Sunday, August 28, 2011

*** interview with creator of “AdBlock” extension for Chrome and Safari***

Hi Friends

“AdBlock” is very nice and powerful extension for block unwanted ads. It’s really perfect, and it’s available for both Google Chrome and Safari Browsers.

AdBlock For Google chrome:

AdBlock For Safari:

Recently, I interviewed with AdBlock Creator Mr Michael Gundlach, that he was one of Google’s employees in the past. See the interview below:

On Tue, Aug 23, 2011:

HiThank you again for accept my interview request.

Michael Gundlach: You're very welcome! :)


1. Please introduce yourself.

I'm Michael Gundlach, I'm 30 years old, I'm married to a wonderful woman named Katie. I've been programming since I was 8 years old, and I went to the University of Georgia for my undergraduate and graduate degree in Computer Science.

2. What’s your purpose from manufacturing AdBlock extension? When you started this project? And With which language you created it?

I was inspired by the Adblock Plus project on Firefox. They had no plans to build a Chrome version, and I loved Chrome, so I built AdBlock for Chrome in 2009, and Apple asked me to port it to Safari in 2010. It's all JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

I built and support AdBlock because I pretty passionately dislike the values underlying advertising. America has developed a consumerist culture where people buy things they don't need with money they don't have, to the point where they can't get themselves out of debt. Many advertisements use sex to sell their products, which degrades women and manipulates men. People overcoming pornography addictions are subjected to temptation just by viewing the advertising that our culture produces.

So, by helping people block ads, I'm helping a tiny bit to free them from consumerism, to treat women as equals with men, and to help men not be controlled by sex. I'm happy with that! Also, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, and these goals line up perfectly with Christian values.

And of course on top of the ideological reasons, the ads themselves are visually distracting and annoying, and they take up bandwidth. One user told me he gets fewer vomiting migraine headaches thanks to AdBlock blocking the flashing ads that trigger them. A pastor told me he recommends AdBlock to his church members when they need help recovering from porn addiction. A user in the military told me it makes browsing so much easier because the internet connections are often bandwidth-constrained. A blind user told me AdBlock makes him able to read pages more clearly because his screen reader can skip over speaking all the ads. Stories like these help me keep going :)

3. What’s about statics? How many persons downloaded it (for Chrome/for Safari)?

I don't know about downloads, but there are over two and a half million 7-day active users on Chrome, and somewhere around 1 to 2 million Safari users. Safari doesn't automatically ship AdBlock updates to users, so I don't have statistics on all the users who installed before I recently added code to count users.

4. Are you received a complaint from Advertise agencies and big companies because of blocking their ads? Is this legal in USA?

The only complaint I got was informal: after I presented AdBlock for Safari at Apple's 2010 developer conference, a guy walked up and said he worked for a large news/ads company and that they hated my work -- but that he himself loved it. I think most advertisers realize that the people who install AdBlock tend to be the ones who are less likely to click on the ads in any case.

It is indeed legal for users to view web pages however they want to view them. I'm not aware of any country where customizing a web browser's display is illegal.

5. What’s your plan for Adblock in future?

In the short term, there's an exciting new feature coming. Due to imperfect support in the browser, AdBlock hasn't been able to block ads within Flash games or within non-Youtube videos. The Chrome team is now adding better support for AdBlock, so I should be able to add this feature as soon as the Chrome team finish their work -- and my users will automatically get the update. (No such luck for Safari users, but you can switch to Chrome on Mac if you want this feature.)

In the long term, I'd like to see so many people using ad blockers that advertisers have to start paying more attention to the users' interests. In a perfect world, every ad would be so unobtrusive and pleasant that no one wanted to block them. I doubt that's going to happen, but it would be great if users could opt in with a single click to just the types of ads they wanted -- "only text ads", or "any ad that isn't sexual", or "only ads that have been targeted by my browsing habits."

This would require broad support from advertisers, so at the moment the only opt-in AdBlock offers is to text ads on Google search results, which are easy enough to detect that this feature didn't require support from Google.

6. When you start programming? What’s your first favors in technology world?

My brother is 13 years older than I, and when he was at university and I was 8 he helped me get started programming in BASIC on my father's 286 PC. I started with really simple games, such as an "Olympic javelin throwing program" that in Python would be written

for i in range(80):

print ' ' * i + '*'

but I'm sure was messier in BASIC. I got a book full of BASIC programs from the library and read through it; I modified the QBASIC games Nibbles and Gorilla on my mother's work computer; I wrote a diary program with an ASCII art animation of a diary opening. I loved programming and couldn't get enough of it (and still can't).

My father helped me build my own 386 (by the time Pentiums were popular), which was hugely exciting. I taught myself Pascal and wrote simple choose-your-own-adventure stories and more complex text adventures for my relatives (well, "complex" although all you could do was move from room to room, pick up things, and eat them.) By 16 I was writing in C++, so when I went to university I had 8 or 9 years of experience.

7. What’s your other projects and applications before AdBlock? Can you
tell about them?

My graduate university project changed the way wireless routers sent traffic to handheld computers, to save battery power.

