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March 31, 2005

say goodbye (again) to pop-ups!

update: before you comment here, we already know what this breaks. This was a test and we'll be having another test soon that backs off a little bit. Thanks for your help testing. No need for further debate here about whether or not it's OK to break requested pop-ups. It's not. We need to do a better job at identifying requested popups. Our goal is to break as little as possible while preventing unrequested pop-ups. We're workin' on it.


A lot of people have been reporting a new breed of pop-ups on the web. This increasing menace is rooted in the pop-up capabilities of plug-ins like flash and Java. If you're seeing pop-ups and pop-unders, you're probably visiting sites that have flash or other plug-ins and those plug-ins are being exploited by advertisers to abuse you with annoying pop-ups and pop-unders.

Firefox has the capability to disable these pop-ups but it wasn't enabled by default in Firefox 1.0 because we had concerns about websites that rely on plug-in triggered pop-ups for legitimate functionality.

Give that these pop-ups and pop-unders have really started to spread on the web, we're testing a quick patch that enables the Firefox pref to block them. I blogged about this earlier this month and included manual steps to disable these nasty pop-ups and pop-unders. In addition to this fix, the good news is that for sites where you need these pop-ups, you can just whitelist them like you do other "wanted" pop-ups. This looks (at this stage) like a reasonable trade off.

If you're interested in helping us test this patch, we've packaged it up as a signed extension you can install (and disable or uninstall if you don't like it.) It's available for testing from our ftp site. You'll need to add the site to your whitelist for software installation and then agree to the extension install to get it - or, you can simply right click and save as then open locally in Firefox.

I'd appreciate any feedback on how this affects the sites you visit, how well it controls the pop-up and pop-under problem, and whether or not you find any sites that don't work correctly after installing the extension. Feedback is welcome both here and in email to asa@mozilla.org.

I'm also interested in specific cases of these plug-in triggered pop-ups and pop-unders that we don't block (without the patch) that IE does block on XP SP2. If you know of sites using plug-in triggered pop-ups that IE blocks, please let me know here or at the above email address. Thanks!

Download: Pop-ups Must Die! extension.

update: OK, thanks for the feedback. We're working on addressing the problems and hope to have another test soon. If this was too much for you, just disable or uninstall from your Extension Manager. Thanks for all your testing and feedback!

Posted by asa at March 31, 2005 07:21 PM
Comments

Installed. Any testing sites? Personally I rarely find pop-up/downs.

Posted by: minghong on March 31, 2005 08:17 PM

Both "Options" button in Extensions window and "Preferences" option when right-click the extension in the same window, are disabled. (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050323 Firefox/1.0.2 Fedora/1.0.2-1.3.1)
The only site I know with a flash pop-up is netscape.com and the extension seems to get the job done!

Posted by: mcg on March 31, 2005 08:45 PM

Rather than adding a site to your whitelist for a one-time install, you can click the link to get to the FTP site and then right-click on the XPI and download it. Then, just do a FILE - OPEN and select the file from your desktop.

Regards,
John

Posted by: John T. Haller on March 31, 2005 09:24 PM

Too bad that it blocks wanted popups:
http://www.cs.cityu.edu.hk/~hwchun/31337/blog/blogger.php

Try clicking on "Comment" or "Trackback" with the extension installed / preference enabled.

Posted by: minghong on March 31, 2005 09:47 PM

Worse, at least for me, it blocks it again when you tell it to show the popup.

Posted by: Aaron Nowack on March 31, 2005 09:58 PM

minghong, it works for me once I allow popups for that site.

As Aaron points out, though, it won't let you manually show it (it just re-blocks it). I think the extension essentially breaks the Show 'popup address' option across the board. (Try cnn.com with the extension installed and try to Show the popup)

Posted by: John T. Haller on March 31, 2005 10:29 PM

Of *course* it blocks wanted popups, that's the whole point. Popup pushers have started hitchiking on the events we use to determine "wantedness". This extension is an experiment to see which is worse, the popups that are leaking through the current Firefox default settings, or not getting "wanted" popups. Obviously this will greatly depend on which sites you tend to visit so the ultimate result will probably be some sort of UI where people can more easily adjust the blocking level.

Back to the drawing board, though, on opening the popup from the infobar.

Posted by: Dan Veditz on March 31, 2005 11:11 PM

It blocks a popup that is triggered by a bookmarklet that I use regularly (as in a user-initiated popup that I want).

