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Manifest V3: Web Request Changes

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A1711A
New Contributor

So, Google plan to introduce manifest v3 that limit extensions blocking capability by removing webRequest API and replacing it with super limited declarativeNetRequest.

 

Please, please don't remove/change/limit this API. If microsoft truly listen to it's user and many extensions developer complaining this changes.

 

I have good faith microsoft will listen, this is also good opportunity for microsoft, more user for their new chromium based browser.

 

Related discussions:

  1. https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=896897
  2. https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/#!topic/chromium-extensions/veJy9uAwS00
  3. https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uBlock-issues/issues/338
  4. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20044430
  5. All reddit threads (to many can't list here).

 

 

38 Replies

@A1711A Edge will be a Chromium based browser, so it's better to expect every engine change to reflect on Edge as well. I guess there's no way that Microsoft would fork away from Chromium.

@cbomtempo If they are capable of removing, replacing and disabling stuff from chromium and adding lots of new features/services to Edge, I am sure it is very easy for them to create set of patches to skip/undo this API changes. The problem is whether they really want to do it or not.

 

I hope the Msedge team can convey an official statement about this.

@A1711A I agree with you, but that's a core feature that if Microsoft move to a different direction than Chrome would break the extensions compatibility. But on the other hand it could make users switch to Edge because it would have "better" extensions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@A1711A 

 

I strongly agree with this. If the Manifest V3 change also comes to Chromium Edge and kills the functions that allow for add-ons like Ublock Origin then its a non starter for me. Which would be sad because I have been impressed so far with the new Edge (still kinda ugly like chrome and missing important features, but hopeful)

Agreed. As much as I like Edge and Chromium Edge, without uBlock or something similar, I'd have to switch over to Firefox. @A1711A 

This recent digging in of Google in regards to Manifest V3 has me equally concerned.

 

I switched from Firefox to Edge Insider and absolutely love it, but if I an expect to lose functionality in the future I might as well switch back.

 

Everyone is saying since this will be baked into Chromium you can expect it to roll out to everyone unless there is a distinct fork which increases work to implement new versions. I'd assume with Microsoft switching to Chromium Edge to remove the need to maintain the codebase they'd be unlikely to want to do the same. If I was a manager I'd begrudgingly accept the Manifest V3 changes into my product as the value to cost of losing some power users would likely be much less a hit than the increased workload on my developers.

 


@A1711A wrote:

Please, please don't remove/change/limit this API. If microsoft truly listen to it's user and many extensions developer complaining this changes.


Edge team has already removed a number of useful Chromium features, including apps support. They claimed Google at some point intended to discontinue apps support. Despite Google said lately they will maintain such support.

 

So I think the chance is slim they would maintain the engine fork, it contradicts purpose of moving to Chromium. Equally important, may be MS expects a share of ads revenue in exchange for contributing to Chromium project? :face_with_tears_of_joy:

 

Announcements like this should be in line with web standards. Numerous webpage ads threaten internet usability. Browser developers don't own the web, they merely provide tools to access the web, and should not be allowed by the user community and web standards to make the web a superprofit place while neglecting user needs.

@A1711A the new limited webrequest API would be a no-gamer for the new Edge for me. This is Microsofts chance to get users from Chrome to the new Edge.

 

Chrome Enterprise will support the current webrequest API with full features like Google announced.

Chromium Browsers like Brave already announced to continue to fully support the API: https://twitter.com/BrendanEich/status/1133767653472923648

 

 

@sambul95 

 

They did add ad-blocking to edge on android which isn't naively supported so you never know. Makes sense that they could possibly stay with the mainline and include the "paid enterprise" features as default here.

@Broadband 

 

May be you right, but we are not accounting for Google & MS contract here. What is allowed to minor Cent browser, will not be permitted to Edge, since it may really threaten Google dominance. On the other hand, if MS keeps sticking to Bing as default New Tab search with no alternatives, and won't allow to use Google Translate service as a choice option, it may slow Edge adaptation by users.

..What?

