I wrote a little about the Firefox Prism add-on in a previous article. One of the thing I simply couldn’t configure at that time was installing extensions or other Firefox add-on’s to work with my Prism apps. One of the best and most used advertisement blocking utility in Firefox is without doubt, Adblock Plus. Here, I’ll show you how simple it is to create your Prism apps without the advertisements! Why would you want to do this? Simple. It’s due to the fact that you hate ads! Just like how its so simple to install a Firefox addon of your choice within the browser, doing so within a Prism app is equally simple.
UPDATE: Mozilla has stopped the Prism project and it will no longer be supported. The add-on will not work with all recent versions of Firefox. For users who insist on using Prism, you can still follow along with this article to download a stand-alone version of Prism. While not a Firefox add-on, it still relies on the Firefox browser. The latest version of AdBlock Plus is also incompatible with Prism. You’ll need to download an older version of ABP to integrate it with Prism. Of course, you’ll have to be aware of the risk of running an older version of an add-on. Should you proceed, download ABP version 1.3.10 to have it work with Prism once again. | http://bit.ly/qYD1mN
If you want to learn more about Prism, I suggest you read over my previous article which should explain Prism a bit more.
The method I use here may not be the best but it certainly works for me. If anyone knows of a even better method of removing advertisements in Prism apps (or in general), please share it in the comments section.
What you want to do first is manually download the Adblock Plus add-on stand-alone install file. Simply head over to the development build webpage of Adblock Plus and download the newest version of the add-on. The file should have an .xpi extension. However, rather than clicking on the file like you normally would, what you need to do is right-click it instead and choose the Save Link As option from the menu. In the Save As box, save the file to your Desktop for ease of access.
For this trick to work, you have to use the stand-alone version of the Prism add-on. By stand-alone, I simply mean the version of Prism not integrated directly into Firefox. It works the same but rather than creating the Prism app within Firefox itself, we now do it outside of the browser via an executable. Head over to the Prism download website and remember, do not download the Firefox extension version! Once downloaded to your Desktop or Downloads folder, simply extract the folder within it.
Alright, we now have everything we need! I’ve read some articles explaining how to get Adblock Plus working with Prism apps and majority of them wanted you to manually extract the add-on to open a file for manual editing etc, etc. In other words, it seemed complicated. The method I use here is totally simple.
Open the Prism folder you extracted earlier. Notice how there isn’t a folder labeled ‘extensions’?
We are going to change that by opening the main Prism app once, which you can do so by double clicking the prism.exe executable. Once it opens, close out of it. If you now look back into the folder, you should see the newly created ‘extensions’ folder.
Next, open up the extensions folder, which should have nothing in it. Drag the Adblock Plus xpi file you downloaded earlier into this folder. THAT’s IT!You might be able to get away with dragging other Firefox xpi add-on’s into this extensions folder and having it work with your Prism created apps as well. However, I only added Adblock Plus in my scenario because it was the most important and because I knew for sure the add-on supported Prism.
You can now freely create your Prism apps without advertisements! When you start up the Prism executable again, it will need your confirmation to install the AdBlock Plus add-on. Simply wait for the timer to expire and hit Install to continue.
Each time you create a new Prism app, it will now include the Adblock Plus add-on as well. During the first time you open your newly created app, Adblock Plus will ask you to subscribe to a blocking list. I highly suggest the default, EasyList (English).
When opening a newly created app for the first time, I suggest you don’t hit on the ‘Add Subscription’ button too quickly. I’ve noticed some sites don’t register the add-on if you hit the button to quickly. Let the page load completely first and then hit the Subscribe button. Close and reopen the Prism app and hopefully the advertisements will be gone. If not, simply re-create the app.
I will re-use Grooveshark and Youtube as an example by providing before and after shots.
If you ever wanted to get rid of that white ad space in Grooveshark, now you can thanks to a fabulous tip by Mark left in the comment section. By using a Firefox add-on called Stylish, you can use it to hide that blank ad space in Grooveshark. Not only that, this nifty add-on allows you to customize the look and feel of many websites within Firefox.
- First download the Stylish add-on. For the sake of this article, you do not want to install this in Firefox. Similar to what we did earlier for the Ad-Block Plus add-on, we want to manually save the .XPI file and manually import it in our Grooveshark Prism app. Therefore, right click on the big Add to Firefox button and do a Save As instead to your Desktop.
- If you already have created a Grooveshark Prism app, delete it and create another one. This time while creating the app, select the “Show status messages and progress” option.
- Once the Prism app opens, look to the lower right corner and click on the little cogwheel icon/button. Select Tools > Add-ons. Select the Extensions tab and simply drag and drop the Stylish .XPI file you downloaded earlier into this window. Click the Install Now button and then hit the Restart Prism button, similar to what happens whenever you install a add-on in Firefox.
- Once Grooveshark reloads, click back the little cogwheel button and head once again to Tools > Add-ons. This time, you’ll notice a new tab at the top called User Styles. Click on it. Now click on the Write New Style button. Copy the code snippet from this site (click the Show Code button) and paste it into the main text area. You’ll also want to give the new style a name.
As soon as you hit the Save button, you’ll immediately see the change in your Grooveshark app. With this awesome trick, your Grooveshark Prism app feels and looks much more like a regular application. It’s not a necessity obviously to remove the ad space so it’s definitely your choice. Once again, thanks to Mike for pointing this out!
In the End…
I’m sure a lot of people will find creating Prism apps more attractive just by being able to remove advertisements alone. However, like I’ve said in my first article, there are most likely many others still out there that think Prism apps are totally useless. My take is you’ll never know for sure until you try it for yourself.