Popular Adblock Plus fork Adblock Edge to be discontinued
Adblock Plus is by far the most popular adblocker available for the Firefox web browser. If you check stats on Mozilla's website you will notice that it has almost ten times the users as second placed NoScript Security Suite (21.4 million to 2.2 million).
Add-ons for Adblock Plus are more popular than any other adblocking extension for Firefox including Adblock Edge or uBlock.
Adblock Edge, a fork of Adblock Plus, works just like Adblock Plus in most regards but with the notable exception that it does not ship with an acceptable list of sites and advertisers.
The acceptable ads feature is enabled by default but can be disabled in the program preferences. The makers of the extension have been criticized for it ever since it was introduced by them as some companies pay for inclusion on the list.
While that is the case, their ads still have to adhere to the acceptable ads policy.
Adblock Edge was designed to do away with acceptable ads without sacrificing any other feature of Adblock Plus.
If you visit the Adblock Edge website on Mozilla right now, you will notice an announcement on it that the extension will be discontinued in June 2015.
You find the reason for the decision in the description:
Discontinued in favor of uBlock, a general purpose blocker, that not only outperforms Adblock Edge but is also available on other browsers and, of course, without "Acceptable Ads Whitelist".
It is unclear what discontinued means at this point in time as it is not explained on the page. The author could abandon the add-on or pull it from Mozilla's add-on repository.
It is unclear if the decision was at least partially impacted by Mozilla's decision to require add-ons to be signed.
The author of Adblock Edge recommends that users switch to uBlock, a popular up and coming adblocking extension that is not only available for Firefox but also other browsers such as Google Chrome.
The recommended extension is not without issues as well on the other hand. Gorhill, its creator recently left the project only to create a new fork of it. For Firefox users, it is easy enough however as there is only one uBlock extension available for the browser at the time of writing. Until that changes, it should be the one used by users of the web browser.
As far as Adblock Edge is concerned, it is unlikely that the discontinuation affects existing users of the extension immediately. In the long run however, it is recommended to switch to another add-on for the purpose as it won't receive updates anymore after June 2015.
Now You: Which adblocking extension are you using?
I’m using Adblock Plus with the acceptable ads list enabled. I understand, that there are many websites who use advertising as their source of revenue and I don’t have a problem with unobtrusive ads. I’d rather have content + ads than content that advertisers create (aka sponsored stories).
I switched to abe when it was first forked. But to be honest, the option to switch off acceptable ads really isn’t making that big of an impact for abp numbers since that last two years. The development of abe is rather scarce in their bitbucket.
uBlock made a big splash, and because of that, the original developer of uBlock finally find out why working for free isn’t such a great thing after all despite holistic views. uBlock is great on Chrome and webkit based browser, but it doesn’t perform much better than ABP on Firefox. uBlock for Firefox is plagued with issues on their github and there’s not enough people working for free to fix it. No matter how great uBlock coders can be, they are all subjected to Firefox’s single thread bottleneck. Until e10s lands in Firefox, it doesn’t matter what uBlock claim to be, it’s not any better than Firefox in performance.
Never been a fan of Adblock or any of it’s forks, the block lists are so massive that they slow the browser down more than most adds.
People will probably say how awful Ghostery is because they work with advertisers but that’s what i use, i understand sites rely on adds to generate revenue so i don’t want to block every single add just the annoying ones, when it comes to sites i visit regularly such as Ghacks i white list them.
“It is unclear if the decision was at least partially impacted by Mozilla’s decision to require add-ons to be signed.”
Why should the decision be (at least partially) impacted by the add-on signing? It’s not a big deal to sign an add-on, especially for add-ons hosted on AMO, these add-ons will be automatically signed.
