’ lately.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    No, he seems to believe what he says. Which only makes it weirder.

  2. chewey · 2007-09-16 20:52 · #

    Ah, so that’s what SCO is up to now.

  3. Michael · 2007-09-17 12:01 · #

    For whatever its worth Adblock Plus started as a collection of hacks that people had posted to the forums including whitelisting, so that can’t be attributed to me:
    http://aasted.org/adblock/viewtopic.php?t=1824

    The name Adblock Plus was chosen because a number of extensions used version numbers like 0.5+ to indicate their beta status. Which is how I viewed the builds compared to the “official” version since I never had permission to develop the code further.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I think you misunderstood – this is about events that happened way before Adblock Plus. Namely the transition from Adblock 0.3 (an extension that didn’t really block anything but was only hiding ads after the page finished loading) to Adblock 0.5 that already worked basically in the same way Adblock Plus does now.

  4. Michael · 2007-09-17 12:17 · #

    I know it was just a comment while we’re on the topic of the Adblock history that you wrote, which is why I started with for whatever its worth. I agree that this situation is a little weird though.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Oh, right. Yes, I guess I should correct this part of the text. I came back to Adblock when Adblock Plus was already beginning to gain momentum, so I didn’t see how it started.

  5. PCH · 2007-12-04 15:12 · #

    i don’t speak english…

    but…

    block images….

    i want … block .swf too!!!

    tanks
    and sorry my english

  6. Top Jogos · 2008-01-25 01:32 · #

    Adblock is definitely a great tool.

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