Posted by: Neil T. on March 31, 2005 11:56 PM

Thank You!!!

I have been wainting for this kind of popup blocker.. Now i can really enjoy firefox...

Marc

Posted by: Marc K. on April 1, 2005 12:25 AM

This is great to hear - that Firefox, who has had the best pop-up blocker, is staying ahead. (Opera 8, for instance, does a pretty lousy job sometimes.)

However, you said the extension was signed - to me it seems pretty much as unsigned as any other extension I've installed. Why do I get an unsigned xpi?

Posted by: David Naylor on April 1, 2005 12:40 AM

You can get the info bar's "show " functionality back by editing the dom.popup_allowed_events pref to say "mouseup". But if you do then the popups spawned by fastclick.com ads and others come back.

To get the bookmarklet to work you'll probably have to add the "click" event, though "mouseup" might work. "click" alone definitely does not work for the info bar "show" menu item.

The original Firefox setting for dom.popup_allowed_events is "change click dblclick mouseup reset submit"

Posted by: Dan Veditz on April 1, 2005 12:56 AM

"we've packaged it up as a signed extension"

In what way is it signed? My Firefox claims it's unsigned...

Gerv

Posted by: Gerv on April 1, 2005 01:02 AM

I've not noticed these popups, but I use adblock to knock out most advertising plugins anyway. That's another avenue people may want to explore.

It's a pity the advertisers don't realise that their intrusions are unwanted. I was fine with pretty images in pages, but after a few bad experiences with pages that moved bright animated flash movies over the text to try to grab my attention I just block any advert I see. The bad tactics of a few have caused me to go after them all.

Now all we need is a means of sharing adblock filter sets.

Posted by: Richard on April 1, 2005 01:33 AM

I've tried your extension but it doesn't work with following website - http://torrentazos.com/index.php . This site makes popaps using javascript (if I turn off whole javascript it works without popups). With your extension enabled and javascript turned on it still makes popups. :(

Posted by: Big on April 1, 2005 02:03 AM

The problem is that the same site can have both wanted and unwanted popups. The same site can open popups without user intervention (unwanted) and open a popup when a user clicks on a link (wanted). So adding the site to your whitelist doesn't always get the job done. I would suggest that the privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins settings be changed as it is now to 2, but leave dom.popup_allowed_events alone or, instead of an empty string, change it to click dbclick submit. I did not install the extension, instead I manually changed the setting for privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins.

Posted by: yfan on April 1, 2005 02:04 AM

Is there any chance of popups (all popups) being turned into overylay windows that only block the site that created them? In other words, they would appear as absolute postion divs within the page rather than separately managed windows.

Some sites are already doing this voluntarily, and I think it mitigates some of the most annoying aspects of popups. Then you could even have an option akin to adblock like "make this go away forever - even when I come to this site next time".

Posted by: Ami Ganguli on April 1, 2005 02:59 AM

Too bad, but almost all the legimitate pop-ups get blocked for me. :/

Posted by: Nanaki on April 1, 2005 03:05 AM

W2K/FF 1.0.2

Blocks "Furl It" out of the box. Not sure how to W/L Furl as options point to the site I'm trying to bookmark. Same for bugmenot. All bookmarklets ?

Makes it a no go for me, too much collateral damage.

Posted by: pdtar on April 1, 2005 03:15 AM

Too bad it still doesn't block JS based popups (www.stuffplug.com for an example)...

Posted by: ArAgost on April 1, 2005 03:39 AM

> Too bad it still doesn't block JS based popups (www.stuffplug.com for an example)...

I thought all popups are "JS-based", except target="_blank".

Posted by: minghong on April 1, 2005 03:48 AM

You can test your extension on PopUp Test Site - http://www.popuptest.com/

Right now your extension with Firefox 1.0.2 works with almost all popups (works means no popups :) ). I see only "Timed PopUp", "Drop Down PopUp" and "Sticky PopUp". Not too bad but maybe some improvement could be done.....

BTW why there is only option to enable/disable javascript for whole browser? IMHO if I could disable javascript for some sites it would be really good enough in most cases.

Posted by: Big on April 1, 2005 04:05 AM

That "stuffplug.com" popup is not a popup at all; it's a div on the page made to look like a popup. You'll note that it will not behave like a real window at all.