Because at least one developer announced already that this will stop his extension from being updated in the future: https://www.ghacks.net/2015/03/28/enhanced-steam-author-waves-goodbye-to-firefox/
Thanks Martin. The developer of the Enhanced Steam add-ons seems to have generally a problem with the quality requirements of Mozilla. ;)
User of Adblock Plus/Edge since almost always, I added the Policeman add-on when it appeared in order to control pages’ external calls. Then came in uBlock which not only combined the functions of the two first but also added the possibility to include HOSTS as filters’ lists, and all this with infinitely much less RAM, CPU and Firefox start delay impact.
uBlock is by all means the very best and the only add-on in its category to fulfill the expectations of a browser user in terms of blocking what he considers as intrusive. Let it be reminded that it’s a user’s choice that is the argument in the debate of site advertizing and never the add-ons whatever they be that only propose the tool and most often without demagogy.
One word concerning the split between the new official repository and the fork built by the creator (gorhill) now that officially the repository has changed hands, ironical as it is (and for reasons I ignore) : uBlock is listed on AMO mainly because of what is expected in the near future, that is add-ons not available (hence accepted) on AMO will be refused. But uBlock is frequently updated and these updates are available immediately on dedicated Github pages, be it the “official” releases (chrisaljoud) or the “original”, called now a fork (gorhill).
Here I disagree with Martin when he states in the article “Firefox users, it is easy enough however as there is only one uBlock extension available for the browser at the time of writing. Until that changes, it should be the one used by users of the web browser.” AMO is not a church should an add-on be a god. Any user can find the latest developments of uBlock on Github pages, be it the original now named uBlockâ‚€ because no longer “official” or the the relay bouncing on uBlock but keeping the original name…
If you wish the best of uBlock i’d advise you choose uBlockâ‚€
The new one is not available for Firefox yet unless I missed that. Also, come add-on signing, most Firefox users won’t be able to install the Github hosted extension anymore unless it is submitted to AMO as well.
It *is* available for Firefox, but you cannot install the extension from Mozilla’s add-on store. You may ask why and the answer is simple in large part: until an extension has been checked and verified by Mozilla, weeks will often go by. In the past few months, uBlock has had a rapid release cycle that would keep sending the extension to the back of the queue with each new update sent to the store. That’s why the latest version on AMO is still 0.9.0.0, which was released on GitHub more than a month ago.
While installing the extension from GitHub disables the inherent auto-update function and the extensions from there are of course not tested by Mozilla, those disadvantages are negligible in my mind.
If you want to use the latest uBlock you only have to decide which version to choose from:
uBlock : https://github.com/chrisaljoudi/uBlock/releases
uBlock0 : https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/releases
Did not know that, thanks!
Martin, you’ve got a point when stating “[…]most Firefox users won’t be able to install the Github hosted extension anymore unless it is submitted to AMO as well“. Let’s wait and see what becomes of this Mozilla’s new add-on policy and, should it be ratified, what will be uBlock0’s attitude. But for the time being I cannot honor the idea of making a choice on the basis of coercion
Well, that’s to late if you asking me. AdBlock was long time the number one but after they revealed that bigger guys like Microsoft and others paying for them to get on there whitelist I decided to not use it anymore.
In the meantime uBlock was developed (already existed as Chrome add-on called uMatrix) and after some rumors someone was really able to port it to Firefox. And that’s it – I’m using now uBlock and never will be come back! It’s open source on Github and everyone can easily contribute to it. The changes from the first alpha up to the today’s build was pretty amazing, not even one year and it’s already more efficiency compared to other solutions. I’m not often say that I’m impressed but this was really awesome and I hope UBlock get the 2015 award for open source.
Please also note that if you like some sites like GHacks, just click on the blue power button to whitelist it!
Thanks for all the articles Martin and your time! – I’m not often saying this! So feel honored! :p
Adblock Plus user here
Never had a problem with it featue or performance wise with a LOT of tabs open
Tried other extensions to see if they were any better and always came back to Adblock Plus
Adblock Edge users are probably gonna switch to Adblock Plus and uncheck a box if they want
Because their workflow would be the same
I have been an avid uBlock user ever since the extension was ported to Firefox, but I’ve been using it on my Chromium installation (which I use for web development purposes, mostly) even longer.
