After twelve years of working on Adblock Plus, the time seems right for me to take a break. The project’s dependence on me has been on the decline for quite a while already. Six years ago we founded eyeo, a company that would put the former hobby project on a more solid foundation. Two years ago Felix Dahlke took over the CTO role from me. And a little more than a month ago we launched the new Adblock Plus 3.0 for Firefox based on the Web Extensions framework. As damaging as this move inevitably was for our extension’s quality and reputation, it had a positive side effect: our original Adblock Plus for Firefox codebase is now legacy code, not to be worked on. Consequently, my Firefox expertise is barely required any more; this was one of the last areas where replacing me would have been problematic.
So I am taking all of 2018 off. It’s not merely about being tired of working on the same project. I also noticed that I’ve grown irrationally attached to XUL and Gecko, as I’ve accumulated lots of knowledge in that area over the years and helped many others learn as well. Consequently, while I see Mozilla’s motivation for their rushed Web Extensions move, I cannot feel positive about it. This isn’t a good prerequisite when staying in touch with Mozilla is part of the job description.
Next year I will only get involved in Adblock Plus if my assistance is absolutely required (in other words: most likely not at all). Instead, I want to get a clear head, and learn new things. My Easy Passwords extension is a very promising project that definitely needs more of my time, and I would like to contribute to a bunch of open source projects. I also want to spend more time doing security research again, which should help pay the bills as a side effect.
Theoretically, there is already no reason for people to contact me about Adblock Plus directly. Many still do however, so here is a quick reference:
- If a Firefox bug affects Adblock Plus, you should add this user to Cc on Bugzilla (don’t send emails there, nobody will receive them).
- If you have an issue with Adblock Plus, the forums are the place to ask questions.
- If you want to report an Adblock Plus bug, the issue tracker is the right place (again, ask in the forums if you need assistance).
- If you want to contribute to Adblock Plus development, it’s easiest to do so on GitHub (other tools are used internally but you aren’t required to use them).
- Questions regarding eyeo can be sent via the contact page or email addresses listed there.