Vivaldi will retain support for third-party ad blockers
Google is committed to abandoning the old Chromium browser API and moving on to a new, significantly reduced version of the manifest for third-party extensions. Theoretically, these changes apply to all Chromium-based browsers, however, some developers have already stated that they will continue to support old extensions. Translation of ZDNet Note .
Opera, Brave and Vivaldi will ignore changes in Chromium code and retain support for third-party ad blockers
Despite the common roots (all three browsers are based on Chromium), Opera, Brave and Vivaldi do not plan to abandon the support of third-party ad blockers and other protective extensions. Other browsers, although they do not agree with Google’s decision, do not seem to resist.
Chromium is an open source project. Many popular browsers are based on it: Chrome, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, etc. However, the main contribution to its development is made by Google. Opera, Brave and Vivaldi have already confirmed to ZDNet that they are not going to abandon the old API and support third-party ad blockers.
Passion Around Manifest v3
Google announced its plans back in October 2018 : the company is developing a new set of standards, called Manifest v3, and the new rules will inevitably affect the work of some really popular extensions designed for Chomium.
It took a few months for third-party developers to figure out the new system and understand what Google is offering. The company intends to significantly simplify the expansion , almost completely abandoning the technology that underlies most content blockers.
At first, it was believed that only ad blockers would suffer. However, it has now become clear that the proposed changes will affectalso protective extensions (such as those offered by antiviruses), extensions designed for parental control, as well as blockers of hidden advertising trackers designed to protect users' personal data.
Chromium users also did not stand aside. Most of them are inclined to believe that in such a simple way Google is simply trying to get rid of independent ad blockers, because it is from advertising that the company receives the bulk of its profit. The search giant has been heavily criticized and condemned by the Internet community.
A little later, Google promised to take into account all the comments, but the changesproposed in February 2019 leaves no doubt: the company is not going to abandon its plans. The maximum that we can count on is the easy adjustment of very stringent requirements.
At the end of May 2019, Google again issued a statement: this time it became known that the old technology, which third-party ad blockers relied on, would still continue to work, but only in a special version of the browser intended for corporate clients. The fate of ordinary users, it seems, few people care about ...
It seems that these are the only concessions that are ready to go to Google. The changes should take effect in January 2020. Most likely, already in the coming Christmas holidays you will notice that your ad blocker has begun to work noticeably worse ...
Users are indignant, and many of them are willing to change their browser. The main alternative to Chrome remains Firefox. Once he was the leader in the browser race, now he acts as a catch-up and is forced to come up with new chips to expand the audience. The main one was the emphasis on confidentiality.
However, the problem concerns not only Chrome users: the changes in question will be made directly to Chromium, which means that most Chromium-based browsers will be affected.
Brave Software CEO Brendan Eich told ZDNet in an email that Brave will continue to support the old API, which Google is so eager to get rid of: "We will continue to support webRequest for all extensions in Brave." In addition, as an alternative to familiar ad blockers, Brave users can use the built-in Shields filter.
Eich also stressed that they will continue to support the popular uBlock Origin and uMatrix, extensions developed by Raymond Hill. It was he who drew the attention of the public to the very controversial actions of Google. Hill is confident that Google is aware of the consequences of its actions and is simply trying to protect its advertising business.
We received a similar answer from the developers of the Opera browser. The new version of the browser is also based on Chromium, which means that any changes in the code can affect Opera users.
“We can continue to support older APIs, even if Google abandons them. For more than 300 million users who have chosen Opera, this should not be a significant problem, ”a company representative told us.
The reason is simple: the browser also has its own ad blocker. “All of our browsers (from PC to mobile devices) are equipped with a built-in ad blocker. Its activation takes only a couple of clicks. In other words, even if these changes affect us, many of our users will not even notice them and will continue to use the built-in advertising filter, ”the official statement said.
The built-in blocker is almost no different from the usual extensions: users can still import the lists they need and configure the blocking for individual domains.
Vivaldi is another fairly popular browser based on Chromium. On June 3, 2019, an explanation of their position on this issue appeared on the official blog of the development team: no matter what decision the developers ultimately make, users should have a choice.
“How we respond to changes in the browser API depends on exactly what Google’s limitations will bring to the project,” explains Petter Nielsen, Vivaldi’s senior developer, “So far, all changes are only hypothetical in nature and there are many possible scenarios development of events. It’s too early to talk about anything concrete. In theory, we could independently recover the remote API (to be honest, we already had to deal with such things). If the API is completely removed and no alternative solutions are proposed, we could create our own gallery for selected extensions. ”
“And in the end, it’s not so scary: no matter what restrictions Google imposed on Chromium, we can still remove them. No matter what happens, we will always strive to ensure that our users have a choice, ”added Nielsen.
The only truly large developer who did not respond to our request was Microsoft. In 2018, the company said it was turning from its own EdgeHTML engine in favor of Chromium. Now a new version of the Edge browser, based on Chromium, is at the stage of open testing. Microsoft's plans for Manifest v3 are still unknown.
Translation: Alex Semёnov-Sherin
Original article in English