Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Adblock Plus 2.1 release candidate available - restartless edition · 2012-06-23 16:47 by Wladimir Palant

Adblock Plus can finally be installed/disabled/enabled without a browser restart. This feature took much longer to develop than expected and there were a bunch of glitches when it first hit the development builds but most of these seem to be resolved now. So the current development build (Adblock Plus 2.1rc.3495) is a release candidate. Adblock Plus 2.1 is expected to be released on Wednesday (June 27th).

Important changes

  • Installing, uninstalling, updating the extension no longer requires you to restart the browser. Note that you will have to restart the browser when updating from a non-restartless version of Adblock Plus.
  • Adblock Plus should no longer be affected by misbehaving extensions.
  • Better Thunderbird support, Adblock Plus is now usable in tabs displaying web pages as well.
  • Added support for Firefox Mobile with native UI (next Firefox Mobile version currently in Beta).
  • Made our toolbar/addon bar button more reliable: it will no longer disappear if the toolbar is customized when Adblock Plus is disabled and it will remember its previous position if removed.
  • The development builds work reliably in Firefox 15 and above – there were several changes that affected Adblock Plus (especially bug 650353).
  • A new filter type has been implemented: element hiding exceptions (forum topic). These are mostly useful for authors of complementary filter subscriptions that need to restrict an overly general filter from the main subscription. Everybody else can just edit the original filter instead.
  • Filter subscriptions are automatically updated when reporting a false positive (forum topic).
  • Filter subscriptions can set a fixed title for themselves using the ! Title comment (forum topic). This also allows us to display subscription titles in bold now.
  • Filter Preferences: “Enabled” checkboxes have been moved to the left, italics are no longer used for disabled filters (forum topic).
  • Filter Preferences: Links in the subscription list now have the same color as the rest of the text to prevent them from being indistinguishable from the background (forum topic).
  • The shortcut key for blockable items will be Ctrl-Shift-U in Firefox 15 and above. Sorry but our beloved Ctrl-Shift-V key is otherwise occupied.
  • Our custom About dialog is gone, Adblock Plus is using the built-in dialog now.

Known issues

  • Package size increased considerably. This is a side-effect of different packaging approach which is recommended starting with Firefox 4 to improve startup performance (no inner JAR file).
  • The development builds are no longer signed and neither will be the final release. This is due to bug 765676.
  • Firefox Mobile with XUL-based UI (meaning the currently stable Firefox Mobile release) is no longer supported. Unfortunately, it seems to have a bug that will cause random issues when a restartless extension is updated. From what I can tell, we cannot work around it and it is unlikely to be fixed either with this particular Firefox Mobile variant nearing its end of life. You will have to continue using Adblock Plus 2.0.3 here.
  • Disabling Adblock Plus extension during a browsing session doesn’t release all memory used by it, some memory remains allocated until you reload all pages that had element hiding rules applied to them. This is unfortunately unavoidable, the effect is rather small however (around 0.5 MB in my tests but might depend on the number of open tabs).
  • The “Contribute” button will appear again even if you removed it earlier in a non-restartless Adblock Plus version. Also, the blockable items height will be reset. This is unfortunately unavoidable, these choices have to be stored differently now that the extension is restartless.
  • Toolbar icon position is supposed to be kept when updating from a non-restartless Adblock Plus version, there were reports however that it isn’t working. I will look into it, in the meantime just customize the toolbar again and move the icon wherever you would like to have it.

To the install page


Comment [1]

  1. guy · 2012-06-26 23:50 · #

    Will element hiding exception feature integrated in chrome version?

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Yes, next version for Chrome will have it as well.

Commenting is closed for this article.