Adblock

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Adblock Plus
File:Adblockplus icon.svg
File:Adblock.PNG
Developer(s) Henrik Aasted Sorensen, </br> Michael McDonald, </br> Wladimir Palant
Stable release 1.1.3 / January 7, 2010
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Mozilla extension
License MPL
Website http://adblockplus.org/
File:Firefox.svg
(category)
Contents
Origins and Lineage

Adblock is a content-filtering extension for Mozilla Firefox- and Mozilla Application Suite-based web browsers. Adblock allows users to prevent page elements, such as advertisements, from being downloaded and displayed.

A forked version called Adblock Plus has risen to replace the old Adblock. It features improvements to the user interface, filter subscriptions, and element hiding. It has become the most popular extension for Firefox, with more than 8.5 million daily users.[1]

Contents

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus focuses on usability with many new features being added. Its main window has menu items at the top. Also, the list of blockable items is integrated as a panel at the bottom which can be detached from the main window. Element hiding can be used in addition to regular ad blocking. Other new features include filter statistics (hits counter) and the ability to enable or disable individual filters without removing them.[2]

How it works

File:Compaadblocker.png
Wikitravel with and without Adblock Plus

Like Mozilla's built-in image blocker, Adblock blocks HTTP requests according to their source address and can block IFrames, scripts, and Flash. It also uses automatically-generated user stylesheets to hide elements such as text ads on a page as they load instead of blocking them, known as element hiding.[3]

History

Michael McDonald created Adblock Plus 0.5 that improved on Adblock by incorporating the following features:

  • Whitelisting
  • Support for blocking background images.
  • Subscription to filters with a fixed address and automatically update them.
  • The ability to hide HTML elements allowing a much greater range of images to be blocked.
  • The ability to hide ads on a per site basis instead of globally.
  • Memory leak fixes

McDonald discontinued development and transferred the name to Wladimir Palant, who released Adblock Plus 0.6 with a rewritten codebase in January 2006[4]

Filters

Basic filter rules can include wildcards represented by asterisks (*). Sites and objects can be whitelisted with filters that start with two at signs (@@). Regular expressions delimited by slashes (/) can be used. Adblock Plus also supports a more-sophisticated syntax that gives fine-grain control over filters.[5]

Filter subscriptions

Users can add external filtersets. Adblock Plus includes the ability to use one or more external filter subscriptions that are automatically updated. Filterset.G is incompatible with this system (and Adblock Plus specifically recommends against using Filterset.G for other reasons as well[6]), but other filtersets can added by typing their addresses. A list of known Adblock Plus subscriptions is maintained on the Adblock Plus official website. For those who still want to use the former Filterset G. list a combination of adblock lists is available here.

EasyList

EasyList is the most popular Adblock Plus filter list with over 4 million subscribers.[7] Created by Rick Petnel,[8] it became officially recommended by the Adblock Plus program, and filter lists for other languages were built on top of it. Petnel died in 2009[9] and Palant named a user going by the name "Ares2" as the new maintainer.[10]

Awards

  • PC World chose Adblock Plus as one of the 100 best products of 2007.[11]

Controversy

While Adblock was mainly a response to websites with unethical use of online advertisements (sites with obtrusive advertisements, such as pop-ups), the use of the extension also affects website operators who use more ethical advertising practices. A number of such owners, who use online advertisements to fund the hosting of their websites, argue that the use of ad-blocking software such as Adblock risks cutting off their revenue stream. While some websites have successfully implemented subscription and membership based systems for revenue, the majority of websites today rely on online advertising to function. The assumption that users can visit a website for free, with advertisements to pay for the hosting, has led some[who?] operators to go as far as to call the use of Adblock tantamount to theft. This attitude overlooks the fact that AdBlock does not profit from its users. More often than not if a site hosts its own ad content and a human author has tailored it specifically to the page being viewed, that ad typically won't be blocked; common filter sets only target the privacy-intrusive electronically targeted advertising offered by corporate advertising agencies such as AdSense.

Some websites have taken counter-measures against ad-blocking software, such as attempting to detect the presence of ad blockers and informing users of their views, or outright preventing users from accessing the content unless they disable the ad-blocking software. There have been several arguments supporting[12] and opposing[13] the assertion that blocking ads is wrong.[14] Adblock Plus developer Wladimir Palant responded to this in his blog.[15]

Detection

Some webmasters have used JavaScript to detect the effects of the popular Adblock filters.[16] This has been done by generating a honeypot-like URL and verifying its delivery and also by more advanced verification of the DOM after the web page is rendered in the web browser to ensure the expected advertising elements are present.

These methods do not detect the presence of the Adblock extension directly, only the effects of the filters, and are vulnerable to continued updates to the filters, and by whitelist-filtering web scripts with an extension such as NoScript.

An attempt was made to detect the plug-in itself but that detection method was rendered unusable by the 0.7.5.2 update of AdBlock Plus.[17]

See also

References

External links

Adblock
Adblock Plus

de:Adblock fa:ادبلاک fr:Adblock it:Adblock ka:Adblock nl:Adblock pl:Adblock pt:Adblock ru:Adblock Plus vi:Adblock zh:Adblock

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