µBlock, a lean and fast blocker

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by gorhill, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Yet another blocker for those who can't stand micromanaging rules etc., but are yearning for something that doesn't eat away at their computer resources, it's easy on CPU and memory footprints. As you may have guessed, pretty much a lot of it was taken from HTTP Switchboard and then reduced to a simple blocker like so many out there. Only one big button in the popup to turn it off or on for specific sites.

    ss-chromium-2.png

    One of the reason was that I assigned myself the task to spin-off the filtering engine of HTTP Switchboard to be used as a library, so this extension will serve me well as a design-proofing tool for such library.

    For the benchmark ran before I took the screenshot seen above, all blockers were set to use EasyList, EasyPrivacy and malware protection lists. For Adguard it's unclear what exactly are the filters, but I tried to config as close to the others as I could figure given the choices. For µBlock I picked the lists you see selected in the screenshot in the store, i.e. more filters. And yet the footprint was the smallest of the gang.

    It's not just memory, it's also CPU. It's more time consuming but eventually I will get around to measure the overhead per-request for each blockers. And regarding element hiding, there is no contest.

    Project home page: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock
    Chrome store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/µblock/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm
     
  2. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Congratulations, Raymond! I will stick with HTTPSB, of course, but for those users who do not want its power and do not want to "fiddle" around the matrix, µBlock is surely a fantastic alternative to Adblock (Plus), Ghostery, Disconnect and the likes. HTTPSB proves what efficiency can look like. BTW, there is an article about µBlock on gHacks already :)
     
  3. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Thanks. Yes, it's definitely for users who can't stand complicated extensions, hopefully I will keep it as minimalist as possible (people are already asking more features, argh!) But I've been using it and I can definitely see the advantages of not having to micromanage requests, all the sites I went worked, and I could read comments and posts etc. without a glitch. Quite a change from using HTTPSB.

    I ran benchmarks this morning re. blocking power, and uBlock came out top -- of course thanks to the lists which are made and maintained by others. So regarding blocking power, the difference with other blockers is that uBlock uses more lists out of the box, and this does not appear to be breaking more sites as far as I've seen.

    Another advantage I would say over other blockers is that the others need to be configured carefully in order to end up with good blocking power, and to disable home-phoning. For example, if you miss checking EasyPrivacy and Malware Protection at install time in Adblock Plus, it's really not straightforward to add them afterward (you have to go on their site to click the lists etc).
     
  4. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello,

    This may be a dumb question, but here goes. Some extensions (ie Adguard, maybe others or all) only block the loading of the blocked content into the browser. Is this the case with this extension or does it also block the downloading of the blocked content? I used to think all of these extensions in the ad blocking category blocked the downloads but I have seen statements that some only block the loading... This has kind of made me rethink what I thought I knew as my original thoughts may have been wrong...
     
  5. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Adguard blocks the downloading of content. All the ones I tested do block the downloading of content, i.e. the requests by the browser are cancelled in the browser, they never reaches the remote servers.

    I am genuinely curious: where did you get the information that Adguard was not blocking the requests in the browser?
     
  6. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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  7. guest

    guest Guest

    Although I also prefer to stick with HTTPSB, I really appreciate your new masterpiece. :thumb:

    Now where's moontan? He's got to try this one. :D
     
  8. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I may actually switch over to this if it allows me to disable individual rules instead of entire websites.
     
  9. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I replaced ABP by this extension and I like it so far.
     
  10. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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  11. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello gorhill,

    That is what I understood previously but that blog post made me question that...
     
  12. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    all those add on blocker just remove the ads from the screen , unlike admuncher or adguard which prevent them to enter your system line from the first place ... right?
     
  13. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    No.
     
  14. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    why "no" , that what adguard declare regarding blocking .

    How is Adguard better than all other ad blockers?
    Adguard was developed using sophisticated heuristic algorithms and a wide range of filters that work perfectly in removing ads and popups. Once installed, Adguard silently works in the background and automatically protects you from ads and malicious websites.Though ad -blocking plugins are able to hide a part of advertisements, Adguards removes it completely, saving both Internet traffic and nerves. We created this program around three years ago and have been improving it ever since.
     
  15. clubhouse1

    clubhouse1 Registered Member

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    I think they're talking about AdGuard for Chrome which I think is a plug-in.....AdGuard for windows is a different beast.
     
  16. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i'm right here! :p

    i installed this as soon as i saw the thread and noticed that ray (gorhill) was the creator. :thumb:

    i like it, it's sweet and simple! :)

    thanks again ray et félicitations!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  17. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Blockers prevent the requests from leaving the browser, so there is no request to a remote server, so no incoming traffic to filter. Only ads which can't be blocked at net request time need to be cosmetically removed (the "element hiding" filters). But as shown by the benchmarks, blocking net requests work very well, and I will point out that Adguard is second to last regarding blocking efficiency for the blockers tested in this benchmark.

    Not sure what Adguard is talking about here, but my interpretation currently is, they modify the main document being downloaded at arrival, in an attempt to prevent requests to remote servers (for when the page will be parsed by the browser). In my opinion blocking the requests when they are made is much more reliable than to try to parse and prune the main document. But that's just my understanding of their marketing pitch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  18. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I have one question about µBlock. How do you calculate percentage in "on this page" and "since install" section?
     
  19. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    I count the number of requests blocked and allowed. So percentage is blocked / (blocked + allowed). The "since install" counters are written to storage at regular intervals.
     
  20. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    @gorhill Thank you for explanation.
    I found one problem with Twitter. If I have uBlock enabled I can't write tweets with hashtag (#) included. The cursor just jumps right and left and it's impossible to write a tweet. When I disable uBlock on twitter everything goes to normal again.

    EDIT: I came across similar problem on other sites also - usually it happens when there is some kind of drop-down menu to choose from...
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  21. Nanobot

    Nanobot Registered Member

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    Can we expect that some day we'll see a similar tool for the Firefox this time or you'll keep working exclusively for the Chromium/Chrome ecosystem?
     
  22. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    I don't see this behavior. Do you have any other lists selected aside the out-of-the-box ones?
     
  23. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Here are my settings:

    Untitled.jpg
     
  24. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Ok, I see the behavior now. I will enter an issue on Github, there might be more people seeing this.

    Edit: Problem occurs when using Fanboy’s Annoyance List.
     
  25. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Off topic:

    Do you think it´s possible to make a tool similar to HTTP Switchboard for Opera v12 (with the Presto engine)? :)
     
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