Monday, May 4, 2009

NoScript and the mysterious updates

I use AdBlock Plus and I use NoScript from Firefox (when I am not running IE8).  I selectively enable ads on sites where I care about the advertising (usually technical sites).  I absolutely loathe the ads I see on most mainstream sites (usually some idiotic dancing baby/man/woman/thing hawking predatory loans), so I don't feel bad in the slightest about blocking them.  That might seem strange given that I run ads on my blog site.  However, I honestly don't care if folks block them.  My ads happen to be targeted at technical folks so they should be largely relevant to the vast majority of my visitors.  Given that a huge proportion of my visits are via RSS readers, most folks never even see the ads anyway.

Over the last few months I have noticed that NoScript has been updating basically every time I open and close the browser.  I thought, "wow, these guys must have found new and interesting exploits almost daily".  Nope, turns out it was a spat between the author of NoScript and the maintainers of AdBlock Plus.

It seems clear to me that NoScript was in the wrong on this one.  People who have enabled AdBlock Plus want it because they don't want to see ads.  It really doesn't matter if NoScript likes it or not.  It is not their settings to mess with.  Respect your users's choice - end of story.  It also doesn't bode well for the security architecture of Firefox that these things can mess with each other, but that is another story.