Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

General discussion about the NoScript extension for Firefox

Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Ares2 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:47 pm

Alan Baxter wrote:I still haven't gotten any response from Ares2 on the EasyList forum, but he hasn't posted anything there since Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:33 am MDT (-0600). Perhaps he's been tending to more pressing concerns in "real life".

Exactely that's was the case (though it seems it was a really bad moment to be busy with other things). I've removed all the unecessary filters now and fixed the false positive. :arrow: :arrow: :arrow:

But it really seems that some clarification from my side is needed:

* The sole purpose of all the filters in EasyList is to block ads, everything else is a so called "false positive" and needs to be fixed. The filters for Giorgio's sites are no exception, their only purpose was to block his ads - nothing else. As Giorgio's tricks/redirects were really good, I had to make the filters very restrictive to make them work (i.e. to block the ads - not to disable any site functionality) - too restrictive as Giorgio pointed out here (+the following). I immediately fixed the filters then to only block the ads again.
* This is nothing personal, I did NOT start an attack on Giorgio, I did only blocked his ads (because I don't think his sites should get a special treatment, e.g. allowing the ads, just because he's a Firefox extension developer or similar).
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby GµårÐïåñ » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:31 pm

Ares2, thank you for making the changes and I hope that we can all get back on track and put this unpleasantness behind us, regardless of how it got here. Thank you all who were involved and contributed to the resolution of this matter. Perhaps with the filters being removed and fixed, the need for NS to push a whitelist filter would be negated and can be removed all together.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Salvy » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:56 pm

GµårÐïåñ wrote: Perhaps with the filters being removed and fixed, the need for NS to push a whitelist filter would be negated and can be removed all together.


I don't think so :roll:
http://adblockplus.org/development-buil ... king-added
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby GµårÐïåñ » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:08 pm

Sorry Salvy, not sure why not. If Ares2 has fixed the filters and removed the crippling items, which are no longer necessary with the latest ABP fix of the bug, then NS wouldn't need to push the whitelist filter anymore to restore functionality and according to Wladimir's comments on the dev build the silent push of filters functionality is being removed anyway. So I am not sure I understand why you don't think that NS can remove the need for the filters now? I welcome the clarification, I wish people would say more two words and roll their eyes in hit and run posting. :|
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Ares2 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:49 pm

GµårÐïåñ wrote:then NS wouldn't need to push the whitelist filter anymore to restore functionality

The whitelist never was about restoring functionality, Giorgio wants NoScript/FlashGot users to see the ads and they would still be blocked with the general Google ads filter now.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby GµårÐïåñ » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:16 pm

Right, I have no objection to the ads getting blocked by regular means (sorry Giorgio, nothing personal) but was only against specific NoScript.net and related blocking which has been corrected as you mentioned earlier. So perhaps now this becomes an internal discussion among the powers to be to see if we can remove the need for pushing the filters now that site specific blocking is removed. Thanks for the clarification Ares and thanks for the filter response, I will play with it but if you can get them to work let me know. 2 of the 3 didn't do the trick :(
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby mattmccutchen » Fri May 01, 2009 12:23 am

Giorgio, now that (IIUC) the overbroad anti-NoScript filters are gone from EasyList, I would encourage you to update the FAQ 3.21, etc. to call the NoScript Development Support Filterset what it is: a way for users to support NoScript development (if they wish) by making an exception to the general rule against Google ads. IMO, to leave the text as it is now, suggesting that NoScript is being wronged by EasyList, would be disingenuous.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Reid Rankin » Fri May 01, 2009 2:20 am

therube wrote:I don't really know all the ins & outs, but ... Was Filterset.G effectively banished by Wladimir?


I developed the Adblock Filterset.G Updater back in the day, so I was closer to the situation... Filterset.G was not at all banished by Wladimir, he wouldn't do that. He was rather vocal about the inefficiencies of Filterset.G, and encouraged users to switch to EasyList, but he even built in (specifically for AFGU) the capability for an external extension to add a "filter subscription" that would keep its filters separate from the main filter list. He didn't have to do that... when AFGU was originally released, it was written for Adblock Original, and we were just modifying the "adblock.patterns" preference to add filters. We could have kept doing that, but that new feature in ABP let us avoid the need to keep the current version of Filterset.G in two places so we could remove the old filters line by line before adding newly downloaded ones.

It's true that Wladimir added a "Please don't use Filterset.G" prompt to ABP later, but by that point, the filterset hadn't been updated in months. I heard Graham Pierce, or "G", got a girlfriend, and the update rate dropped quickly in the next few weeks. Since an updated whitelist was the only thing holding it together at the end, it was causing increasing problems as the state of the internet diverged from the old version the whitelist was written for, and those problems ended up being attributed to ABP. He only put in the warning because Graham Pierce had dropped off the face of the web. In fact, I bet most of the Filterset.G problems came to him... as a developer of the extension, more of the "Filterset.G doesn't work" mail came to me than to Graham Pierce, and you'd be surprised how little mail I got from an extension with 3 million downloads. I bet that's because Wladimir got it all.

therube wrote:Not sure I understand?

