uBlock Origin

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uBlock Origin
Original author(s)Raymond Hill (gorhill)
Developer(s)Current:
Raymond Hill
Past:
Deathamns, Chris Aljoudi, Alex Vallat[1]
Initial releaseJune 23, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-06-23)[2]
Stable release
1.56.0[3] / 17 February 2024; 17 days ago (17 February 2024)
Repository
Written inJavaScript
Operating systemCross-platform
Available in70[4] languages
TypeBrowser extension
LicenseGPLv3
Websitegithub.com/gorhill/uBlock

uBlock Origin (/ˈjblɒk/; "YOO-block"[5]) (previously uBlock and originally μBlock) is a free and open-source browser extension for content filtering, including ad blocking. The extension is available for Chrome, Chromium, Edge, Firefox, Brave, Opera, Pale Moon, as well as versions of Safari prior to 13.[6] uBlock Origin has received praise from technology websites and is reported to be much less memory-intensive than other extensions[7][8] with similar functionality.[9][10] uBlock Origin's stated purpose is to give users the means to enforce their own (content-filtering) choices.[11][12]

uBlock Origin is actively developed and maintained by its creator and lead developer Raymond Hill.[1]

History[edit]

uBlock[edit]

uBlock was initially named "μBlock" but the name was later changed to "uBlock" to avoid confusion as to how the Greek letter μ (Mu/Micro) in "μBlock" should be pronounced.[citation needed] Development started by forking from the codebase of HTTP Switchboard along with another blocking extension called uMatrix, designed for advanced users.[13] uBlock was developed by Raymond Hill to use community-maintained block lists,[14] while adding features and raising the code quality to release standards.[15] First released in June 2014 as a Chrome and Opera extension, in 2015 the extension became available in other browsers.[citation needed]

A joint Sourcepoint and comScore survey reported an 833% growth from November 2014 to August 2015, the strongest growth among adblockers listed.[16] The report attributed the growth to the desire of users for pure blockers, outside the "acceptable ads" program operated by Adblock Plus.[17]

On April 3, 2015, Hill transferred the uBlock project to Chris Aljoudi due to frustrations with dealing with requests as the project's popularity increased.[18] "These projects are to me, not full time job. [sic] It stopped being a hobby when it felt more and more like a tedious job. I will keep maintaining my version (and share with whoever care to use it) because it guarantees the tool will match what I want out of it."[19] Hill created his own fork and renamed it uBlock Origin on April 6.[20]

Since October 2017, uBlock Origin has been completely separated from Aljoudi's uBlock.[21] Aljoudi created ublock.org to host and promote uBlock and to request donations. In response, uBlock's founder Raymond Hill stated that "the donations sought by ublock.org are not benefiting any of those who contributed most to create uBlock Origin."[6] The development of uBlock stopped in August 2015 but there were sporadic updates from January 2017.[22]

In July 2018, ublock.org was acquired by AdBlock and resumed development.[23] From February 2019, uBlock began allowing users to participate in "acceptable ads",[24][25] a program run by Adblock Plus that allows some ads deemed "acceptable" and nonintrusive, and for which larger publishers pay a fee.[26]

uBlock Origin[edit]

uBlock Origin remains independent and does not allow ads for payment.[27] The project refuses donations and instead advises supporters to donate to maintainers of block lists.[6][28] Hill continued to work on the extension under the name uBlock Origin, abbreviated as uBO[29] and originally as uBlock0.[30]

In January 2016, uBlock Origin was added to the repositories for Debian 9 and Ubuntu 16.04.[31][32] The extension was awarded "Pick of the Month" by Mozilla for May 2016.[33]

On December 11, 2016, Nik Rolls released a fork of uBlock Origin for the Microsoft Edge browser (now known as Microsoft Edge Legacy).[34] In April 2020, this fork was deprecated as Microsoft replaced Microsoft Edge Legacy with a Chromium-based Edge.[35]

As of January 2021, the uBlock Origin Chrome extension had over 35 million active users and the Firefox version had over 7 million active users.[36][37]

Features[edit]

