Will the old "Block Element" functionality ever be restored?

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

Will the old "Block Element" functionality ever be restored?

Postby Aquillion » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:34 am

I understand why it happened, but the 3.0 update catastrophically damaged the Firefox extension's Block Element functionality - the incredibly powerful, versatile system that gave us a complete overview of the document structure and allowed us to carefully write filters based on that has been replaced with a worthless placeholder-stub of a thing that just has a single text box and no useful information. The degradation in quality was severe enough that I delayed updating Firefox for months in hopes that the Block Element input would be brought somewhere close to where it was before, but it doesn't seem to have progressed at all.

Are we going to get something comparable to the pre-3.0 Block Element / Element Hiding Helper interface, or is it just gone forever? Even though I understand the changes to Firefox that made it necessary, it's still honestly a bit shocking to me that a tool I use so often could degrade so sharply in quality over the course of a single update.
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Re: Will the old "Block Element" functionality ever be restored?

Postby greiner » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:01 pm

The legacy version of the Block Element feature (incl. Element Hiding Helper) had quite a lot of functionality in it so could you narrow it down to the most important parts of it you'd like us to reintroduce in the current version?

We are working on getting many of the old features back into the new version. Improving the Block Element feature is on that list but it'll take some time. Currently, our focus is on custom filter management and on the issue reporter to help out filter list authors.
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Re: Will the old "Block Element" functionality ever be restored?

Postby Aquillion » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:07 am

Hmm. The main parts were:

1. Being able to see the entire document tree leading to the element I selected, and pick each part of it to add or adjust what parts of that node are used in the filter.

2. Previewing what my filter will do as I'm doing this, so I can tell if I'm making it overly-broad or overly-narrow.
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Re: Will the old "Block Element" functionality ever be restored?

Postby greiner » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:44 pm

Thanks, that's very helpful.
I'll prepare everything so that we can start working on it. Fortunately, there's already an element highlighting functionality we can reuse for that because it's currently only used for highlighting elements based on the filters the extension suggests.

Update: You can follow the progress regarding its design on https://gitlab.com/eyeo/spec/issues/140
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