Posted by: Mike McNally on April 1, 2005 04:56 AM

regarding www.popuptest.com, Fx 1.0.2 blocks every popup without needing the new extension

Posted by: Mr Lizard on April 1, 2005 05:51 AM

Asa, any chance of getting whoever signed the extension to post a concise tutorial of how he or she did it? I think there's a lot of demand for this, and not many people know how to do it. I've gotten an extension all but signed before. Maybe slate this for an "Ask Asa" one week.

Posted by: Daryl on April 1, 2005 06:02 AM

Perhaps there should be an option to adjust privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins and dom.popup_allowed_events separately.

IMO, disabling popups from plugins is more useful than disabling all dom popups, since there are many conceivable occasions when the user would want to invoke popups (to wit: blog comment boxes)

Posted by: Agagooga on April 1, 2005 06:03 AM

http://www.meinestadt.de/bielefeld/jobs?jobwrds=CHEMIE&ob=-4&start=1

If you reload this 3-5 times you get a popup.

haichen

Posted by: haichen on April 1, 2005 06:16 AM

Hi Guys,

Cool idea. Here is a good test site:

http://www.sincitythemovie.com/

Try it without the blocker first--it pops up a new window with a Flash movie. Your new blocker does break the site, tho.

Tim

Posted by: Tim on April 1, 2005 07:27 AM

> we've packaged it up as a signed extension
Signing an .xpi is pretty worthless since you can't view the cert...

Posted by: Anonymous on April 1, 2005 07:39 AM

The new blocker killed the del.icio.us pop-up posting bookmarklet, which only fires if you click it.

Posted by: Jason Lefkowitz on April 1, 2005 08:11 AM

Hello Asa,

I've test it on the Citibank Canada web site.
http://www.citibank.com/canada/homepage/english/index.htm

If we chose "Account Online" in the dropdown list, the popup is blocked. After that, if we click on "Show '...'" in the menu of the warning, the popup isn't showed, and a new "Show '..'" is added.

Thanks!
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050317 Firefox/1.0.2

Posted by: Legendre on April 1, 2005 08:11 AM

I haven't had a huge problem with popups, but still some were getting through. But I installed this extension, and sure enough, all popups seemed to no longer work. Unfortunately this broke too much functionality in only a few minutes of surfing. A couple of places that I saw this problem:
mbworld.org, which use the vBulletin forum software. Embedded links in peoples messages, which are designed to open in a new window do not work.
cardomain.com, which uses javascript popups to enlarge pictures. Unlike the previous problem, which can be circumvented by right-clicking, no such luck with javascript links
tomsnetworking.com, also a site with embedded links, which do not work

Posted by: th on April 1, 2005 08:19 AM

Another idea: how difficult would it be to allow events to open pop-ups only on certain elements? For instance, only allow onclick() to open a pop-up on links and buttons, but not on <body>, <p>, etc.?

The extra granularity might help separate actual user requests from side-effects.

Posted by: Kelson on April 1, 2005 09:54 AM

Daryl, this is what you want.

Posted by: minghong on April 1, 2005 10:26 AM

Kelson, I don't think it is good to limited in on certain elements only. We never know what element the developer would use. e.g. a styled and scripted <p> can behave like a button.

Posted by: minghong on April 1, 2005 10:30 AM

@ David Naylor: Opera 8's popup blocker is terrific. I don't know how you can possibly say it's lousy. I set to "Block All Popups" in Opera and I'm set. All these sites that show popups in Firefox 1.0.2 by default currently (without the extension mentioned here or about:config tweaking, of course) don't popup in Opera.

Posted by: TreeGhost on April 1, 2005 11:51 AM

An allowed-element list wouldn't help, we've seen ad-server scripts that decorate the entire DOM with onclick handlers. "click" is obviously the most wanted of events and that's the one the ad servers are targetting.

So we need a combination of blocking the obviously abusive events, and blocking the specific ad servers that abuse the remaining events. But that's not a list the Mozilla Foundation can afford to distribute and there's no easy way for typical users to figure out the source of the abusive script.

On some sites user complaints about popups can be effective. The site owner doesn't want to chase visitors away and will put pressure on their ad company or even switch companies.

Posted by: Dan Veditz on April 1, 2005 12:13 PM

i think this is a bad idea. it blocks way too much stuff. i have fastclick and a few other major popup domains blocked in my hosts file, and that along with firefox's default popup blocker are enough for me to have never seen a single popup in probably a year. no adblock or anything else.