Blocking and filtering[edit]

uBlock Origin supports the majority of Adblock Plus's filter syntax. The popular filter lists EasyList and EasyPrivacy are enabled by default, along with the malware domain blocklist URLHaus. The extensions are capable of importing hosts files and a number of community-maintained lists are available at installation. Among the host files available, Peter Lowe's ad servers & tracking list and lists of malware domains are also enabled as default. Some additional features include dynamic filtering of scripts and iframes and a tool for webpage element hiding.[citation needed]

uBlock Origin includes a growing list of features not available in uBlock, including:

  • A mode to assist those with color vision deficiency.
  • A dynamic URL filtering feature.
  • Logging functionality.
  • Interface enhancements including a DOM inspector, privacy-oriented options to block link prefetching, hyperlink auditing, and IP address leaks via WebRTC (this feature was removed in version 1.38 on all platforms except Android, as most browsers are no longer vulnerable[38]).

Site-specific switches to toggle the blocking of pop-ups, strict domain blocking, cosmetic filtering, blocking remote fonts, and JavaScript disabling were also added to uBlock Origin.[39] The Firefox version of uBlock Origin has an extra feature which helps to foil attempts by web sites to circumvent blockers.[40]

CNAME-uncloaking third-party trackers in Firefox[edit]

In November 2019, a uBlock Origin user reported a novel technique used by some sites to bypass third-party tracker blocking. These sites link to URLs that are sub-domains of the page's domain, but those sub-domains resolve to third-party hosts via a CNAME record. Since the initial URL contained a sub-domain of the current page, it was interpreted by browsers as a first-party request and so was allowed by the filtering rules in uBlock Origin (and in similar extensions). The uBlock Origin developer came up with a solution using a DNS API which is exclusive to Firefox 60+.[41] The new feature was implemented in uBlock Origin 1.25, released on February 19, 2020.[42]

Performance[edit]

Technology websites and user reviews for uBlock Origin have regarded the extension as less resource-intensive than extensions that provide similar feature sets such as Adblock Plus.[43][44][45] A benchmark test, conducted in August 2015 with ten blocking extensions, showed uBlock Origin as the most resource-efficient among the extensions tested.[46]

uBlock Origin surveys what style resources are required for an individual web page rather than relying on a universal style sheet. The extension takes a snapshot of the filters the user has enabled, which contributes to accelerated browser start-up speed when compared to retrieving filters from cache every time.[47]

Supported platforms[edit]

uBlock Origin is actively developed for applications based on two major layout engines.[14][43][48]

Currently supported[edit]