A NoScript/FlashGot install will now add a filter to an existing Adblock Plus setup that subverts the blocks that are now being added by the EasyList filter set?

And Wladimir is OK with that?


I'm kind of wondering at that myself, as if externally-updated filter list (as filter sets added by other extensions are called in ABP parlance) entries are being added to ABP without user approval, that's clearly not using the feature the way it was intended. I think Wladimir would be well within the bounds of propriety as the developer of ABP to update Adblock Plus to include a permission prompt each time an externally updated filter list is added. However, that would cripple the feature, which was intended to allow behind-the-scenes interoperability with ABP. He might just ax the whole externally-updated filter list feature, which I think would be a grave mistake, but since the only extension that I know of other than NoScript that uses the feature is the (obsolete) AFGU, he might be inclined to.

I don't like my web experience being messed with without my consent... that's why I installed NoScript, why I installed ABP, and why I installed EasyList. (Obviously, I'm trusting that whoever is maintaining EasyList shares the same values.) I was expecting EasyList to block stuff, though I think that the specific rules we're all discussing here went way overboard... but I wasn't expecting NoScript to add anything to ABP. If someone wrote an extension that was incompatible with NoScript, I wouldn't expect NoScript to (without prompting me) detect it and uninstall it, either. It should prompt me first. When AFGU caused problems for ABP, Wladimir didn't detect it, remove it, and say "Oh, BTW, I uninstalled AFGU," he asked users if they wanted to uninstall it. I'd advise that NoScript take the same approach. Tell me that EasyList can cause problems with your website, and I'll be more than likely to let you whitelist it. But shove something in ABP and alert me after the fact, and I'll be more than likely to raise a ruckus about it, especially if the title of the filter list in ABP is "NoScript Revenue Enhancement Filterset." (Seriously man, that was just stupid. If you're trying to sell the whitelist filters as fixing stuff EasyList broke, don't say "that and also to make me money," everyone will think it's the primary reason, because it's the one you'd most want to hide.)


All that said, Ares2, claiming that overly-restrictive filters on specific websites are OK as long as there are no observable false positives is equally boneheaded. It's like putting a security system on your car that electrocutes car thieves, and saying its a good idea because it deters car theft... you're right, but as soon as someone actually tries to rob the car, you'll be hauled up for murder (or at least manslaughter or wrongful death). Just because it doesn't produce any false positives RIGHT NOW doesn't mean it isn't a bad idea.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Guest » Fri May 01, 2009 1:40 pm

Are you making a habit out of coding around the extensions you don't like?

Code: Select all
#__ghosteryfirefox {
  display: none !important;
}
(http://software.informaction.com/data/oss.css)
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Giorgio Maone » Fri May 01, 2009 2:42 pm

@Savvy:
the redirect trick is not the only way to circumvent ABP, it's just the most known and easy to implement, not to mention that 1.1 will be widespread only when Firefox 3.5 is released.
If I didn't respect ABP users, I could make a living of a consulting job for all the publishers who contacted me asking how to work around it.
Therefore I could just go on with site-based counter-measures prompting EasyList's counter-counter-measures, wasting both mine and Ares2's time, and most important lessening the pace and the quality of NoScript and FlashGot development.
The whitelisting filterset is a good way to close this incident, prevent similar future ones (with other lists, perhaps), allow a better use of our time and keeping to the user the freedom of choosing if blocking my sites or not.

@mattmccutchen:
EasyList's specific filters have been mitigated, but they're not entirely gone and, as Reid Rankin said,
Code: Select all
Just because it doesn't produce any false positives RIGHT NOW doesn't mean it isn't a bad idea
.
I'll mention this mitigation the FAQ as well, but I'll keep the warning.

@Reid Rankin:
the "beforehand consent" issue was an overlooking and it's being fixed, see viewtopic.php?p=3117#p3117
Regarding "selling the whitelist" as this or that, I think I used the most honest and complete wording both on site and in the filterset itself:
FAQ 3.21 wrote:Since version 1.9.2.3, NoScript configures a special AdBlock Plus filterset called "NoScript development support filterset", whitelisting the noscript.net, flashgot.net, informaction.com and hackademix.net web sites that have been recently broken by a virulent attack from EasyList. If you prefer not to support NoScript development by allowing developer's sites to show ads, you can just open the AdBlock Plus preferences and disable the aforementioned filterset with one click. However please notice that EasyList specifically targets these sites with overly aggressive filters, therefore some features will fail to work, even essential ones like links for direct downloads and development builds.