The daily use of uBlock requires quite a bit more personal maintenance than I ever experienced with AdBlock Plus and/or Ghostery. Functionally, these two extensions have been great to use, but they are the main contributors in slowing down the browser noticeably so I was happy to get rid of them. While the average user may not have the knowledge to use all those switches in uBlock properly, those who know what they’re doing will find it a far superior product. Granted, not everyone will like a do-it-yourself ad-blocker extension when there are others out there who do most of the stuff without user intervention. Everybody else who doesn’t acknowledge these points is an idiot and flamer in my mind.
I absolutely adore the ability to disable frames from third-party websites, because this setting alone will disable about half of all ads or trackers. But wait, doesn’t that also disable all those nice and interesting (social media) integration things like from Twitter, Facebook, Disqus etc? In some cases yes, but then you can set a “no-op” rule either globally or for a specific website only, which allows for example all Twitter integration to override the filter which removes all third-party frames. It’s stuff like this which makes uBlock so versatile, because it can be used beyond being a mere ad-blocker.
The easy mode works about as well as AdBlock Plus if the same filter lists are used, but the advanced mode is anything but idiot proof. That’s more or less what led to the original developer gorhill stepping back from the now official version while he continued coding on his own fork. Just about four out of five issues on the GitHub issue tracker were problems generated from bad filter-list entries or they ensued because users weren’t knowledgeable enough to use uBlock properly. The average user won’t see much benefit to using uBlock (lower memory overhead aside), because the advanced features are beyond him. I fear that’s the one big disadvantage of this extension, which will be impossible to overcome.
The only thing I’m unsure about is which extension to choose from now on. Should I stay with the official uBlock extension, now chiefly maintained by the former guy responsible for the Safari port and helped by another developer on the Firefox side of things? Or should I remain loyal to the original inventor of the extension, who has gone back to doing his own thing in the uBlock0 fork? Well, this shouldn’t be a difficult choice to make, but I’m a Firefox user and who knows if gorhill is interested in maintaining his fork for other browsers, beyond his own development for Chromium-based browsers? Time will tell, I guess.
I use uBlock in both Firefox and Chrome because of the huge RAM savings.
I don’t like the idea of adblockers. They make a lot of free sites become subscription sites or disappear completely. But I believe more than half of ads are malicious now or outright lies. So until something is done about that I’m forced to block them. Some sites are boring without some ads to brighten them up…not this one…but there are lots of them.
I stopped using Ghostery and Disconnect because I got sick of spending half my day figuring out what filter worked with each site and still allowed what I want to view slip through. I like to watch CNET videos. Even with CNET whitelisted they won’t play with Disconnect installed.
Thats the main reason that I use adblockers (malicious ads). Since I installed adblocker for PCs that I maintain, I have more time for other things.
regarding “I don’t like the idea of adblockers”, uBlock is a general-purpose blocker, though. If user chooses to employ it in blocking ads (yes, most users probably will) the extension still has broader merit.
For people who suffer from ADHD or epilepsy, the “flashing blinking moving” page elements (ad content, more often than not) aren’t just an annoyance — they’re an outright dealbreaker, in terms of usability.
Toward removing such distractors (or “triggers”, specific to epilepsy), I’ve recommended ABE (or ABP) along with “ABP Element Hiding Helper”. A similar, alternative, extension named “R.I.P. Remove It Permanently” is available. Both provide an easy (onHover borders displayed for the targeted page element) granular selection mechanism.
I don’t have a label, a diagnosis, but when I recently visited softpedia.com using a browser which didn’t have any “blocker” extensions installed… I couldn’t tolerate the “visual nightmare” its pages displayed. I was compelled to close the tab and search elsewhere.