Posted by: chris on April 1, 2005 12:34 PM

CNN.com polls don't work.

Have to explicitly allow for Yahoo News photo gallery's as well.

Posted by: Robert Accettura on April 1, 2005 02:10 PM

Hmm, had a few moments to test the extension...

On my site www.nextofsix.co.uk when clicking the link to enter the site, the popup is dutifully blocked. Upon clicking the show popup option, it doesn't actually make the popup appear.

Then, when attempting to click the show popup option again, there are two instances of the popup in the list!

Of course, adding the site to the whitelist solves the issue.

Posted by: Mr Lizard on April 1, 2005 02:56 PM

Hello,

I am a Flash developer here at Fluid. We develop a number of Flash applications that rely on a popup in order to implement file upload, as well as other Javascript integration functions.

I would like to see this functionality added to Firefox, but I think it should not be on as a default setting. Right now, I feel that plugin popups are relatively uncommon, and they do not yet justify this being on as a default setting. Eventually, this may become more of a pressing issue.

Best,
Daniel Wabyick
Fluid, inc.
http://www.fluid.com

Posted by: Daniel Wabyick on April 1, 2005 02:58 PM

The reply-to-thread popup at VVSpy.com isn't allowed without white-listing - se one of the threads on this page, for an example:

http://www.vvspy.com/frameset.php?bn=volvospy_general

(The reply-to popup should open when you click the little image.

Posted by: David Naylor on April 1, 2005 03:10 PM

... continued from previous post. Doh! (The IMG tag doesn't work...)

The icon that looks like a page with a red arrow pointing to the right from it...

Posted by: David Naylor on April 1, 2005 03:11 PM

The extension certainly does what it is supposed to do, unfortunately it blocks most other necessary things as well, even blocking official plug-in's from Mozilla. Far and away too effective to be enabled by default, I use Adblock, which never fails, the only proviso is that one sees the pop up before manually blocking it, but I much prefer that to constantly wondering why something is not working, then finding out Firefox has blocked it, this could give the non tech savvy users so much hassle, they will revert to IE in order to do what they intend.

Posted by: David Field on April 1, 2005 03:38 PM

you can test here: http://vatican.on.nimp.org/~news/storys/pope-is-dead/

Posted by: rkz on April 1, 2005 04:56 PM

It sounds like this patch blocks a lot of legitimate popups, and whitelisting is at best a trade-off. If some way was provided for plugins to be able to tell Firefox when they were being clicked (like IE) I'm sure plugin writers would be keen to adopt it - they already seem to be interested in the Firefox popup issue (see http://www.markme.com/jd/archives/007395.cfm).

Posted by: Big Gary on April 1, 2005 05:40 PM

Can someone who doesn't have 'Adblock' extension installed see if the pop-up blocker extension fix blocks the pop-up here ?

www . recordnet . com

Posted by: Otto on April 1, 2005 05:48 PM

Dan: I think it could be done in smarter way. Usually (sic!) when a user clicks on a link it should go somewhere OR open popup. Almost never an expected behaviour is to do both. So If we would be able to manage how to make a statement that would check if the link moves user (href + javascript), then we could block just those clicks from presenting popup.
To make it really strong, we neeed to check the result of JS functions evaluated on mouseclick event, but in a simply way, I can suggest improving your extensions to block only those popups that are opened after clicking on link with href different to "#" or "javascript:"

Posted by: Gandalf on April 1, 2005 08:16 PM

cool.. this works against those annoying paypopup.com popups.

To test:
http://www.zophar.net/windos.phtml and click on any of the links.


thx!!

Posted by: Mike on April 1, 2005 08:42 PM

Does uninstalling the extension add back the funcionality of wanted popups?

Posted by: enleger on April 1, 2005 11:59 PM

>cool.. this works against those annoying paypopup.com popups.

>To test:
>http://www.zophar.net/windos.phtml and click on any of the links.
These strangely allways appear offscreen for me, some Gecko could easily block.

Posted by: Anonymous on April 2, 2005 12:58 AM

That or disabling yes. :)

Posted by: Paul on April 2, 2005 01:13 AM

Like some others I find it's more a nusiance than help, so many usefull links have to be allowed.

That being said I'm very glad people are working on this. :)

Posted by: Paul on April 2, 2005 04:28 AM

Asa and I are running this experiment to see what can be done by fiddling with the existing pref settings and what kind of collateral damage would result. If pref settings alone worked, or at least helped, we could roll this out as a quick update. There's a certain audience that's happy to fiddle with about:config, but that is completely innappropriate for the vast majority of our users.

