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Preview: Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:35:07 GMT


European Court of Justice’s IP address decision and privacy

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:26:16 GMT

There has been an interesting development in the legal nature of dynamic IP addresses based on a very recent decision of the European Court of Justice. Our data protection officer Dr. Judith Nink explains what this is all about.

New development build of Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer is available

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:17:58 GMT

A new development build of Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer is finally available. The most important change in this version is the change to the element hiding functionality. As of this version on IE10+ the element hiding will be done in a similar way as in our other extensions.

New element hiding approach in Firefox

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 13:46:31 GMT

Traditionally, element hiding on Firefox worked quite differently from all other platforms supported by Adblock Plus. Rather than decide on the filters for each website individually, all element hiding rules would be written into a single elemhide.css stylesheet file that would apply to all websites unconditionally. This approach had a few disadvantages:

  • The global stylesheet could not consider exceptions, such as websites where a particular rule should not apply — we had to implement a complicated mechanism to make sure that the rule didn’t have any effect in such cases, and on some websites there still were side-effects.
  • Changing a single element hiding rule caused the global stylesheet to apply again to all open tabs, this could cause significant delays.
  • With multiprocess Firefox coming up and sandboxing enabled on some platforms, we could no longer rely on being able to access that file.

Luckily, Firefox implemented better mechanisms to apply stylesheets to documents a while ago and as of Adblock Plus development build we are now taking full advantage of these. We will now make a separate decision for each website, which (if any) element hiding rules should apply. And we don’t sacrifice performance for that because the majority of element hiding rules will go into a preloaded stylesheet with all the rules which apply unconditionally.

There are a few drawbacks here:

  • New element hiding rules will no longer apply immediately, just like blocking rules they now require the document to be reloaded (can actually be seen as a good thing because consistent). This also affects Element Hiding Helper extension which will need to be updated.
  • We are no longer able to count hits for element hiding exception rules (issue 4509). We simply don’t know any more whether the rule that the exception applies to would have matched anything.
  • Element hiding rules apply with a slight delay which in theory might cause some ads being shown and then flashing out. In practice, I haven’t seen this yet.

This is a huge change to the inner workings of Adblock Plus and while we tested it quite thoroughly some issues are expected — let us know if you notice any.

To the install page

Adblock Browser 1.5.1 for iOS released

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:15:26 GMT

Install Adblock Browser 1.5.1 for iOS


New filter type option for WebSockets

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:30:27 GMT

Starting with Adblock Plus 1.12.2 for Chrome, Opera and Safari we can block connections initiated via WebSockets on all major platforms (this functionality was available on Firefox since the very start). However, we didn’t have a special type for these requests as these were listed with type “other” instead. The assumption was that the protocol ws:// or wss:// would be sufficient for filter list authors in order to target WebSocket connections specifically. However, we received feedback that this wasn’t the case.

So with the current development builds (Adblock Plus for Firefox and Adblock Plus for Google Chrome and Opera) WebSocket connections are listed with the new type “websocket.” Consequently, filters can be made to target such connections specifically by adding $websocket type option. Existing filters will have to be duplicated for now:


This syntax will support both new and old Adblock Plus versions as long as the versions without support for the “websocket” type are still common (these will ignore the first filter).

To the install page

Edit (2016-09-22): This post was originally suggesting specifying both websocket and other options on one filter. This approach will not work in older Adblock Plus versions because filters with unknown options are ignored.

Adblock Plus 1.12.3 for Safari released

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:17:52 GMT

Install Adblock Plus 1.12.3 for Safari (Safari 6 or higher required)

This is an emergency release, only for Safari, which fixes compatibility with Safari 10. Starting with Safari 10 Technical Preview Release 11, Apple made a change which broke Adblock Plus. Safari 10 was then released before our fix (issue 4150) could be released normally. As a result we are forced to perform this emergency release.

Builds for Chrome and Opera were generated as well. But since there were no changes compared to the previous release, we didn’t upload these to their respective web stores.

Safari-only changes

  • Adapted Event.initEvent() calls for compatibility with Safari 10 (issue 4150).

Clearing up some things from this week!

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 15:37:58 GMT

There has been a lot of misinformation floating around these past few days about Adblock Plus and Acceptable Ads and the Acceptable Ads Platform, so let us try and clear up the most common ones.

New Acceptable Ads Platform launches, will redefine RTB and help small websites

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:06:03 GMT

Today we’re launching the beta version of the Acceptable Ads Platform, a fully functional platform consisting of only Acceptable Ads that will make the whitelisting process faster and easier for publishers, while allowing them to serve alternative ads to ad-blocking users.

Adblock Browser 1.5.0 for iOS released

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:45:04 GMT

Install Adblock Browser 1.5.0 for iOS


Flattr Plus update

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:50:00 GMT

How’s your summer going? Well, as readers of this blog are aware, we at ABP have had our hands full with a few Facebook shenanigans — but do you remember that Flattr Plus project? You know, it’s the revolution in non-ad content funding we announced a few months back … Well, we’ve got some newness — and you’re going to want to know this.