In recent versions of firefox, we’re even deprived of the ability to enforce “stop means STOP, dammit!” by pressing ESC in order to halt pageload or Shift+ESC to halt animations. The browser developers clearly aren’t pursuing an agenda of “better serving users” or even “enabling user to easily help herself”, so it’s unfair to criticize users (and extension authors) for seeking out bolt-on solutions enabling them to fend for themselves.
I just recently switched to uBlock after years of using ABP – extension just hang my Firefox for too long that day and I said that’s enough. So far, uBlock works perfectly, I can tell there’s difference while browsing pages – Fx is much more stable and doesn’t get hiccups but on the other hand it does skips some ads even when I’m using same subscriptions as in ABP and sadly, I can’t catch these with its content picker – it lacks narrow and wider options from ABP Element Hiding Helper.
uBlock UI should be more explained with tooltips – there are elements about which I have no clue what these are for.
Also I’ve recently added ABE to Palemoon which is my “sandbox” browser and it works just as ABP but it doesn’t have Element Hiding Helper which is quite problematic for me. Sadly, both ABP and uBlock aren’t supported by Palemoon and I’m not convinced about their custom version.
And by the way Martin, why this news is not showing on main page? I can see it in feedly and Firefox subcategory.
Element Hiding Helper is a waste of time to use. It is so unstable that nothing stays hidden very long. :(
Element Hiding Helper runs on Adblock Edge as well as on Adblock Plus…
Does it? I never tried that way – I’ve removed both ABP and EHH at once. WELP.
And the custom ABP version for PM works fine, I use it.
Using Adblock Latitude for Pale Moon with no issues whatsoever. Maybe I’ll give uBlock a try at some point. Is it really that much faster? There’s a lot of talk about Adblock’s RAM usage but isn’t that what RAM is about, getting used? We’re not talking GB’s here.
Use Adblock Latitude too and I know it works with FifeFox as well.
Adblock Latitude is designed to work Pale Moon only. It is not intended to be used on Firefox because of our diverging codebases. Also the next generation ABL will NOT work with current versions of Firefox at all.
There are, unfortunately, no clear benchmarks available for Firefox ad-blockers, aside from the easy to get comparison of memory consumption.
uBlock shows some distinctive advantages though on a Chrome base, both memory and CPU wise, and there are startling benchmarks on the extension’s wiki pages. uBlock not only speeds up the rendering of each page (see next paragraph), but also the fetching of data itself. Each net request takes about 3 times longer with the AdBlock Plus Chrome extension than with uBlock (roughly 0.4 to 0.1 ms in benchmarks). Every little thing your browser displays is run through the matching engine of your active extension, which then decides if the request should be allowed or not. There is no reason why this advantage should not translate to the Firefox base as well.
Even without clear benchmark results, uBlock is the extension of my choice and there is a logical reason for it. Filter lists contain thousands of CSS filters and AdBlock Plus adds them to each and every frame in all tabs loaded in the browser. This also counts for iframes, so the more of those a website decides to use, the higher a memory overhead this will generate. Things don’t end there, because CSS instructions also cost a little bit of CPU overhead in rendering the page. If you suddenly have more than 10,000 of those on a single website (with only a single iframe this will double to 20k) it will add up and slow down the rendering of the website. Granted, a single tab on a modern computer will not be very different, but add more tabs in a session or use a laptop/tablet/smartphone and you *will* notice a change. Here’s one comparison between uBlock and AdBlock Plus from my own browser on a website with lots of annoying ads: uBlock inserts about 40 CSS rules, while with ABP they number at over 48,000 (16k plus 32k in two iframes). There’s a reason why AdBlock Plus writes on their website “You should not add too many filterlists to Adblock Plus. This will slow down the adblocker, therefore, your browsing.” because that’s a direct consequence of the high number of CSS rules inserted into each page.
Adblock Plus is very heavy. I use it in Chrome because it doesn’t slow down the browser too and the other extension, Adblock, slows it down more.