As far as I know, there is no contract. Microsoft is simply forking an open-source project that currently gets a majority of funding and support from Google.
Interesting that this is one of a few threads that a Microsoft employee didn't write a single word about a requested feature...

@xylobol 

 

Were did you see in real world one hugely profitable corporation "simply forking" a fundamental long term investment of another huge corporation? Are you expecting them to show you the contract copy? ;)

From what i have read I don't think they would have to fork Chromium to stay on Manifest v2, Brave will be doing that and I don't think they forked chromium. I could be wrong, but the folks over at Thurrot.com seemed to say that Microsoft wont have to adapt to V3 if they don't want to. (paywall link) https://www.thurrott.com/paul/207692/ask-paul-may-31      @A1711A 

@GilesBrule

Out of curiousity, what do you think makes Chrome and the new Edge ugly? I don't have any ulteriror thoughts before you say anything.

 

@Broadband

UM. EXCUSE ME? adblock users aren't "power users". I hate that term. I for one am just a tech enthusiast. I'm not an "IT Pro" or a developer.

 

@sambul95

Why would they use Google Translate and Google Search? That would remove the whole purpose of the browser. I don't think they can use Google Translate like that anyway.

 

I feel like everyone is forgetting that Microsoft also has ads.

@GilesBrule 

Microsoft wouldn't be alone.

https://vivaldi.com/de/blog/chromium-ad-blockers-choice/

I hope to go and follow others.

@pneenkoalabear 

 

Its just ascetics and personal preference. For example I was never a fan of the odd shaped tabs in Chrome and when they redesigned them I was so bummed they did not go with straight lines like old Edge and Firefox. I don't think they stand out as much as they should and just create more screen clutter. Also in Chrome (and many parts of new Edge) everything is faded or dusty looking, in old edge blacks are darker, white pop more and lines are crisper. I think even text looks different, in chrome and new edge its all a little bit lighter and less pronounced. Again this is a ascetic preference but I really like the way old edge looks and feels.

@GilesBrule 

Edge is still relatively young and under development. To criticize now is wrong. Other browsers took years and Edge is supposed to make it in 6 months, that's not possible.

This Edge is based on Chromium which has been around for a long time. Edge Spartan has been around for around 4 years. All Edge has done aesthetically is tweak Chromium. They haven't redone text rendering. It's totally possible to make it in 6 months.

Has MS released an official response to the ad blocking problems coming to Chromium? I haven't seen anything yet - did I miss it?

 

Any browser that cripples ad blocking extensions are dead to me. I'll stick with Safari on all my devices and Firefox when I need an alternative. It's a bummer because I was looking forward to giving Edge a try in macOS.

@A1711A Thanks for posting this. This user is in complete agreement, and it's more than just adverts. If you run uBO in the "medium mode" with dynamic filtering, you prevent cross-site tracking. Other extensions, such a Privacy Badger, also prevent tracking, but they too depend on Manifest V2. 

 

Manifest V2 is about tracking and privacy as much as ad-blocking. I hope that the new Microsoft Edge takes privacy seriously and allows users to stop tracking by the use of extensions that require Manifest V2. 

It's also about security and performance. (my comment was much longer before but I shortened it to this. I'm feeling really sad right now due to personal stuff)
Not an official response from Microsoft, but at least a personal opinion from a Microsoft employee working on the Edge team about this topic: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Discussions/Google-to-restrict-ad-blocking-in-Chromium/m-p/68...

Microsoft Edge Dev Team posted some details about this changes to manifest v3 and the new edge on reddit: 

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/c094uf/hi_reddit_were_the_team_behind_microsoft_edge_and/er34...

 

as its not a clear statement that they will support manifest v2, they definitely are going to support extensions with the strong ability for blocking ads.

 

i already switched from chrome to new edge chromium.

