Will anything be done about pop-ups?

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Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Gingerbread Man » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:09 pm

  • Firefox still allows pop-ups from clicked links even after all these years.
  • Firefox still doesn't allow blacklisting sites for pop-ups.
  • Firefox still doesn't allow disabling pop-ups altogether.

Naturally, when dealing with ads of any kind, you turn to Adblock Plus and the filter subscription of your choice. Only to find that Adblock Plus can't do squat against pop-ups opened by inline scripts.

  • Greasemonkey scripts are not reliable. You have to find one from a trustworthy author, they become useless when the page code changes and they're often not updated, and things get really complicated when the site inserts elements after page load.
  • Pop-up Blocker Settings allows toggling pop-up settings globally, and has been my go-to extension for some time. In Firefox 4 however, blocking all pop-ups also means blocking the file picker window that should appear when uploading a file. So it's quasi-useless now. Not to mention that toggling the settings back and forth was a chore to begin with.
  • Inline HTML blocking has been considered for Adblock Plus, without any sort of conclusion.
  • There's the Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon from another author, which I have so far not installed.

Let me first say that I greatly appreciate the continued effort that goes into Adblock Plus. However, I currently have no less than 12 extensions that fix bugs, removed features and incomplete features in Firefox. I would really rather not have to also install an extension to fix a missing feature in another extension.

Is there something wrong with the approach used by Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon? Simply put, if that extension can do it, then why doesn't Adblock Plus block ads?
Gingerbread Man
 

Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby LorenzoC » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:31 pm

"I would really rather not have to also install an extension to fix a missing feature in another extension"
I don't have any installed extensions out of development tools on my "development" profile and ABP on my "default" profile.
The reason is I don't need those 12 extensions.
Then, if those extensions were merged into a single "monster extension", I would not need 11/12 of it.
I see things in the opposite direction: I prefer to have 12 separate extensions that are lean, mean and optimized for doing their job.
This way me and everybody else can configure Firefox for our own needs. Why should I have Greasemonkey merged with ABP if I don't need a tool for replacing inline Javascript?
LorenzoC
 

Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Hubird » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:34 pm

If you search the forums you will see Wladimir has said that basically the pop up blocking add-on relies on hacks (and that he does not want to have to work with hacks).
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Gingerbread Man » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:36 am

Hubird wrote:you will see Wladimir has said that basically the pop up blocking add-on relies on hacks (and that he does not want to have to work with hacks).

His stance on hacks is rather hard to discern:
Wladimir Palant wrote:chewey, what I am doing there is quite a hack and I don't want to have it in the main extension.

Do you have the link to the thread you mentioned, by any chance? I still get nothing relevant if I search for pop-up addon and variations. I even tried looking for messages containing hack posted by Wladimir Palant, which turned up the above gem, but not what I was interested in.
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Hubird » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:46 am

Sorry I don't have a link. Going from memory.
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby LorenzoC » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:12 pm

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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Adblock Plus Fan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:30 pm

Yeah, I agree it's a pretty frustrating issue. Firefox refuses to do anything for years, and the firefox fanboys will typically pretend it's not a problem and put the blame on you for visiting suspicious websites :mrgreen:

I realise you made this topic to ask Wladimir to integrate popup blocking. But if that doesn't happen, then this is the next best solution in my opinion, another excellent extension for popup blocking: viewtopic.php?p=41826#p41826

Short of changing to a new browser that is.
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Wladimir Palant » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:18 pm

I realize that pop-ups are an issue and users expect Adblock Plus to block them. This doesn't change the fact that currently there doesn't seem to be a proper way to deal with them. I can only integrate pop-up blocking in Adblock Plus if it is simple, otherwise it will be too much of a maintenance burden. Unfortunately, the approach used by the Pop-up Addon is everything but simple. Dr.Evil proposed a different one but it will make Adblock Plus detectable (and it only works in Firefox 4 anyway). So the current state of affairs is still that I would like to solve this and am considering any suggestions - but so far I don't see an acceptable solution. I'll need to take a close look at object proxies, maybe they allow hooking window.open() without becoming detectable, not sure. Other than that, it would help if somebody made the pop-up blocker in Firefox extensible. Johnny Stenback told me that he had plans in this direction - but he is a busy man.
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Gingerbread Man » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:39 pm

LorenzoC wrote:I guess it was this discussion:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6093&p=38033&hilit=pop+up+blocker#p38033

How odd. When I search for pop-ups — which appears several times in that thread — I get
No posts were found because the word pop-ups is not contained in any post.

But no matter. Thank you for the link.
Adblock Plus Fan wrote:I realise you made this topic to ask Wladimir to integrate popup blocking.

Not quite. I'm not a regular here, but from what I've seen in blog posts and this forum, Wladimir is always brainstorming and thinking up new improvements. So I wondered if there are any promising leads on the pop-up/pop-under issue.
Thank you for the suggestion, but I don't see an advantage in installing the Redirector extension over the Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon extension.
Wladimir Palant wrote:Unfortunately, the approach used by the Pop-up Addon is everything but simple. Dr.Evil proposed a different one but it will make Adblock Plus detectable (and it only works in Firefox 4 anyway).

Does Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon make Adblock Plus detectable, or is the hackish and complex implementation its only downside?
Wladimir Palant wrote:it would help if somebody made the pop-up blocker in Firefox extensible.

I'm not sure how likely that is to happen, from a development point of view. From my user's perspective, Firefox lacks a blacklist for the pop-up blocker, so the addition of a more complex feature doesn't seem likely.

Thank you.
Gingerbread Man
 

Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Wladimir Palant » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Gingerbread Man wrote:I'm not sure how likely that is to happen, from a development point of view. From my user's perspective, Firefox lacks a blacklist for the pop-up blocker, so the addition of a more complex feature doesn't seem likely.

It is actually less complex - it doesn't require any user interface (that's usually the most complicated part), only a way for extensions to hook into the pop-up blocker. All the logic and all the UI should be in the extension - no reason why it shouldn't be implemented, if somebody takes the time.
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:50 pm

Wladimir Palant wrote:It is actually less complex [...] no reason why it shouldn't be implemented, if somebody takes the time.

I suppose that's some comfort. Though unless I'm missing something, current top priorities consist mostly of integrating more Mozilla add-ons and adding more special effects to the interface.
wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Features_List#Firefox

Any comment on whether or not Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon makes Adblock Plus detectable?
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Wladimir Palant » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:23 pm

Firefox (browser user interface) development and Gecko (platform the browser is built on) development are two different things, with two different teams being responsible. Adding pop-up blocker API falls into the responsibility of the Gecko development team.

The Pop-Up Add-on is probably not detectable though I didn't really check.
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Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Gingerbread Man » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:07 am

So, in a nutshell, the situation isn't entirely hopeless, just 99% hopeless ;)

Thank you for the replies.
Gingerbread Man
 

Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby LorenzoC » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:26 am

There is always the "nuke" option.
For example you go in about:config and delete "click" from the "allowed DOM events" list.
The bad side effect is links don't work any more on pages unless you right click over them and you opt for "open link in a new tab".
But on the good side you don't see any pop-up opening.
LorenzoC
 

Re: Will anything be done about pop-ups?

Postby Ares2 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:46 pm

LorenzoC wrote:There is always the "nuke" option.
For example you go in about:config and delete "click" from the "allowed DOM events" list.
The bad side effect is links don't work any more on pages unless you right click over them and you opt for "open link in a new tab".
But on the good side you don't see any pop-up opening.

Congratulations, that must be officially the worst of the over 9000 solutions to the popup-problem out there aside from killing the browser itself. :mrgreen:
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