In FF I use “Bluhell Firewall”, very light : Adblock plus and Âµblock are terribly heavy
In IE11 I use the built-in “protection against tracking” (a MS euphemism for “ad blocker”), very light
I really don’t mind if AdBlock or any other addon that i like to use is heavy. I like to access clean urls, or at least, get the ability to clean up a url by myself using adblock. If this tool uses a lot of memory, I use another addon to manage this ( like Bartab Heavy ). I think the best thing about Firefox or Pale Moon ( in my case ), is the fact that we can use addons to make it looks and feel exactly the way I want. Because of this, I always have a custom browser, more secure and filled with a lot of tools that make my life more easy when I’m browsing, and in that case, I think that this price of using more memory RAM worth.
Speed and comfort are the most important for me
But of course it’s my point of view
Using ublock for some months now and don’t know how to feel about gorhill leaving.
The FF version still has some bugs that break the addon – aka not blocking at all – where ABP works without problems.
He wrote about his “reasons” here: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/ublock-a-lean-and-fast-blocker.365273/page-33#post-2476324
> The more you give, the more many act as if you owed them even more. This is what ground me down in the long run. If the project has any intrinsic value, it will survive. The move was a huge relief for me. I have been postponing this for long now, thinking things might improve. They did not, from my point of view.
Is it so hard to uncheck ONE checkbox?
I have not tested this personally but I have often read that abp does refuse to effectively block some ads which are on the acceptable ads list regardless of if it is unchecked but as I said I cannot personally confirm this myself.
I am grateful to have so many developers working on something I believe in regardless of direction as it gives us the consumer a wider choice.
In regards to uBlock I honestly think one should be renamed, perhaps gorhill could retain the original name whilst the one which gorhill turned over could be called ‘Nublock’ hehe (seems clever to me).
Be it due to laziness, incompetence, ignorance or just unwillingness most people will simply move to what is more familiar to them however I do expect there will be a spike in uBlock users as many which used ABE felt it was a lighter version of ABP which may have purely been a placebo affect.
I personally hope to see the developers of ABE join forces with one of the uBlock developers (hopefully gorhill) and really get cracking on something fantastic but what is apparent is a need to replace ABP for many consumers, one cannot deny the interest and following users had in both ABE and uBlock.
I think what would bridge the gap between the two extensions (uBlock and ABP) would be if uBlock were to be made a little more comfortable and user friendly within its advanced options and filtering as I feel it will appeal to the masses a little more however that is entirely dependent upon the vision of the developers.
I wish all developers the best in their endeavors to see their vision realised.
I must admit the tenacity at which the developers of uBlock have moved at has been impressive.
At this time Privoxy can consider a good choice
Most people want their web content clean, fast and ‘free’ (beyond the cost of their IP service). I don’t mind the ads that stay out of my face (so that I can ignore them if I want to). These ads (on the side of the page) even provide useful info from time to time. The slight additional time these kind of ads add to page loading time is a reasonable ‘cost’, imo. The time it takes to detect and block them is probably comparable. I do try to block the aggressive, obnoxious ads (pop-ups, talkers, etc.). I also try not to use sites that aggressively push ads.
I don’t make ads nor do I work for ad providers, but ads provide a needed revenue stream, especially for sites like this one. Ad providers are getting better at detecting filters or getting thru them. The website owners’ ‘push back’ against ad blockers is also increasing. More and more sites are reducing the content provided when ad blockers are detected. In a few years, all ad blockers will become a thing of the past (due to the ineffective or counterproductive results of trying to block all ads).
Once again, Ublock jehovah witnesses have began their eulogy. Or rather their sales pitch. Allow me to throw my ten cents into this arena. Following propaganda isn’t my strong suit.
If Adblock Plus were a “Memory hog”, Firefox user numbers wouldn’t be reflected above. Adblock Plus 156 million worldwide user share would sink like the Titanic. Websites, bloggers, Ad companies, needed to create a Bogeyman to halt the advance.
