back to article Google halts purge of legacy ad blockers and other Chrome Extensions, again

Back in December, Google postponed its Chrome Extensions shakeup because the project was unfinished and beset by bugs, after a previous schedule setback three months earlier. At the time, the Chocolate Factory promised revised guidance in March. Well, that month has been and gone, and the roadmap remains unclear: the Chrome …

  1. ChoHag Silver badge

    Automatic updates were always an awful idea.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Automatic updates are a much better system for the 98% of people who aren't IT professionals, because most of them would never update if it was a manual process.

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        They're also a fantastic system for the people who are IT professionals to push their self-serving bullshit onto the people that aren't without giving them a say in the matter of what they do with their own property.

        You will eat your MV3 and you will like it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "These improvements have shifted our timeline and we are keeping the community regularly updated on our progress. We are seeing strong developer interest in the security, privacy, and performance benefits that Manifest V3 brings."

    Oh google, I love how you got into the spirit of April fools. You almost had me there you sneaky bastards.

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    user scripts, which allow the execution of arbitrary JavaScript

    FFS, has the world still learnt nothing since the disaster that was ActiveX plugins? Or did they deliberately have a meeting where they discussed how to make life easier for surreptitious cryptomining resource hoggers and other miscreants?

    1. AndrewCappo

      Re: user scripts, which allow the execution of arbitrary JavaScript

      Userscripts, as fsr as I can recall, began life as bookmarklets — little bits of user-created code that lived entirely in a bookmark and executed on clicking said bookmark. Then came Tampermonkey, which allowed you to create your own sceipts, on your side of the browser, that could execute on page load. This was used mainly for stylesheet changing in the bad old days before Stylus.

      You can put down your cane now, grandpa, nobody is remotely installing plugins on your PC. Except for widevine DRM......

      1. Howard Sway Silver badge

        Re: user scripts, which allow the execution of arbitrary JavaScript

        Grandpa's old enough to remember the era of links like "Free Super Download Accelerator! Install for 6x faster downloads! Click here to download". It wasn't a good idea to do that....

        And just because you know what you doing and what to avoid, doesn't mean that Auntie Mildred or Cousin Fred do............

    2. Steve Graham

      Re: user scripts, which allow the execution of arbitrary JavaScript

      User scripts are installed by the user and live on his or her device. They aren't random bits of code that download and run.

      On these web pages, I have one called "WiderReg", which I wrote to expand the content and remove useless white space on The Register.

      1. sgp

        Re: user scripts, which allow the execution of arbitrary JavaScript

        Indeed, I had a few of those that got rid of css paywalls.

  4. Jazzwhistle

    Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

    Nobody mentions the fact that shifting to manifest v3 will kill off a large number of very useful free extensions. Most devs can't afford to spend weeks updating and testing software from which they earn zero revenue.

    1. CatWithChainsaw

      Re: Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

      Mostly disappointed that MV3 severely neuters gorhill's uBlock Origin.

      Firefox's committment to supporting MV2 is a plus in my book.

      1. -v(o.o)v-

        Re: Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

        Yes indeed. I am considering migrating the company fleet to Firefox when MV2 is dead for just this reason.

        Since Firefox finally supports GPOs there's no real reason to keep Chrome, except the pesky rogues in HR and Finance spewing confidential data all over Google Sheets.

      2. Wanting more

        Re: Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

        Breaking uBlock origin will be the push to get me to migrate from Chrome to Firefox.

      3. DS999 Silver badge

        I have a sneaking suspicion

        That Google keeps delaying the start of MV3 hoping Firefox will perish if they just wait another year, that way they don't have to fear losing all the people that want functional adblock. Sure, there are other extensions I use and that people care about but that's the main reason I and most others care about extensions - given a choice between uBlock Origin and every other extension out there I'll take uBlock hands down and I think the overwhelming majority would agree with that.

        Google of course claims that ad blockers will still be feasible with MV3, but I'm sure they will be watered down so they let through a lot more ads. I think Google is banking on most people living with watered down ad blocking - so long as it blocks the really annoying stuff like pop ups and hovers they will ignore all the banners and interstitials. So water down Chrome's ability to block ads = more money for Google and higher share prices for all its employee stock and options. Win/win for them, lose/lose for everyone else.

        But the whole plan falls apart if everyone tells their friends "switch to Firefox and you can continue to block almost all ads like you used to" so they need Firefox to no longer be an option before they flip the switch.

        1. CatWithChainsaw

          Re: I have a sneaking suspicion

          Firefox needs to hold on for dear life. Thankfully, I don't think that's google's master plan, and a quick bard-less google search suggests that the MV3 changes will apply to all Chromium-based browsers and Safari, which means people will be forced to Firefox or any of its Gecko-based forks for a better browsing experience. Firefox will need enough market share to be able to resist Google Money long-term, which could make for an interesting duopoly.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: I have a sneaking suspicion

            MV3 changes will apply to all Chromium-based browsers and Safari

            It isn't clear that Apple has any plans to remove support for MV2. They have already added support for MV3 and full MV2 support remains.

            1. CatWithChainsaw

              Re: I have a sneaking suspicion

              Both Firefox and Safari might be committing to supporting both Manifest versions. If Safari is limited to Apple's ecosystem, anyone outside it will need a non-Chromium browser, which is almost just Firefox and the Fireforks at this point.

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

      As soon as I read about this last year I switched from chrome to Vivaldi.

      Partly out of curiousity, partly because Google are evil and biased and party just to keep ad block plus going forward. Oh and because of resource usage and just to try something different.

      I see no reason to switch back.

  5. CowHorseFrog

    Why does Google still serve ads from different domains to its own real services ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they no longer have the personnel to work on it. What is the worth of MV3? It is to squeeze a tiny alpha more out of advertising. That's not worth it - no decent ROI - any more. Google has been unable to focus its talents on anything other than directly maximizing revenue - they could not even maintain focus on their own Android apps, because those are one level of indirection away from advertising, and they lost significant US youth market share to Apple as a result.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Its supposed to have been for 'security' but nearly all addons come from the chrome store and they have infinite resources to fold, spindle, mutilate, and scan the addons, I just don't buy it.

      I don't do any personal browsing using Chrome, only work-related browsing. With noscript and ublock origin, and having to work around that bastard cloudflare, sometimes it takes a couple of days to get some websites to work. For others, i just view source and search for text.

  7. Pete Sdev

    Quell suprise

    World's biggest online ad company that also controls the most used Web browser plans to cripple ad-blocking extensions.

    I could imagine the EU pricking their ears up when V3 comes out.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Quell suprise

      Too bad the EU doesn't prick up its ears now and start researching this. Then they'd be ready to bring charges on them a lot sooner than their usual "five years after something happens we are ready to declare we will stop it - by opening court cases that will take another five years to resolve!"

  8. Updraft102 Silver badge

    "Basically, the existing extension platform, referred to as Manifest V2, was easily abused and allowed developers to create extensions that hogged resources interfered with Google's surveillance capitalism business model.

  9. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    all evil

    all the time.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: all evil

      "Don't be evil(*)"

      (*) "Evil" is as defined in Google's Terms and Conditions (l̲i̲n̲k̲) and the definition may be changed at any time by the company. Continued use of Google products after any change signifies acceptance of the new definition by the user.

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