On a separate tack Johnny Stenback is working on improving the guts of the popup blocking code; that's the real solution here. But that also has higher risk than an extension that can easily be uninstalled and will likely have to wait for the full 1.1 update (and nightlies along the way, of course).

Posted by: Dan Veditz on April 2, 2005 09:59 AM

Can you, please, remove the "drop down popup"?

http://www.popuptest.com/

Posted by: Max on April 2, 2005 10:50 AM

This extension blocks also the target=_blank links and the onclick-popup javascript links. The result: change the dom.popup_allowed_events to click dblclick submit, not to an empty string.

Posted by: Csefi on April 2, 2005 11:07 AM

Another way of solving a large amount of advertising problems is:

* Disabling loading of Javascripts from other domains. (things like intellitext are a good example) This alone would stop a huge amount of popups and inline adverts. Can't think of a ligitamte use for off-domain scripts, and nor have I ever seen a legitamate use.

* disable popups in flash, not generated by a click (this is a flash-plugin problem right?)

* Integrate ad-block and create a damn usable UI >_

Posted by: Kroc Camen on April 2, 2005 12:04 PM

i test it in
http://www.popuptest.com/

and the Drop down Popup and the Sticky popup still came up

Posted by: tory on April 2, 2005 02:34 PM

tory, those aren't popups.

span#AdFloater { display: none !important }

Posted by: logan on April 3, 2005 12:45 PM

this popup blocker is still too strict in blocking popups. for example, go to www.newgrounds.com and try and view a flash file. by default it opens in a new window, but the blocker blocks this. when you allow popups from newgrounds, not only are you allowing the flash file to be viewed, but also allowing those other nasty ad popups that newgrounds has.

is it possible to allow only the popups you want, or is that a pipe dream?

Posted by: bash on April 3, 2005 02:12 PM

Links of the following form, which are very common, are intended to degrade gracefully when JavaScript is not available:

<a href="someurl" onclick="window.open(this.href); return false;">Link</a>

However, installing the extension renders such links useless. Clicking the link results neither in the link opening in a popup nor in the link being followed as normal.

Perhaps a better solution would be to detect such links and create an exception, or to make such JavaScript fail from window.open onwards so that "return false" is never executed.

Posted by: Thomas Rutter on April 3, 2005 08:41 PM

I discovered today that it's basically impossible to edit a page in MediaWiki using this extension. Whenever I would type in an apostrophe (') the Find Text bar would appear. Text would echo to the text box that I was editing on the web page, and to the search bar. When I hit backspace, nothing happened. Turning off the extension stopped this behavior immediately.

Posted by: Andrew Sayman on April 4, 2005 11:11 AM

USELESS, BLOCKS WANTED POPUPS

Posted by: Brian on April 4, 2005 12:11 PM

Yes, quite the paranoid popup blocker fix. "Hey, let's just block _everything_ that pops up! Smart!". No, virtually impossible to surf 99% of forums, and a whole lotta % of sites that require popups in general. It wouldn't even open a link on a html page to a simple .jpg... aggrevating. No, remove this a.s.a.p. and get started on a beta 2 or something. :)

Posted by: Drexon on April 4, 2005 04:16 PM

I think it's quite interesting that people here have such a dismissive view about why pop-ups and I guess ads exist in general. I quote Richard from above "It's a pity the advertisers don't realise that their intrusions are unwanted.". Yes, I agree that some intrusions in the form of ads are indeed very invasive. Especially when they come from deceptive links and websites that bombard the user with advertising. However, do not forget that whatever site you're on, it's most likely supported by advertising. What do you think would happen to content on the web if advertising was not there to support it? That's right, it wouldn't be free for much longer.

Better alternatives to the problem involve a better advertising model that reduced the number of unwanted ads. This can be done several ways including allowing some anonymous tracking that will allow for more targeted (read: things that you actually might consider buying) ads. (Wait, I'm about to get bombed by the masses of privacy advocates who believe anonymous tracking is a violation of every right known to man...)

The logic is simple, the more relevant an ad to the user, the more likely they will be to click on it and perhaps make a purchase. This leads to more $$ for whichever site you're on leading to more content, more features, and much more for you. And it's likely to remain free supported by the occassional "irrelevant" ad.

