Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Experimental Safari Content Blocking support · 2016-05-18 14:54 by Dave Barker

With Safari 9 Apple announced support for Content Blocking Extensions, with the aim of providing a more efficient way for Safari extensions to block adverts. (At the same time they announced the depreciation of the old method Safari extensions use to block adverts, implying it is likely to be removed from future Safari versions.) Since then we have been working on adding experimental Content Blocking support to Adblock Plus (issue 3687). It will be available as of Adblock Plus 1.12 for Safari and is now in the developments builds as of 1.11.0.1602.

Content Blocking can be enabled from the options page for supported versions of Adblock Plus and Safari:

Safari Content Blocking experimental option

But wait! Before you give it a try, here are some things you should know:

  • Safari disables the old method we use to block adverts when Content Blocking is enabled. This means that after disabling Content Blocking you will need to restart Safari.
  • To support Content Blocking we translate Adblock Plus filters to Content Blocking rules. While we’re working to improve this it is still a fairly slow process, you may notice a small delay when enabling Content Blocking or when adjusting your filters and subscriptions. (Each change causes the Content Blocking rules to be regenerated.)
  • Adblock Plus filters do not translate perfectly to Content Blocking rules, which means that some filters simply won’t work at all and some other filters may not work exactly as before.
  • Safari 9 has a limit of 50,000 Content Blocking rules, causing an error to be shown when exceeded: “Extension compilation failed: Too many rules in JSON array.”. If you see this error try disabling some filter list subscriptions. We are working to further compress the Content Blocking rules generated and also hope that Apple will increase this limit in future versions of Safari.

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