Previously supported[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ uBlock also supports Firefox legacy browsers (including SeaMonkey and Pale Moon), use the firefox-legacy release starting with firefox-legacy-1.16.4, see github.com/gorhill/uBlock-for-firefox-legacy)
  2. ^ Unofficial release. Fork by Ellis Tsung (el1t) for Safari from the official project.
  3. ^ Unofficial release. Fork by Nik Rolls (nikrolls) for Microsoft Edge.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Contributors to gorhill/uBlock". GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Changelog for the first versions". GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "Release 1.56.0". Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  4. ^ "Completed translations". Crowdin.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  5. ^ "uBlock Origin: README.md". uBlock GitHub Repository. December 25, 2022 – via GitHub. pronounced you-block origin (/ˈjblɒk/)
  6. ^ a b c "uBlock / README.md". GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Henry, Alan (January 27, 2015). "uBlock, the Memory-Friendly Ad-Blocker, Is Now Available for Firefox". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (October 10, 2014). "How to add custom filters to Chrome ad-blocking extension μBlock". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Schofield, Jack (January 29, 2015). "Are there any trustworthy sources for downloading software?". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Whitwam, Ryan (February 12, 2015). "μBlock aims to block ads without draining system resources". ExtremeTech.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "uBlock". github.com. GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Gardiner, Michael (November 5, 2015). "Adblock Plus vs. Ghostery vs. Ublock Origin: Not All Adblockers Were Created Equal". International Business Times. Archived from the original on July 22, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "uMatrix". GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Brinkmann, Martin (June 24, 2014). "uBlock for Chrome is a resource-friendly adblocker by the HTTP Switchboard author". ghacks.net. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Hill, Raymond. "Changes from HTTP Switchboard". GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Levine, Barry (October 14, 2015). "The Ad Blocker Landscape: What You Need To Know Today". Marketing Land. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  17. ^ "The state of ad blocking - September 2015". Sourcepoint and comScore. September 16, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  18. ^ Hill, Raymond (April 3, 2015), "Release 0.9.3.0", gorhill/uBlock, retrieved December 8, 2023
  19. ^ Hill, Raymond. "Please clarify uBlock0 vs. uBlock". Github.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Hill, Raymond, Update README.md, retrieved December 8, 2023
  21. ^ Hill, Raymond (October 21, 2017). "uBlock Origin is completely unrelated to the web site ublock.org". github.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  22. ^ "uBlockAdmin/uBlock". github.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  23. ^ "An update on uBlock". ublock.org. July 13, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  24. ^ "uBlock Incorporates Acceptable Ads". February 23, 2019. Archived from the original on November 30, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  25. ^ "uBlock 0.9.5.13". GitHub. February 13, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  26. ^ "About Adblock Plus". adblockplus.org. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  27. ^ "Manifesto.md". github.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "Why don't you accept donations?". GitHub. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  29. ^ "uAssets". github.com. Retrieved October 2, 2022. Resources for uBlock Origin (uBO) [...]
  30. ^ "Official uBlock Origin add-on lands for Firefox". April 25, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  31. ^ "Debian Sid - uBlock Origin". Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  32. ^ "Ubuntu - uBlock Origin". Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  33. ^ DeVaney, Scott (May 2, 2016). "May 2016 Featured Add-ons". Mozilla Add-ons Blog. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  34. ^ Rubino, Daniel (December 11, 2016). "uBlock Origin adblocker now available for Microsoft Edge via the Store". Windows Central. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  35. ^ Rolls, Nik (June 12, 2021), nikrolls/uBlock-Edge, retrieved July 9, 2021
  36. ^ "uBlock Origin Chrome". chrome.google.com. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  37. ^ "uBlock Origin Firefox". addons.mozilla.org. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  38. ^ "Prevent WebRTC from leaking local IP address". GitHub, gorhill/uBlock. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  39. ^ "uBlock wiki". GitHub. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  40. ^ "Inline script tag filtering – Overwiew". GitHub, gorhill/uBlock. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  41. ^ "uBlock Origin Now Blocks Sneaky First-Party Trackers in Firefox". BleepingComputer. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  42. ^ "uBlock Origin 1.25 Now Blocks Cloaked First-Party Scripts, Firefox Only". BleepingComputer. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  43. ^ a b "uBlock ad blocker added to Mozilla's extensions site". Jim Lynch, Technology and Other Musings. Archived from the original on June 9, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  44. ^ Kesari, Varun (October 28, 2017). "Adblock Plus vs uBlock Origin | Which one to Choose In 2017? | RMG". rootmygalaxy.net. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  45. ^ Harper, Christopher (May 2, 2015). "uBlock Origin - Better Than AdBlock Plus? - Make Tech Easier". Make Tech Easier. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  46. ^ "10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance". Raymond Tech Resources. August 26, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  47. ^ "Notes on memory benchmarks, selfies". uBlock GitHub documentation. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  48. ^ "Apple - Safari - Safari Extensions Gallery". Apple. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  49. ^ "What is Kiwi Browser about ?". Kiwi Browser. September 22, 2019.
  50. ^ "el1t/uBlock-Safari". github.com. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  51. ^ "Catalina compatibility · Issue #156 · el1t/uBlock-Safari". github.com. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  52. ^ "Explanation of the state of uBlock Origin (and other blockers) for Safari". GitHub.
  53. ^ "nikrolls/uBlock-Edge". github.com. September 23, 2022.
  54. ^ Rubino, Daniel (December 11, 2016). "uBlock Origin adblocker now available for Microsoft Edge via the Store". Windows Central. Retrieved December 12, 2016.

External links[edit]