Hence, politicise the acceptable ads payments, memory hog fud, “Adblock Plus allows Google through the filter”. Hmm, so difficult to uncheck a tick box (Ha ha).
You may call it “laziness, incompetence, ignorance, unwillingness”, It’s band recognition. A brand that has exist for ten years, continues to block intrusive, malware, bloated ads. Experience triumph over fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Say what you will about ublock propaganda, but those who posted in the comments here got one thing right. I’m using Firefox on my older netbook (2GB RAM) and I’m actually saving memory. Only 400MB instead of 500-550MB with AdBlock Plus is an achievement that I can actually FEEL during browsing on such limited hardware. I’m glad that I happened upon this new extension, my first impression of ublock is complicated to use but with good results.
I use AdblockPlus and Element Hider Helper and yes they are huge memory hogs. I checked with MemoryTab(or whatever was extension’s name). New page (imdb.com) took 40MB or RAM and AdBlockPlus got 36MB. I have huge custom list in addition to Easylist lists so it put a huge drain on resources. If somebody uses just basic Easylist list, he may not notice problems until middle of the day.
But the biggest drain is Element Hiding Helper and “Open Blockable Items” from AdBlockPlus. I use them all the time as I do not see alternative. System becomes really unresponsive. You have to stop using it and wait for 10-20 minutes until you can do real browsing.
And I forgot completely. If you want to speedup AdblockPlus you have to sort filters by “Filter Rule”, latest filters on the bottom. It removes slowdowns when systems parses “Element Hiding Rules” or elements in Easylist. Sorting Filters by Alphabet or “enabled” can grind Firefox to a halt.
I frequently provide support for Firefox users on reddit and have encountered multiple instances where cases of excessive memory use, poor performance and slow startup time have been caused by Adblock Plus. I’ve been very relieved to have uBlock to recommend as an alternative (and for personal use).
Like this one
They told the user it is Adblock Plus
But came the shocker
Anyone familiar or have thoughts o Adtrap? Apparently it works at the router level and sequesters ads uniformly for any and all browsers via Ethernet and WiFi. It also does so for Apple and Android tablet and cellular phones. A “one device to rule them all” approach.
I do not see advantage of it unless you are working with Android or IOS. Software proxy adblockers like AdMuncher will be more flexible on Windows and cost multiple times less. But again I never seen really good adblocker proxy for 64bit Window systems either.
I’m a bit confused as to why people are commenting about ublock being “complicated” to use. It’s just about the easiest extension I’ve ever used – install and forget. It even has a built-in checklist with a lot of awesome lists (fanboys, antimalware, hosts files) In my opinion, ublock is quite a bit easier to use than Adblock Plus/Edge.
It is easy if you are not running your own custom filters. I imported my custom filters into ublock and they do not work and there is no way to check why.
People who bemoan “ABP is too heavy for me, it’s a memory hog…” likely hold a naive “more is gooder” outlook, and have (probably needlessly) elected to subscribe to multiple / redundant blocklists.
Points I haven’t found mentioned yet here:
ABP re-saves its patterns file every friggin’ time you close its preferences window, regardless whether or not you’ve performed any edits.
IIRC, per default settings, ABP stores FIVE backup copies of the patterns/rules file. If you subscribe to multiple blocklists (or have created buku custom rules)… that represents considerable unwanted “bloat” when you’re booted to a live linux pendrive. (The bloat either accumulates in the persistence file, or in RAM if persist changes are deferred until shutdown.)
Five copies… for EACH firefox profile.
If you’re subscribed to multiple blocklists, when ABP periodically downloads blocklist updates (full replacements, by the way, not diffs) and a particular blocklist server is experiencing high load (so throttles the dl rate)… and all this activity is tacked to the single ff process thread, we shouldn’t be surprised when the browser feels slow, or heavy (or, on older hardware and/or limited RAM+virtualMemory it even appears to be unresponsive).