 

It looks like they won't support manifest v2. They are a part of the Coalition for Better Ads (which includes Google and Facebook). In reply to:
"Are you maintaining a fork of Chromium in order to exclude the stupid changes like Google’s decision to cripple the webRequest API in order to stop people blocking ads?"
they said this:
"We have chosen not to fork since we don’t want to fragment the community, but our infrastructure does allow us to maintain patches for cases where we have a different point of view on individual changes (we talked about the webRequest/Manifest V3 changes in a couple other places. In general we plan to upstream our web platform improvements to the Chromium project. "

Without an adblocker, I have no reason to use Edge. I even left Bing as my search engine and disabled my adblocker for it. I just wish Firefox's performance were better and that Brave were less annoying. Edge has nice scrolling and move to new window. This makes me so mad but mostly sad.
Any news how Microsoft handle API v3?
not that I know of. I guess they won't bother maintaining v2 apis
Microsoft shouldn't let Google have a say in Edge browser or remotely affect the development of Edge browser.
Microsoft should take Manifest V3, use only its good features and remove/ignore the bad ones such as those and limit the ability of adblockers.
obviously Google is against adblockers because their business runs on ads, on YouTube, searches, all around the world wide web.
adblockers such as ublock origin are such a thorn in Google's eyes because they don't let any ads through.
so yeah Microsoft is stepping in the right direction with the introduction of Tracking Prevention feature, they shouldn't stop now and use the parts of Manifest V3 which won't let adblockers work as they should.
otherwise Brave would be a better browser.
but microsoft chose to switch to chromium. they gave control to google who is the main contributor to chromium. they chose the path of little development :(
They de-googled Chromium before integrating it into their Edge browser..
Chromium is already the "de-googled" version of chrome.
microsoft "just" added the microsoft-stuff to chromium and some additonal features.
I doubt microsoft will add much effort into maintaining an api just for ad-blockers, and i doubt google will make it easy for chromium forks to add and maintain apis to bypass the new specifications.
But microsoft could at least increase the limit of rules that plugins can pass into the network-filter api.
The next version of chromium (v80) will contain the first changes from manifest v3, we will see how these changes will reflect into edge chromium.
"The next version of chromium (v80) will contain the first changes from manifest v3, we will see how these changes will reflect into edge chromium."

We can already see the changes in both Google chrome and Microsoft Edge. version 80 has been feature-locked for a long time now, you can see the changes in Microsoft Edge dev which is still on version 80 and Canary which is on version 81.

"microsoft "just" added the microsoft-stuff to chromium and some additonal features."

"Not" really
https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/8/18300772/microsoft-google-services-removed-changed-chromium-edge-b...

"i doubt google will make it easy for chromium forks to add and maintain apis to bypass the new specifications."

Brave, the privacy focused new browser is based on chromium, don't you think manifest V3 with all those flaws would literally end Brave's main feature and usefulness? the ability to block ads?
I dont think manifest v3 will end braves main features. As braves main focus is just this feature they will put effort into maintaining an "usefull" api for blocking ads.
But why should microsoft do? They do sell ads via bing themself.
Microsoft's Tracking prevention set to Strict blocks roughly 80% of the ads.
maybe manifest V3 will affect Edge's Tracking prevention feature too.
also Microsoft can fork Chromium and develop it on their own without Google's interference
this way they will be able to more efficiently handpick features from Chromium and put them in Microsoft's version of Chromium.
I know they de-googled Chromium.

They don't review every commit and add each one. They have a set of patches. An apt Android browser comparison would be Kiwi to Bromite. btw Ungoogled Chromium exists but Microsoft did more than what Ungoogled Chromium has done iirc.
Microsoft did more than what Ungoogled Chromium has done iirc so that means it's good, right?
Microsoft themselves said they weren't forking Chromium in their Reddit AMA.

Also, Brave's native ad blocking doesn't use extensions so they wouldn't be impacted by manifest v3 but they have said that they'll keep the manifest v2 APIs.
I know they aren't forking Chromium right now, but they should do it if they have to in future, instead of letting Google take control.

isn't it possible for Google to prevent extensions and browsers not compatible with manifest V3 from working properly and eventually force them to give in?
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