Vivaldi: Ad blocking should be the user's choice


    Block ads or not?
    Your choice matters!

    Failure to support the webRequest API, which underlies almost all existing ad blockers and hidden trackers, will disrupt the operation of many popular extensions (such as AdBlock Plus , uBlock Origin, and Ghostery ). An alternative API is already under development and testing, but so far it is not able to completely replace the webRequest API.

    In addition, the changes proposed by Google will affect not only ad blockers, but also protective extensions, antiviruses and parental control applications.

    The user reaction was quite clear and understandable: we do not want to lose the usual tools, and the developers want to keep the functionality of their extensions to the maximum. It seems that not many people liked the Google solution ... Well, who would have thought ?!

    The discontent was so serious that at some point Google had to backtrack and partially abandon its plans, but only for corporate clients: last week Google representatives said that the old API would still be available, but only to users of a special version browser for business.

    Ad blocking is everyone’s choice.

    The Google solution is dictated primarily by the conditions of the modern online advertising market. On the one hand, there is Google - a company that earns on advertising. She needs to know who you are and what you are interested in in order to select the most relevant offers for you (such is their business model). On the other hand, users who do not like constant surveillance and annoying advertising (and they can be understood).

    Ad blocking is a rather complicated issue. The Internet in the form that we are all used to for a long time, in many respects exists only thanks to advertising. Thanks to advertising, you can use many sites for free. Remove ads from the Internet and many free services will simply close. For this reason , there is still no built-in ad blocker in our browser.

    However, we would like you to have a choice. If you don’t want to see annoying ads, you can install a custom extension. Yes, we do not have our own ad blocker, but we are happy to “delegate” these functions to third-party developers.

    What's next?

    Vivaldi is based on Chromium, and how we will respond to changes in the existing API depends primarily on how Google implements the promised limitations. Chromium is updated every six weeks, and during this time a new code must be integrated into Vivaldi.

    So far, all changes are only hypothetical in nature, and there are many possible scenarios. 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 offered, we could create our own gallery for selected extensions.

    Google has not yet made a final decision, so we still have time and room for maneuvers. Most likely, the situation will soon change. Moreover, the scenario most favorable to all of us cannot be ruled out: what if the new API ultimately manages to repeat the functionality of the webRequest API?

    And in the end, everything is not so scary: no matter what restrictions Google imposed on Chromium, in the end we can still remove them. Whatever happens, we will always strive to ensure that our users have a choice.

    Petter Nielsen,
    Vivaldi Software

    Translation: Alex Semёnov-Sherin

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