[Rejected] Making ABP and sIFR work together

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

Postby sheepy » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:15 am

I actually asked about having the tabs off by default, and was told that users will angrily flood this place with comment on uselesses of ABP in blocking Flash. Actually I think I have a faint memory of that.


I've used Opera's block, and it's quite nice. It reminds me of the overlay Flash function of Adblock. But look at where we are: the option to show/hide tag is in present just one click away on ABP menu, and the same for blockable item list. Still here we discuss because users can't find the options and ABP has to put a tag in front of their eyes.

User is lazy is a lame reason, but a very true one. :( If they are more observant, you just need to put a statement on footer saying "if you see tags labeled 'Adblock', please...". But we know it won't work.


I do web programming and AFAIK, anything you can do on sIFR to indicate Friend or Foe can be mimicked by ads. IMO it may be more productive to check with Adobe to see whether they can come up with some solution, like a sIFR mode that does nothing - no script, no animation, no picture, no sfx/bgm, no interaction with mouse/js/href etc.
For now, Flash with all its fancy features can do anything for all ABP knows.


Oh and, it's possible to cache generated image both on server side and client side instead of rendering it everytime someone request it from server. Caching is not difficult, a few lines at most is all it takes, but most developers don't do that, once again proving that human, in general, is lazy...
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Postby Mav » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:47 am

Yeah I think I read something about the suggestion to turn tabs off by default on another topic. And I think it's a good point to start with. But I can see why it gets too difficult for people to block flash ads if the tabs are gone.
I've tried how it would go if the tabs weren't there, and it's not very user-friendly. Going to the abp screen, and selecting the swf from the usually long list of pics and other objects...

Removing elements from webpages can destroy a layout, but thankfully abp has the option to not collapse blocked elements(which is default iirc). So if adding elements to a page could possibly destroy layouts, shouldn't that be avoided too? It is possible to turn it off, but I bet that most people leave it at default.

I'm not familiar with the overlay flash function of adblock. If it works kinda like in opera... I just might switch hehe. I'm wondering if the overlay thing in opera can be re-created for firefox. Then just having a big adblock button on the top toolbar starting the overlay mode would be enough.
Maybe even make it flashing, and inform people everytime they click it that there's a smaller icon on the statusbar, or they can replace the big toolbar button with a smaller one. There are usually no stupid or lazy users, it's more a thing of not being informed I think.
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:01 am

As I said at the beginning of this thread: there is no way anybody can distinguish sIFR from ads automatically. We have to put the user in control here. And so far the best solution that I can see is: the webmaster notifies Adblock Plus that the page depends on objects that need to be whitelisted so that the tabs doesn't obscure content (the page doesn't know whether anybody actually receives this notification). Adblock Plus then suggests the user to whitelist - info bar is the tool of choice for this. If the user does this (clicking "Add exception rules" and confirming the list of actual rules) - so be it, no more object tabs on this page. Blocking the objects will make this info bar go away as well. The concern is however that too many users will click this message away without reading it...

Btw, overlay flash function in Adblock causes far worse problems to page layout than object tabs. I didn't drop it without a reason.
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Postby Mav » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:33 pm

So the webdesigner/owner has to request abp to be allowed to use flash on his site. Either that or risk visitors with abp to see a weird layout or obscured content. Well, that's just backwards to me, and is definately going into the wrong direction. It's not really just for sifr, the tabs affect all sites with useful flash objecs. With more sites using flash for good purposes these days, it's going to be a bigger problem sooner or later.

I wondered how the overlay flash feature worked in adblock, so I disabled abp for a min. and installed it. And it's not quite what opera does, but it's a lot better than having tabs everywhere. Shame it uses a bunch of tables to display an overlay tho. I've tried searching on the forum to the reasons of removing the overlay function in abp, but did not find it other than it has its "own issues". If you can mention some of these problems, or if someone could link me to a older post...?

With adblock it seems to work just fine without layout issues, tried a bunch of links found here on the forum that produce(d) weird layouts with tabs. Maybe it's not yet refined enough to work without problems. Either way, a toggleable adblock-mode seems better then seeing tabs everywhere. And doesn't affect layout by default. In fact it wouldn't be that bad if it affected layout a bit in "adblock-mode", since users would probably still find the ads and reload when they're done.
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:14 pm

Most problematic thing about Adblock's flash overlays is that they have to hide the objects on the page - this can cause all kinds of side-effects, the issue with Adblock breaking Flash 8 might have its roots here.

Providing a keyboard shortcut to switch object tabs on and off and make this change apply immediately is a planned feature. There are some technical difficulties however.
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Postby Mav » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:08 pm

Well there are ways to get layers on top of flash objects, but the flash would need to be set to wmode transparent or opaque. If only there was a way to enforce that... maybe..http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/knowledgebase/index.cfm?id=tn_15523
Then removing flash objects from the page won't be needed. Not sure if this can be made to work though, just mentioning ideas, who knows..

It's what I use to make sure my gallery pics stay on top of sifr headers. It darkens the rest of the page, I think with a transparent png or just transparency % (that's lightbox js 2.0).
Image

**edit: After looking some things up, I think it could be possible. Shame I'm not that savvy with js or flash. All I know is that width, height and coordinates of every object can be retrieved using js, and the wmode thing should be possible to add to flash embed/objects. But then again, I don't know really much about js/flash. :)
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:28 pm

Mav, I know that. Even with transparency enabled this doesn't work all too well (and not all plugins support transparency at all). But Robert O'Callahan was working on this so maybe in Firefox 3.0 we will be able to put something on top of objects properly, regardless of whether transparent or not. My experiments didn't show up any viable options for the current Gecko version however.
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:40 pm

Based on feedback, this is definitely not the way to go - closing.
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