Posted by: Roger on April 4, 2005 08:09 PM

> Links of the following form, which are very common, are intended to degrade gracefully when JavaScript is not available:

Actually, the script executed in onclick should be:

ref=window.open(this.href); return ref==null;

In this case, if the window fails to open, the link will be followed. Hopefully the plugin returns a null window reference.

Posted by: Rick DeBay on April 4, 2005 09:06 PM

I do like this idea but also start to worry that it might kill off some of the service we get. If one doesn't like to have pop up, one can install extensions for it but having this built-in would render some of the websites "criminal like". I do like this as an extension but not quite being built-in

just my 2cent

Posted by: coolcold on April 5, 2005 06:58 AM

Works fine for me. One thing about blocking links: I can still right-click and open them in a new tab. Works fine for me.

Posted by: Xevious on April 5, 2005 07:04 AM

One trick I've seen that isn't being blocked in the current Firefox build (I don't know about the new extension) is something along the lines of

document.write("<scr" + "ipt>openNewWindow(blahblah,buyGenericRolexes.com); </scr"+"ipt>");

Any chance you could catch this in the next attempt?

Posted by: Mark on April 5, 2005 07:13 AM

Ugh.. You can't even click "show this popup" it just keeps re-blocking it every time you click it.

Posted by: Luke on April 5, 2005 07:21 AM

Wanted popups? Legitimate popups? There's no such thing! Even if its not an ad, I don't want my browser making new windows. The only time I want the browser to make a new window is when I choose "Open Link in New Window". (Which I almost never do.)

Posted by: Robert on April 5, 2005 07:31 AM

How about allowing users to enter a blacklist as an alternative to a whitelist? Some of us are fairly satisfied with the blocking abilities of the combined tools Privoxy, AdBlock, and Flashblock.

On the rare occasion that a site does annoy us, it would be useful to put a little yellow bar at the top of the popup window (similar to the bar that appears when a popup is blocked) that says,

This popup was opened by xxx site using yyy method.
Click here to disable all popups using yyy method from this site,
or click here to block all popus from this site and close this window.

Such a process would allow a person to discover what method a site is using as well as determine if it uses the same method for necessary popups as for annoying popups. If it uses the same method, then you either live with it or start fiddling with Privoxy expressions...

Posted by: Pete on April 5, 2005 07:44 AM

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050321 Firefox/1.0.2 With adblock

popuptest.com shows the Drop down Popup and the Sticky popup, but the rest are blocked.

Posted by: praxis22 on April 5, 2005 07:47 AM

http://www.thewrestlinganswer.com/

This site is completely fixed by this patch. Thanks!

Posted by: Tommy Dreamer on April 5, 2005 08:05 AM

What do you think would happen to content on the web if advertising was not there to support it?

Roger, I guess we'll never really know, since there are too many people like yourself convinced of this by the advertising companies. Here's the problem with your hypothesis, though:

Take myself, as an example. I never buy anything from advertising shown on the internet. Ever. Therefore, I'm "getting the internet for free"...

wait. what's this bill I pay every month for internet access? Oohh right.. that's my internet access bill, the one I pay to have internet access.

Yes, some sites that entirely base their business model on a dying ad-revenue profit model will die when advertising becomes impossible due to these technologies, that's very true, and you're right on that account. What, though, have we lost as a society? We've lost a company whose audience was its advertising companies, not its readers or its customers. Is this a loss to society? No, it truthfully isn't. Companies that have bad business models -die-. That's the way of things. All companies don't have bad business models, and all companies wouldn't die. Some would move to subscription-based content, and their customers would still pay for it. People get it for "free" right now because most of the time the advertising revenue business model is the easiest to set up. That doesn't mean it's "good for society" or that our culture would die without advertising.

You need to step back from this scenario and really understand what the implications would be of an internet without advertising. It would not be the death of our society, it would be the return of control to what it used to be.

Posted by: John on April 5, 2005 08:36 AM

>"I think it's quite interesting that people here have such a dismissive view about why pop-ups and I guess ads exist in general."

Sorry Roger, but you are wrong. Dead wrong.

Yes, advertising is necessary. Websites use advertising just like TV stations and newspapers do. And there's nothing wrong with that. The issue is not advertising. If a website wants to put ads on a page, that's perfectly fine.

The issue is *DELIBERATELY INTRUSIVE ADVERTISING*. There is absolutely *NO* legitimate reason for pop-up ads. None. Zero.