In my professional life, in order, I've contributed to hospital management software, worked for Google's Ads Site Reliability team (ironically), built a couple of e-commerce websites, written embedded C in medical equipment, designed a network simulator using the Google Maps API, improved the search engine at using genetic algorithms, and built part of the OpenStack cloud computing system.

In my personal time, I've written predator/prey simulations, a speech-to-text Python module, genetic algorithms that draw pretty pictures, a chat server for my fiancee and me to chat halfway across the world before instant messaging existed, several educational programs for my wife's students, a CPU simulation, and a robot that you can call on the phone to play Twenty Questions with. Oh, and at university I wrote a trojan horse that replaced the UNIX login screen with my own program and then said "gotcha!" when you typed in your password. I lost the chance to be a computer lab supervisor over that one :)

And on top of all that, there are the dozens if not hundreds of programs that I've written, lost, and forgotten about. To any of your readers who are just getting started in programming and find that they love it: PLEASE put all your code in a code repository somewhere, so that 20 years later you can look back at it all fondly! It'll hurt to lose it. I'm still holding on to the .exe of the giant choose-your-own-adventure I wrote when I was 15, since I lost the source code but could maybe reverse engineer the assembly one day.

8. With which programming languages you work?

In addition to JavaScript for AdBlock, I use Python and bash for automating some development tasks. Python has been my favorite language for years, though JavaScript is catching up on it. I thought C# was great before I discovered Python :)

9. What do you think about Web 2.0 and advertising on Web 2.0? Can you present a solution to have more ethical advertising on web 2.0 without annoying users while it can be profitable for companies and people?

I think I answered this one above. If users can limit the ads they see to those they are happy to see, users will be happier, users will pay more attention per ad, users will click more ads, and advertisers and publishers will make more money. At least, that's what I hope!

10. I write some words. Please write your opinion about each word:

Computer: A tool that can be used for good or for evil.

Internet: The best hope for democracy for the oppressed.

Programming: The profession that comes closest to making ideas come to life.

Advertise: See above ;)

Adblock! : This makes me think of staying up much too late to write code back when AdBlock wasn't my full-time work; and of the users who email me to say thank you; and that I'm using my skills to make the world a slightly better place.

Internet users: I'm impressed that I get much more positive feedback from users on the Internet than negative feedback. I expected to hear only negativity. Maybe AdBlock users just tend to be nicer people :)

Privacy policy: "Privacy" on the net almost always makes me think of Google -- that they work so hard to keep your data safe from those who want to see it, that they were the first to make a privacy policy in simple language, that they fight to protect the identities of anonymous bloggers on their systems, and that they've continued to fight for privacy as companies like Facebook treat it so lightly. I'm hoping Google+ helps people see that there's an alternative to making all their information public.

Humanities: I think that humanity is inherently flawed, and that we can trust Jesus to save us from this inability to have a relationship with God.

Freedom: Perhaps the most important requirement for living a happy life.

Civilization: Sorry, all this really makes me think of is the video game, which I've never played.

USA: Despite its problems, I think it's the best government on Earth. The individual leaders may not be great, but I'm so blessed to have so much freedom, and the security that comes with a peaceful electoral process, and that freedom of speech is built into our government, and that I can freely criticize my leaders...

11. What’s your suggestion to people that interested in programming?

If you're new to programming and you like math, play with Project Euler to develop your skills while having fun. If you like games, try building a Tetris clone in JavaScript and HTML5. If you like music, write a Python script that reads a text file full of notes and plays a song. If you like food, write a website that lets you store recipes. Yesterday I wrote a Python script for my church that automates cleaning up and compressing the sermon audio and publishing it to our website ( ). Just write programs related to things you're passionate about.

When you need more experience, find an open source project you care about and find out how to contribute to it. Some large examples are jQuery, Django, Python, Ubuntu. Or find one on GitHub that looks interesting and dive in. AdBlock is also open source, though it's tiny by comparison.

*** thanks a lot from Mr Michael Gundlach because of participate in this interview ***

If you made an interview with a programmer or technology master, please notify me by leave a comment…

Best Luck!

(Source: )


  1. Just downloaded AdBlock for a test run. It's making my computer zippy. I thought it was my ISP, computer or who knows what. It was the ads! I'm going to work on my dad's computer tomorrow. Going to donate to this very worthy cause. Any plans on making a t.v. that will automatically black out ads & mute volume??? I'd buy that, too!

  2. Hi,Micheal.I'm a user of AdBlock in China.I appreciate your work and I notice that you quit your job for AdBlock.I don't mind paying for I'm using it, however it's impossible to pay for the credit card is totally different between two countries.I'm sorry.By the way, I think you'd better find a steady job.Unemployment is terrible, isn't it?

  3. Thanks Michael. You are a legend!

  4. thanks your adblock is working in both browser god bless us we love your adblock but i can't see all the bad block GOD BLESS US then katie is love wife when your baby is born he/she will happy

  5. Michael I would like to speak with you regarding some potential business opportunities, how can I contact you?

    My email address is

  6. thanks Michael and Katie!
    Maybe you could also give people the option of paying by
    single authorization (eenmalige machteging) for people who do not
    have credit cards or paypal but do want to donate something?
    I love adblock, Thank You.