Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Changing “Block element” dialog behavior on Chrome, Opera and Safari · 2015-03-05 12:11 by Sebastian Noack

We’ve just fixed some conceptual issues with the “Block element” functionality in Adblock Plus as available from the icon menu and the context menu on Chrome, Opera and Safari. This feature lets you select an element on the current page and generate filters to block it.

Exception rules

The way filter matching in Adblock Plus works, exception rules override all blocking filters. So there was a lot of confusion when filters were generated that didn’t show any effect, simply because the element or page was whitelisted by an exception rule. Therefore, we don’t generate filters for whitelisted elements anymore (issue 1282), although the parent element will be blocked instead if possible. Also, if the current page is whitelisted the “Block element” option is hidden to avoid confusion (issue 2081).

Prefer request blocking over element hiding

Generated element hiding filters are prone to false positives, since attributes these filters rely on often aren’t unique. Request blocking rules are often generated as well, and tend to be more reliable. So we decided to generate element hiding filters only for elements that can’t be blocked via request blocking (issue 2076).

Improved feedback

We have also improved the feedback, when adding filters using the “Block element” dialog. Previously, we just removed the selected element. However, since the user can modify the generated filters, the added filters don’t necessarily match the selected element. Although it is not always possible to hide all matching elements until the page is reloaded, we now do a much better job (issue 370).

These changes are now visible in the development builds as of Adblock Plus, and will be included in the upcoming release of Adblock Plus 1.8.12, planned for next Tuesday on March 10, 2015.

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