Posted by: Mulva on April 5, 2005 09:08 AM

I think it just would be better as an extension rather than built-in. At least I can decide whether I want to use it or not.

Posted by: coolcold on April 5, 2005 09:13 AM

I keep seeing "legitimate" or "wanted" popups in this thread.

No such thing. It's just a sign of bad programming that any site would require popups. I can see that some are currently necessary by user standards -- you want to be able to download the file or whatever -- but it only shows that the people responsible for the site in question would rather be cool than user friendly.

Posted by: Hazy Day on April 5, 2005 09:24 AM

If you have the "Open search results in a new browser window." google preference activated, everything you click on a google search will be blocked. That made me de-install it on the spot.

Posted by: Johnny Gomez on April 5, 2005 09:53 AM

Who needs flash anyway? After I took flash off, it's back to no unwanted popups. I am getting the valid popups, it's exactly what I want.

Posted by: PantySniffer on April 5, 2005 10:05 AM

I would suggest you make the Flashblock extension default behaviour for Firefox. All flash content is a single click away, which, quite frankly, is where it should be.

Posted by: Ray on April 5, 2005 10:25 AM

Thank you for the gerat work.
Is the download not available?

Posted by: midfingr on April 5, 2005 10:30 AM

Oops I found the link.
Sorry about that.

Posted by: midfingr on April 5, 2005 10:31 AM

This doesn't block the "floater" in HindustanTimes

Gaurav

Posted by: Gaurav on April 5, 2005 10:32 AM

Great work! I did notice a problem with gmail though. It blocks gmail popups (which is expected), but after you "allow" gmail to serve popups, firefox sends all of the gmail popups to the background.

Steps to reproduce:

1. Click compose.
2. Click the icon on the top right corner to put the composition window in a popup.
3. The composition window opens in the foreground, and when it is done loading it moves to the background.


Justin

Posted by: JustinHoMi on April 5, 2005 10:34 AM

Breaks too many sites unless the site is specifically white listed. Check out the menus at the Aimee Mann site at http://www.aimeemann.com/home.html . Many of the menu choices do not work unless the site is placed on the white list. I think that the extension generally hinders web surfing at this point.

Posted by: Norman Hunter on April 5, 2005 10:59 AM

Well, I tried everything @ http://www.popuptest.com/

Drop Down and Sticky were the only 2 that worked. I believe they worked though not because they are popups but just ads. Drop Down is probably just a layer that you can close (make disappear) and the sticky one is just an add that stays at the top of the screen when you scroll down (easy to do with ads or a menu). Just block it with adblock.

Now I don't really get popups to being with but that site would be a good test I think. Not sure if they had a flash or shockwave popup test though. Keep up the GREAT work!

Posted by: REETS on April 5, 2005 11:52 AM

Norman: Boycott them. Sites like that are a perversion of the internet. Seriously. NO SITE should require Flash for navigation unless the main content is Flash (HSR, NG) and that site is a band site. A band site consists of images and text. I should not have to load up inaccessible (to the deaf) Flash files just for some images and text. We have a technology that the Mozilla teams have been working on supporting for quite some time: HTML.

And yes, I have no idea what a deaf person would be doing on a band's website. However, it's making people think Flash is an acceptible site design program when it's a CARTOONING PROGRAM!

Posted by: KirbyMeister on April 5, 2005 12:24 PM

Amen, KirbyMeister.

I've seen amazing things done with pure CSS and HTML, and even more amazing things done when you sprinkle in a little JavaScript so there should be no requirement for Flash just to navigate a site. Bad design, plain and simple.

Posted by: eladner on April 5, 2005 01:15 PM

The link doesn't work for me.

Posted by: yakuza on April 5, 2005 02:59 PM

I take that back, now it works. Go figure.

Posted by: yakuza on April 5, 2005 03:00 PM

I develop flash applications, and pop-ups from Flash when user CLICKS to upload files or to launch another page without interrupting the flash socket connection to the game server are really necessary.

Does this fix blocks pop-ups when a user CLICKS on a link?
If so, I think it's excessive, since if a user clicks on something, he certainly wants a pop-up to open.

Posted by: Alec on April 5, 2005 03:38 PM

I think the feature I would like is a "Do not permit java or javascript or flash or any other sort of scripting of any kind on web pages from this domain" button for the persistent bad actors. (Yeah, I know, "Then stay out of those joints", but some of them have content I want. I don't mind banners, but I want those detestable popups gone forever.)

