FAQ - Adblock Plus Project

How is Adblock Plus related to Adblock?

The development of Adblock pretty much stopped in 2004. When more and more people demanded improvements Michael McDonald came up with Adblock Plus 0.5 — basically a version of Adblock with whitelisting, filter subscriptions and several other useful features.

This version of Adblock Plus was still based on Adblock, which set hard limits to improvements. Quality of Adblock being... shall we say... less than adequate a complete rewrite was desperately needed. That came with Adblock Plus 0.6 — a completely new extension with focus on being easy to use, stable and secure. For various reasons many enhancements from Adblock Plus 0.5 didn't make it into the original release of Adblock Plus 0.6 but this changed with Adblock Plus 0.6.1.

Michael McDonald, the developer of Adblock Plus 0.5, has changed to the Adblock project and is trying to develop it further now. For that reason starting with Adblock Plus 0.6 the main developer of Adblock Plus is me (Wladimir Palant).

Why is it so difficult to add an option for ...?

It isn't. But the "options for everything" approach has its consequences. I will simply quote Joel Spolsky on this:

Every time you provide an option, you're asking the user to make a decision.

Asking the user to make a decision isn't in itself a bad thing. Freedom of choice can be wonderful. People love to order espresso-based beverages at Starbucks because they get to make so many choices. Grande-half-caf-skim-mocha-Valencia-with-whip. Extra hot!

The problem comes when you ask them to make a choice that they don't care about. ... it's simply guaranteed to perplex and eventually piss off the user.

That doesn't mean that every single feature and customization option needs to be removed. But many of them are better off if they are not represented prominently in the user interface since most users won't need them.

Why is it so difficult to add a keyboard shortcut for ...?

It isn't. However, keyboard shortcuts in the browser window are shared space. It is impossible to use simple shortcuts — those are already taken by the browser. And even the more complicated Ctrl+Shift+Something shortcuts are used by many extensions. The more shortcut keys we use, the more likely we are going to get conflicts with other extensions. You are free to reconfigure the keyboard shortcuts however.

How can I help?

There is a number of ways how you could contribute to the Adblock Plus project: