back to article Mozilla to boot all plugins from Firefox … except Flash

The Mozilla Foundation has revealed that some future versions of its flagship Firefox browser will ship without support for plugins of any sort. The organisation yesterday announced that “new platforms such as 64-bit Firefox for Windows will launch without plugin support.” Adobe Flash is the exception to the rule, because it …

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  1. Quortney Fortensplibe

    ...Plugin death date of Christmas 2016

    OMG! —that's only 473 Firefox updates away!

  2. oldtaku
    FAIL

    > But Adobe's not getting a free pass: Mozilla will work with the company “to bring improvements to the Flash experience on Firefox, including on stability and performance, features and security architecture.”

    Ha ha ha. Hahaha. AHAHAHAHA.

    Right. The only way Adobe can bring stability and security to Flash would have been to start over 10 years ago. It's too late - it's an inverted pyramid of cards built on a foundation from before anyone cared about security on the PC. You'd be better off working on your plan for just fully obsoleting it by Christmas 2016.

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Childcatcher

      I imagine they were alluding to sandboxing the little turd.

      I happily offer to lend them my cat, should they need inspiration for an appropriate approach.

    2. Naselus

      "he only way Adobe can bring stability and security to Flash would have been to start over 10 years ago."

      Tbh, the only way Adobe could bring stability and security to Flash would have been to sell it to a different company who understood what those words mean.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        > Tbh, the only way Adobe could bring stability and security to Flash would have been to sell it to a different company who understood what those words mean

        Or if IBM had been able to extract it's head from it's a$$ 15 years ago, we all could have been using HotMedia rather than Flash. After all, HotMedia ran under Java, so we could have been running on a nice, clean, stable base.... Oh, wait.....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You'd be better off working on your plan for just fully obsoleting it by Christmas 2016."

      Tell that to the bean counters when the very expensive and still-being-amortized piece of equipment you need for your everyday work can only be controlled by Flash. No alternatives, no chance of replacing it, and no chance of updates from the provider. You're in the slippery hole and the only thing on hand is a shovel. What do you do?

  3. Ilgaz

    I really doubt

    I don't think they have a clue about the plugins used by business, academic people etc.

    Their chrome trendy buddies brainwashed them and this happened.

    Before you mention Edge browser, remember iexplore.exe didn't go anywhere with all that backwards compatibility since Microsoft does know the business World very well.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: I really doubt

      Spot on. I work for a major multinational company which has been promoting Chrome and Firefox use. But recently things have been swinging back to IE because an awful lot of Oracle financial system pages etc. rely on Java, and Java no longer works with Chrome. With Firefox dropping Java support as well, we'll soon be back to IE only.

      Don't get me wrong, navigating away from browser plugins is ultimately a good idea. But canning them now isn't going to do anything but cost more market share within business. And let's not forget that the buggiest and most crash-prone plugin out there (Flash) will be allowed a reprieve from this!

  4. Tom Chiverton 1

    Lights out

    It's alright for them to have a years notice, what about all the lights out management boards? Hardware has a much longer refresh cycle than that! Looking at you HP...

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Lights out

      The only way I've managed to get the remote console to work on HP's iLO is via ActivX in IE, so, I keep a copy of IE around just for that (IIRC Dell's DRACs aren't much better).

      I also have an entirely separate machine with Java on just to administer ASAs.

      1. Santa from Exeter

        Re: Lights out

        Dell DRAC requires the IcedTeaWeb plugin in order to launch the remote console. We use this extensively here at work, along with VMWare plugins.

        I think that Red Hat will have to either port Firefox, or start supporting another browser as we have 600+ Linux desktops for Scientists and support staff.

  5. MacGyver

    Cisco WebRTC plugins?

    So no more support for teleconferencing?

    What are they thinking getting rid of everything BUT the worst offender?

    PS: Bring back my ability to have the tabs below the location bar, jerks.

    1. The Travelling Dangleberries
      Happy

      Re: Cisco WebRTC plugins?

      @MacGuyver PS: "Bring back my ability to have the tabs below the location bar, jerks."

      You mean natively rather than via CTR?

      I moved over to SeaMonkey some time ago, The interface is stable and sensible and uBlock Origin, Compact Menu 2 and Ghostery work so that covers my needs for extensions. Well Ghostery works most of the time until an Australis/other Firefox invoked change causes problems for the SeaMonkey and Ghostery teams.

      Fortunately CTR does the job on IceWeasel and TenFourFox as well. So I can have a sensible browser user interface on my ARM boards and PPC macs too.

  6. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, Moz should perhaps make two version of Firefox - fork their own product - one with Flash and one with everything else, since for most security conscious users, the flash version would be the one to avoid.

  7. david 12 Silver badge

    Followers

    It was inevitable once MS released 'edge' without ActiveX support.

    FF needed a equivilant of ActiveX to compete with IE. Now that MS has given notice that ActiveX in the browser is depreciated, FF feels able to do the same.

    I'm a desktop PC man myself, part of the original Digital Generation. So I feel the gradual loss of support and functionality. But it's balanced by.tablets and always-connected devices, using a much looser connection than COM. It's a new world.

    1. Ilgaz

      Yes but

      Internet Explorer with all that backwards compatibility didn't go anywhere so if you need ActiveX for that internal site etc, you are covered.

      Mozilla could think about real business and some academics and say ESR will keep on supporting plugins with easier opt in approach.

      This is how businesses become dependent on MS etc. Couple of nerds decide what has become unfashionable and rm -rf working code, say bye to that internal page.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Plugins are a source of performance problems, crashes, and security incidents for Web users,”

    and then we shall take a good look at those pesky ad-blocking extensions...

    1. Ilgaz

      MS and they already do it

      I won't name any names but when they copied MS "Startup performance dialogue" they disabled my paid Kaspersky extension. When I sent feedback, someone replied "But it doesn't really help" etc.

      Disabling a security extension because it takes a little more time to Startup.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So are Mozilla going to have to back pedal on PPAPI (Pepper Flash) ?

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=729481

    Better hurry up and change that Mozilla from won't fix to PDQ as I'm getting to quite like Chromium and up to date flash support on Linux.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      This isn't so much a WON'T FIX as CAN'T FIX. Google has essentially inked a deal with Adobe to personally maintain Flash exclusively for Blink-based browsers like Chrome. The code is proprietary and mercurial and tied specifically to Blink; meaning there's no real way for Firefox to cope. Even if it claims it's using Pepper, odds are it's using undocumented features, rendering a translation unlikely.

      So basically, barring a success on Shumway, Google has stolen the march on Mozilla regarding Flash on Linux, and there's nothing right now that Mozilla can do about it.

  10. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Translation

    burgeoning native web support for the kinds of things plugins used to do

    Translates as: The idiots who drive the standards have even added the kitchen sink, so we're obliged to write crappy bloatware that does everything itself.

  11. Velv Silver badge
    FAIL

    Extensions vs Plugins

    Please go back and rate the article if it caused confusion ...

    Oh, wait, that features been removed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Extensions vs Plugins

      Except we find out later they're BOTH going away, at the same time, so the whole argument's moot.

  12. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Pale Moon?

    Lost patience with FF ages ago.

    I just like Palemoon better.

    Not even for any good reason, though I think I did have some at the time.

    EDIT

    Just fired up FF. There are loads of plugins I'd never knowingly use. (Silverlight anyone).But some I'd miss.

    VLC, PDF-Xchange viewer, Google Earth.

    Which are the only ones I also have on Pale Moon btw.

    1. MichaelGordon

      Re: Pale Moon?

      For me, the Australis mess was the final straw that pushed me to use Palemoon exclusively. Fortunately the Palemoon developers haven't gone insane and have stated that they'll continue to support NPAPI no matter what Firefox does.

      While it would be nice if everyone switched to HTML5 video, there are going to be sites with <embed src="foo.avi"> for many years to come. On Linux the MPlayer plugin (or VLC) is the only reasonable way of handling these pages, making a browser in which it doesn't work a complete non-starter.

  13. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Riiight.. so no Citrix, various conferencing systems, and issue tracking systems

    Like that's going to fly. They don't have a fucking clue what people use their browser for, and I'm sick of Firefox hanging the entire browser when Flash gets a tiny bit upset. Generally I've thought it's an improvement to Chrome, but maybe I should now move.

  14. tempemeaty

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    The only thing about Firefox that stood out was NoScript & AdBlock. Take that away and I have no real reason for using the browser at all.

  15. tiggity Silver badge

    PDFs

    The firefox integrated PDF viewer is next to useless for all bar the most simply structured PDFs, so if you want to view a PDF in browser (instead of download and open with PDF viewer of choice) then a PDF plugin will be required... Or are Mozilla actually going to fix their own PDF viewer before plugins are killed?

  16. Spaceman Spiff

    So long Mozilla. Been good to know ya! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS!

  17. iMap

    Perhaps Mozilla fears what happened to Cupertino's App Store, developers downloading infested programs to create plug-ins and distributing them globally via plug-ins on FF.

    Who knows, just a hunch..

  18. Jess

    Shame they are waiting so long.

    If they are going to do it, why wait so long?

    It would be better to drop plugin support entirely sooner, but release an ESR that maintains it, and is maintained twice as long as usual.

    If adobe want flash to continue in the mainstream, they can make an extension that does the same job.

    The derivative of Firefox I'm using now has had no plugin support for many versions.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Well OK ... assuming they continue to support extensions, I can continue to use Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin and LastPass, so not much lost. Right?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Only one problem: they're planning to drop both NPAPI andXUL.

  21. ewilts

    Because not allowing ad blockers adds so much performance, stability, and security back to our browsers. Yeah, right.

  22. dajames Silver badge
    WTF?

    In a year's time?

    So, Mozilla are planning to drop plug-in support in over a year's time, but still support a Flash plug-in because Flash “is still a common part of the Web experience for most users”?

    I would earnestly hope that by the end of 2016 the bugfest that is Flash will no longer be needed for the vast majority of websites, and the Flash plug-in can safely be dropped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In a year's time?

      Nope, because it's also used in business control systems that run on very expensive hardware (that the bean counters will refuse or are unable due to contract to replace) and rely on irreplaceable software (again because it's under contract). In such an environment, it's Flash or Bust.

  23. Zmodem

    easier to just make plugins a admin group policy option, home users don`t really care about security, just malware

    home users go for the biggest and powerful browser there is

  24. andykuiper

    Uhhhhmmm, not sure how this will look?

  25. Msitekkie
    Unhappy

    Plugins are Firefox's differentiator

    Without plugins Firefox will become irrelevant, this process started when it was decided that Firefox should look like Chrome. What will make people switch to Firefox now?

    A very sad day. I have always had a real affection for Firefox because of that community side to it and the sense that if you wanted to do something there was probably a plugin for that. Also you could pick & choose which features you wanted rather than using another piece of bloatware.

    At least we still have the Firefox fork - Pale Moon, but if Firefox stops supporting plugins I wonder if the developers will continue supporting/developing them.

    What about cross-browser password manager plug-ins like LastPass and 1Password? If Mozilla drop support surely everyone that uses them will just switch to a different browser.

  26. Chika

    Warning: Pooch screwed!

    1. Define and adopt several technologies

    2. Give them specific names but never clarify what the difference is between them

    3. Develop them for a number of years so that users eventually depend on them

    4. Start to develop a new technology that does a similar thing but not quite the same or is inferior in some specific way

    5. Announce to users that you will be dropping the older technologies in favour of the new one which will mean that some products produced for one of these older technologies will stop working.

    6. Watch the users squirm and moan about which technology runs what and what might be broken once these technologies are dropped.

    Of course, we have all been here before. Disinformation, information, conflict, FUD. Vote with your feet rather than complain on a forum - if you feel that Firefox have screwed the pooch, go get something else!

    Personally, I'm doing nothing yet because Mozilla are only saying stuff rather than actually doing stuff right now. When they actually start doing stuff, then I'll probably look at what they have done and make my own move.

  27. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Unhappy

    For me this means...

    (assuming that I go to the latest version) ...That I will struggle to be able to play Amazon and Netflix content under Linux.

  28. Roboiii

    Bye bye

    If Adblocker is gone then so am I.

  29. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Old news, but news to me!

    I foresee them backtracking on this idiocy.

    Or it's goodbye FF.

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