As I told mattmccutchen, I'm gonna mitigate the last part in "may fail to work", since the more apparent issues seem to be fixed now (for the time being), but as you can see I mention both the breakage and the development support.
The filterset itself mentions both the motivations, with even less emphasis on the EasyList breakage which is hopefully soon gonna be an item of the past:
NoScript Development Support Filterset wrote:! NoScript Development Support
! Short whitelist of NoScript developer's sites blocked by EasyList specific rules.
! Privacy: this is a local fixed subscription, no server gets ever contacted to update it.
! Please feel free to disable it if you prefer not to support NoScript development this way.


Guest wrote:Are you making a habit out of coding around the extensions you don't like?

Code: Select all
#__ghosteryfirefox {
  display: none !important;
}
(http://software.informaction.com/data/oss.css)

As you can see it's a content stylesheet deployed by a web site to style the web site content itself.
If the coders of that extension did their homework and learned to how use chrome notification boxes to deliver their notifications (like NoScript does), rather than injecting content with ugly purple boxes and obscuring random parts of the injected web page with no real purpose, that CSS rule would be useless and we both would be happier.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby mattmccutchen » Fri May 01, 2009 4:26 pm

Giorgio Maone wrote:EasyList's specific filters have been mitigated, but they're not entirely gone

I looked in http://easylist.adblockplus.org/easylist.txt and these are the only filters I found that mentioned any of your sites:
Code: Select all
flashgot.net,noscript.net#a(id^=rvb)
flashgot.net#ul(class=tla)

And those appear to be specifically targeted to your ads, not other content. As far as I can see, there is no longer any breakage, so any reference to the "virulent attack from EasyList" in the FAQ should be purely historical. They've backed down, now it's your turn.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Ares2 » Fri May 01, 2009 4:50 pm

As mattmccutchen said, nothing in EasyList blocks any site functionality, Giorgio, and will not do that in the future unless you specifically want to achieve that. I know it's hard to tell people the real reason for your actions, but we both know you never wanted to restore site functionality with these whitelistings but rather make NoScript users see your ads everytime it updates (-> and make ad revenue). Especially because you implemented and released them after I already fixed the problems with the too restrictive filters. I'm really disappointed that you are not honest about this to your users. Do whatever you want with NoScript, but take responsibility for it and don't strain the truth.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Giorgio Maone » Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 pm

Ares2 wrote:Especially because you implemented and released them after I already fixed the problems with the too restrictive filters

I was in the process of reviewing the FAQ as per mattmccutchen's request, but I just can't keep this unanswered.

You're the one not being honest here: I released 1.9.2.3 beta (with the filterset) on 29 Apr at 23.16 UTC, and 1.9.2.4 stable yesterday at 17.46 UTC.
You removed your worst filters crippling any subdocument and even the installation links yesterday between 21:10 and 21:20 UTC, i.e. at least 3-4 hours after the filterset was being auto-updated on the stable channel.

That said, I've got no problem in saying that ad revenue is important to support NoScript and FlashGot development, as I clearly stated in my very first answer to you in this thread, and not the FAQ nor the filterset description try to hide it.
Now keep blatant lies out of this discussion, please.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Ares2 » Fri May 01, 2009 5:59 pm

Giorgio Maone wrote:You removed your worst filters crippling any subdocument

With these specific filters, really NOTHING was broken. :|
Giorgio Maone wrote:and even the installation links

OK, that's true, that's the one I removed yesterday fixing the small false positive, but c'mon, the first and last statement in the FAQ is the (past) "virulent attack of EasyList" and the (present) "overly agressive filers" and on AMO, it sounds like the only reason for actions is this "targeted attack" with only a link to the FAQ. A bit overrated for only 2 links being falsely hidden imo.

But if you already were about to change this, I'm sorry and will stop adding fuel to the fire.
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Re: Latest NoScript version (1.9.2) breaks Adblock Plus

Postby Alan Baxter » Fri May 01, 2009 6:02 pm

I'll corroborate what Giorgio says, and add to it. In fact my testing showed that NoScript disabling of element hiding on the Informaction sites was removed in dev build 1.9.2.2, which I installed on 26 Apr 10:16 UTC. I notified Ares2 of the change on Tues Apr 28, 2009 17:21 UTC. Because NoScript was no longer defending itself, the unmodified EasyList not only blocked all the ads again -- most of them with the generic filters which don't explicitly target noscript.net etc. -- but broke some of the noscript.net functionality that had nothing to do with ads. This problem was reported by me and another EasyList user on 28 Apr, but it was posted in the EasyList Private forum, so I'm afraid I can't give you a link to it.

No change was made to EasyList for another couple of days.
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