Reintroducing the $ping filter option · 2015-12-23 16:59 by Sebastian Noack

Historically, there has been the $ping filter option in Adblock Plus, to limit request blocking filters to the URL given by the ping attribute on links. When such a link is clicked, the browser sends a request to that URL in the background. This technique is mostly useful for tracking. However, it has never been enabled by default in Firefox. Therefore, with Adblock Plus 2.0, $ping got deprecated and merged into $other.

But recently navigator.sendBeacon() got introduced, which is basically the JavaScript equivalent of the ping HTML attribute. And it is enabled by default. Moreover, on Chrome, <a ping> is supported by default too. And starting with Chrome 49, it’s possible to distinguish these requests from others.

Therefore, we are reintroducing the $ping filter option (issue 3452). Starting with Adblock Plus 2.7.0.4099 for Firefox and 1.9.4.1508 for Chrome/Opera, filters using the $ping option will only match requests that are either caused by <a ping> or by navigator.sendBeacon(). Note that the filter option $other won’t match these requests anymore.

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New CSS property filter syntax · 2015-12-16 17:42 by Dave Barker

We have created a new element hiding rule syntax which allows for the matching of elements based upon the rules applied to them from any stylesheets1. The new syntax is available now in development builds of Adblock Plus for Chrome, Opera and Safari as of 1.9.4.1500 and will be released early next year in version 1.10. Support in Adblock Plus for Firefox is under development and will follow.

This is an advanced and experimental feature that is still subject to change.

“the matching of elements based upon the rules applied to them from any stylesheets.” is quite a mouthful! What does that mean?

Well let’s say there’s a webpage https://example.com/example.html that has the following stylesheet:

.foobar {
  width: 32px;
}

…and the following HTML fragment somewhere in the page:

<div class="foobar"><p>Hello world</p></div>

You could write a CSS property based element hiding rule to hide the div like this:

example.com##[-abp-properties='width: 32px;']

Wildcards are also supported, so any of these would work as well:

example.com##[-abp-properties='width: *px;']
example.com##[-abp-properties='*: 32px;']
example.com##[-abp-properties='width: 3*px;']

They can also be combined with selector matching. This rule would hide just the child paragraph tag:

example.com##[-abp-properties='width: 32px;'] > p

Syntactically they are just like normal element hiding rules, the magic is in the special -abp-properties “attribute”2. Its value is checked against any rules from all stylesheets that apply to the element. For our examples the property width: 32px; of the rule in our stylesheet does match and so the element is hidden.

That all seems pretty convoluted, why couldn’t we just write a rule that matched for the foobar class directly?

It’s true that in the previous example we could have matched the foobar class much more easily with a rule like this:

example.com##.foobar

The problem is that there is not always an easy way to match elements with a standard selector. Some websites have started to randomize their page structure in an attempt to circumvent ad blockers. The new CSS property filters should empower filter authors to hide adverts consisting of dynamically generated HTML and CSS as long as some of the values and/or properties of applied CSS rules are predictable.

Caution! CSS property filters are slower than normal filters and will slow down the page they are applied on. They must always be restricted to a domain and should only be used as a last resort.

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1 As originally given in the stylesheet. Not to be confused with computed styles as shown by the inspector.

2 Actually for older versions of Adblock Plus that don’t yet support CSS property filters this rule really will be interpreted as matching elements with a matching -abp-properties attribute. This way filter lists can contain CSS property filters whilst still being otherwise backwards-compatible with versions of Adblock Plus that don’t support them yet.

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Adblock Plus 1.9.4 for Chrome, Opera and Safari released · 2015-11-24 13:05 by Dave Barker

Install Adblock Plus 1.9.4 for Chrome
Install Adblock Plus 1.9.4 for Opera
Install Adblock Plus 1.9.4 for Safari (Safari 6 or higher required)

This update contains the new $generichide and $genericblock filter options and some bug fixes.

Changes

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New filter options $generichide and $genericblock · 2015-11-17 12:18 by Dave Barker

We have added two new filter options, $generichide and $genericblock which are already available in development builds and will be included in Adblock Plus 2.6.12 for Firefox and 1.9.4 for Chrome, Opera & Safari. They allow exception rules to be written that disable generic hiding or blocking rules for a given website whilst leaving site-specific rules intact.

This is an experimental feature that is still subject to change.

Some websites detect Adblock Plus by testing whether a certain generic rule is in effect. For example, if a file called “ads.js” isn’t loaded they might guess that the client is blocking adverts. The new options have been added to give filter authors more power to combat this, they provide a simple way to disable all generic rules for any websites that are found to be using this technique.

Here is an example rule that will disable generic hiding rules for the website adblockplus.org: @@||adblockplus.org^$generichide.

What counts as a generic rule? Currently, we define a generic rule as one that either applies to all domains, or all domains with a few exceptions. As long as a filter contains at least one domain or sitekey to match we consider it to be specific.
(Note that by this definition the blocking rule ||example.com^ is generic whereas */ads/*$domain=example.com is site-specific.)

Support for other platforms such as Internet Explorer is still in progress.

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Adblock Plus 1.9.3 for Chrome, Opera and Safari release · 2015-09-22 17:23 by Thomas Greiner

Install Adblock Plus 1.9.3 for Chrome
Install Adblock Plus 1.9.3 for Opera
Install Adblock Plus 1.9.3 for Safari (Safari 6 or higher required)

This update contains mostly improvements to notifications based on feedback from previous tests.

Changes

Chrome-only changes

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Adblock Plus 1.9.1 for Chrome, Opera and Safari released · 2015-07-14 17:41 by Thomas Greiner

Install Adblock Plus 1.9.1 for Chrome
Install Adblock Plus 1.9.1 for Opera
Install Adblock Plus 1.9.1 for Safari (Safari 6 or higher required)

Changes

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Adblock Plus 1.9 for Chrome, Opera and Safari released · 2015-06-16 14:30 by Sebastian Noack

Install Adblock Plus 1.9 for Chrome
Install Adblock Plus 1.9 for Opera
Install Adblock Plus 1.9 for Safari (Safari 6 or higher required)

Changes

Chrome/Opera-only changes

Chrome-only changes

Opera-only changes

Safari-only changes

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Suppressing the first-run page on Chrome · 2015-04-20 17:18 by Sebastian Noack

We’ve been asked by system administrators who want to deploy Adblock Plus on their network for a way to disable the first-run page.

This is now possible with Adblock Plus for Chrome. The current Adblock Plus development build, 1.8.12.1419, and the upcoming release, 1.9, can be configured by extension policies to suppress the first-run page.

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Adblock Plus 1.8.12 for Chrome, Opera and Safari released · 2015-03-10 20:41 by Sebastian Noack

Install Adblock Plus 1.8.12 for Chrome
Install Adblock Plus 1.8.12 for Opera
Install Adblock Plus 1.8.12 for Safari (Safari 6 or higher required)

Changes

Chrome/Opera-only changes

Opera-only changes

Safari-only changes

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Changing “Block element” dialog behavior on Chrome, Opera and Safari · 2015-03-05 12:11 by Sebastian Noack

We’ve just fixed some conceptual issues with the “Block element” functionality in Adblock Plus as available from the icon menu and the context menu on Chrome, Opera and Safari. This feature lets you select an element on the current page and generate filters to block it.

These changes are now visible in the development builds as of Adblock Plus 1.8.11.1386, and will be included in the upcoming release of Adblock Plus 1.8.12, planned for next Tuesday on March 10, 2015.

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