Posted by: Mike Van Pelt on April 5, 2005 03:59 PM

I agree with someone who posted that it does not block "floaters" at http://www.hindustantimes.com and I tested this plugin at http://www.popuptest.com. It shows a dropdown and a sticky popup, other than that things look good.

Posted by: Rushabh Doshi on April 5, 2005 05:35 PM

Just a thought - would it be possible to talk to Macromedia and Sun with
regards to popup blocking? I guess the best way to work out whether a
popup is wanted would be whether or not it is triggered by an onclick
type event - not necessarily directly, but somewhere in the call stack
.. presumably this would have to happen within the Java VM / Flash
player ...

Posted by: Joshua Mostafa on April 5, 2005 05:53 PM

Patch worked fine at first but somehow would not work after a few pages. Re-installed patch w/o sucess. Also upgraded to Firefox 1.0.2 to no avail. Finally uninstalled Flash again. By going to:

http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/knowledgebase/index.cfm?id=tn_14157

for uninstall applet.

Keep at 'em. Thanks

Posted by: SaberJim on April 5, 2005 07:08 PM

I think this blocker is great! Does exactly what I want.

BUT there are still pop unders getting through, If you spend any time clicking around www.shareprovider.com You will find that there are pop unders after you finish

Posted by: Jase on April 5, 2005 11:07 PM

Please do not implement this popup blocker technology.
It is far too agressive. Even the link to this page was blocked!
Most of the e-commerce tools I tested do not work anymore.

Posted by: Erik on April 6, 2005 12:18 AM

Check this: http://www.popuptest.com/goodpopups.html - the Firefox tool is not smart enough to recognize these user click popups.
Even popups that are generated after a user click event are blocked with this popup must die extension.
I think you should rename the extension to 'users free will must die' :-)

Posted by: Eruj on April 6, 2005 12:30 AM

Ok, I've tried this patch with Mozilla 1.76, and it works like a charm.
Blocks all the tests on popup test.com, except these two, as previously stated.
http://www.popuptest.com/popuptest8.html
http://www.popuptest.com/popuptest6.html

furthermore, I tried all other links posted on this page, it blocked them all.
I do not mind manually allowing those that I want to work...it's a small price to pay.

Posted by: Rickkins on April 6, 2005 05:27 AM

I have installed this extension onto my Windows XP and Mac OS X machines, both running Firefox 1.0.2. They both used to get pop-ups from http://relicious.blogspot.com/ , now the pop-ups are blocked.

But the Mac gives me a warning that a pop-up was blocked, where as the Windows version does not.

I hope this is something that can be addressed.

Posted by: ErikG on April 6, 2005 07:51 AM

Don't know about you, but my FF blocks all popups from http://www.popuptest.com/goodpopups.html

Posted by: Digiital on April 6, 2005 08:36 AM

This extension blocks a PopUp when a link (a PopUp should come out) is clicked.

It doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Digital on April 6, 2005 07:10 PM

Version 1.1 is better *g*

Posted by: René on April 7, 2005 08:03 AM

Everytime you kill a popup, God kills a kitty.

United Popups We Stand

Posted by: Theo on April 7, 2005 03:37 PM

How do I install this file, can anyone help me out???

Posted by: fred gray on April 7, 2005 11:57 PM

fred gray....

save the .xpi, open FIREFOX, click tools>Extensions>install(at the bottom), point to where you downloaded the .xpi and its off and runnin for you.

Posted by: mekgp on April 9, 2005 10:34 PM

Disabling and/or uninstalling this extension does NOT return wanted pop-up functionality (for instance, "see larger image" on buy.com) to my installataion of Firefox 1.0.2.

Anyone else encounter this and find a fix?

Posted by: Doug S. on April 11, 2005 02:10 PM

Dan: "An allowed-element list wouldn't help, we've seen ad-server scripts that decorate the entire DOM with onclick handlers. "click" is obviously the most wanted of events and that's the one the ad servers are targetting."

I know it's late (I was out of town for a week) and kinda pointless to respond now that there's a new version, but that's exactly why I suggested it. So the ad server places onclick or onmouseover events on every single element. So say that onclick on <body> or <div> is not allowed to open pop-ups, and onclick on <a>, <button> and <input> is. They can still attach it to unrelated links, but plastering the entire DOM is no longer as effective.

Posted by: Kelson on April 12, 2005 10:12 AM

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