Feature Request: List blocked sources / fine grained GUI

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

Feature Request: List blocked sources / fine grained GUI

Postby crogonint » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:37 am

First off, thank you. I've been using this extension since.. geez, like Firefox 2.0?? I just don't trust the newer guys that say that they are better than you. For one thing one of them has a giant memory leak that I identified, presented to the developers, and they just ignored it. Even after like 20 other people verified it. So yeah, I don't trust those guys, so I'm still here.

The other issue, I'm sure you're aware of, is that ABP doesn't catch EVERYTHING anymore. That's ok. I'd rather it stay fast. I'm running like six blocking extensions now. I'm using the Brave Browser (chromium), so:
Brave's built-in blocker
ABP
Ghostery
Privacy Badger
DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentuals
Avast Online Security (only because Avast offered it)
a script cookie deleter

So here's the problem, and I've been putting up with it for a long long time, but it's getting on my last nerve. ABP has no fine grained control in the GUI. All of the other extensions:
1) List the sources that they are blocking
2) Provide fine grained control to unblock specific items
3) Some of them allow you to block/unblock sources per domain.
4) Most of them are MISSING the feature, allow the root domain, per domain.

ABP doesn't do any of that. It's making me nuts. So let's say, for example.. Brave, ABP, Privacy Badger and DuckDuckGo all report 3 item's blocked, and my page is broken. A quick peak shows me that they are all blocking cdn.domain.com on domain.com for some stupid reason. I go through and untick that source on all of them, and refresh the page...

Except in ABP. In ABP, I have no idea WHAT it's blocking, and I just have to disable ABP on that domain. This leaves me vulnerable if ABP is the only one blocking an item. WORSE, if I forget to re-enable it on that domain, I STAY vulnerable.

I'm sure you're terribly busy with more important stuff, but could we maybe get some of that stuff addressed?

Thanks again!
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Re: Feature Request: List blocked sources / fine grained GUI

Postby greiner » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:54 pm

crogonint wrote:First off, thank you. I've been using this extension since.. geez, like Firefox 2.0??


You're truly a veteran and I'm happy to hear that you've been staying with us for all these years.

crogonint wrote:The other issue, I'm sure you're aware of, is that ABP doesn't catch EVERYTHING anymore.


I'm sorry to hear but I appreciate your help. We're trying to encourage users to report any problems via the built-in issue reporter as well as filter authors to identify problems and create the necessary rules to fix them. Additionally, we're aggressively tackling Facebook's and other website's adblocker circumvention while making improvements to the performance and advocating for the user's control over their web experience.

The ad landscape has certainly become more competitive and more difficult to navigate around from both a technical as well as a legal perspective since Adblock Plus was created. That's also why, since the release of Adblock Plus 2.0 in 2011, we started our Acceptable Ads initiatve, our goal has moved from blocking everything to getting advertisers to create better ads by blocking everything that's unacceptable to users.

crogonint wrote:That's ok. I'd rather it stay fast. I'm running like six blocking extensions now. I'm using the Brave Browser (chromium), so:


Please be careful with using multiple ad blocking extensions at once. Not everything that can be blocked should be blocked. For example, ad blocking lists rely on certain resources not to be blocked in order to disable some circumvention or other techniques that rely on detecting adblockers. Pretty much all adblockers work the same way and suppor tthe same filter lists. Therefore it should be sufficient to use only one adblocker and configure it based on your needs. For example, in order to block everything on Adblock Plus, you can simply disable "Acceptable Ads" and enable "Block additional tracking" and "Block social media icons tracking". Additionally, you can find more to block at https://adblockplus.org/subscriptions.

Blocking anything more than that could easily break websites which may be why more aggressive adblockers feel the need to provide more in-depth tools for users to be able to fix those problems.

It's also worth mentioning that, generally, the more software you have installed, the more likely it is that one of them introduces a security vulnerability or even malware. Therefore I'd strongly recommend to use only one extension for each purpose.

crogonint wrote:So here's the problem, and I've been putting up with it for a long long time, but it's getting on my last nerve. ABP has no fine grained control in the GUI. All of the other extensions:
1) List the sources that they are blocking
2) Provide fine grained control to unblock specific items
3) Some of them allow you to block/unblock sources per domain.
4) Most of them are MISSING the feature, allow the root domain, per domain.


It may help to start with some background. Our goal is to provide the best possible out-of-the-box experience so that the adblocker just works without the user having to fiddle with any settings because, as I mentioned above, websites tend to break when blocking too aggressively. That then requires more and more effort by the user to figure out how to fix it which most people don't want/are unable to do for various reasons.

However, you're certainly right that, to those who want/need to have this more fine-grained control, we should not just provide the ability to do so (e.g. we currently provide the ability for debugging via issue reports, the Adblock Plus developer tools panel, and support for any custom filters) but we should also expose those capabilities in an accessible and easy-to-use way.

Therefore thanks for providing this list. I assume that each of them you find useful for different reasons so it would be helpful to know what the problems are you're encountering and how those controls help you resolve those problems. Because with that information, we can better assess how useful it could be to both tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy users and how we can improve on what other adblockers provide.

crogonint wrote:ABP doesn't do any of that. It's making me nuts. So let's say, for example.. Brave, ABP, Privacy Badger and DuckDuckGo all report 3 item's blocked, and my page is broken. A quick peak shows me that they are all blocking cdn.domain.com on domain.com for some stupid reason. I go through and untick that source on all of them, and refresh the page...

Except in ABP. In ABP, I have no idea WHAT it's blocking, and I just have to disable ABP on that domain. This leaves me vulnerable if ABP is the only one blocking an item. WORSE, if I forget to re-enable it on that domain, I STAY vulnerable.


That's a great example. While we have recently reintroduced the ability to disable Adblock Plus only on specific pages (rather than entire domains) in version 3.8, I'd imagine that this could be a good addition so I'll forward it to the rest of the team.
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