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 …

  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Goodbye firefox.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Poor old moz has been slowly slipping away since its soul was sold to google fifteen years ago. That was when it ceased to innovate, ceased to evolve and ceased to function in the interests of its "community" (which died practically instantly). The braindead narcissists at the top, obsessed to obliviousness by their demented pie-in-the-sky whimsy, are the ONLY ones who couldn't (and STILL can't) see it.

      RIP Netscape.

    2. Kraggy

      Agreed, I only prefer to use Firefox for NoScript and AdBlock (and a couple of others like Ghostery), if Firefox ceases to support them then I'll have no reason to carry on using it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I only prefer to use Firefox for NoScript and AdBlock (and a couple of others like Ghostery), if Firefox ceases to support them then I'll have no reason to carry on using it.

        The article said nothing about extensions such as NoScript or AdBlock. It was talking about plugins.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Many add-ons are going to get the chop too as XUL is going to be dropped in favour of Chrome-compatible add-ons.

          They've gone mental.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >They've gone mental.

            Excremental

        2. Bucky 2

          Mplayer

          Like the mplayer plugin that I use to play web video. That's the kind of functionality we lose.

          It's confusing that in English, "plugin" and "extension" are pretty synonymous, but in Mozilla products, they mean distinct things.

          1. John Tserkezis

            Re: Mplayer

            "It's confusing that in English, "plugin" and "extension" are pretty synonymous, but in Mozilla products, they mean distinct things."

            Don't forget "addon" either. Worse still googling "plugin" will take you to the addon site. Too bad the article didn't explicitly exclude "extension". As if the naming conventions aren't confusing enough - one can be forgiven for confusing them.

  2. RedneckMother

    Oh - my - $diety

    The one and (mostly) only plugin that should NOT be allowed, and they are making it the One and Only One?

    Pardon me, I must now go and slit my wrists.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      $AngloSaxonWordForSexualAct

      Looks like I will stick frozen at the current version then.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Oh - my - $diety

      Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

      So no, not your wrists, when there's throats that want cutting.

      *Evil Cackle*

    3. My Alter Ego

      Re: Oh - my - $diety

      Undefined variable: $diety in comment on line 1 - did you forget to feed your supernatural being?

  3. Chairo
    Mushroom

    Great Idea!

    So they found the little red button on the ZF-1 and want to try it out what it does?

    Hint: don't remove the main feature that sells your product!

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. tjdennis2

      Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

      Those aren't plugins, those are extensions and will still be available. Plugins are the 3rd party binary code modules that FireFox can use.

      1. Chairo

        Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

        those are extensions and will still be available

        Thanks for pointing this out! Have an upvote. Perhaps that should have been mentioned in the article itself.

        I still think they should make it possible to opt-in to plugins for the few people that need them. As it is, Firefox is the only popular browser left with plugin support and there are some legitimate uses.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

          "I still think they should make it possible to opt-in to plugins for the few people that need them."

          No, because that would imply that the FireFox folks still embrace giving the users a choice in how they use the browser. And if there's one thing that the FireFox folks have shown in recent years, it's that they don't give a damn about that. Use it they way they intended it to be used, or be damned. And if you don't like the increasingly dumbed-down interface and options available, well, tough-shit. And did they take out functionality that you used to like? Well, boo-hoo - give them a bunch of use cases that they'll accept and agree to and maybe they'll merely tell you to fuck off instead of telling you to go hang.

          https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=838681

          Bitter? Me? no...well, maybe just a little..

      2. raving angry loony

        Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

        Ah! Thanks for the clarification about "extensions" vs "plugins". The article would have done well to differentiate between the two. I probably knew that, but I know that I've always lumped "plugins" and "extensions" together as "plugins", and I'm probably not the only one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

          If you don't know the difference between extensions and plugins then you probably shouldn't be using the internet.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

        Those aren't plugins, those are extensions

        You beat me to it. Have an upvote.

      4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

        Those aren't plugins, those are extensions

        Firefox lumps them both together as "Add-ons", hence the confusion. Perhaps between now and the version which only allows Flash infestation they should start to clearly distinguish between them?

        1. Spacedman
          Boffin

          Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

          Just stick "about:plugins" in the URL to see what plugins you have installed with version numbers and paths and all that icky technical stuff they don't want you to know.

          Go to "about:addons" and get a more fruity page where you can also list "Extensions" (which aren't going away) as well as the "Plugins".

          My big gripe is the VMWare web interface plugins - they are NPAPI and so don't work on Chrome, and VMware show no sign of porting them. My current solution for VMware host management on Linux is Firefox with Pepper Flash via FreshPlayer (so I get a high enough version number of Flash) and the VMware plugins via NPAPI. Fragile as heck.

          1. Wensleydale Cheese
            Thumb Up

            Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

            Just stick "about:plugins" in the URL to see what plugins you have installed ...

            Many thanks. Despite having things like NoScript and ad blockers installed, in "about:plugins" I only see a couple and those are from Cisco (web conferencing stuff).

            IMHO muich confusion is caused by the way FF itself lumps stuff together as Add-Ons.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

      Palemoon.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

        Extensions are in fact going to be dropped too.

        https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2015/08/21/the-future-of-developing-firefox-add-ons/

        After reading this about them dropping NPAPI after having read about them them dropping XUL extensions, I now think Mozilla don't have any idea what they've got and are just dumping features that aren't in WebKit and making it look more like Chrome.

        What's the other thing they've got... privacy. Only they also changed the Sync protocol and haven't bothered to explain how to set up a private server.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

          No Dan, your link just says they're changing how you build them, not dropping them:

          We are implementing a new extension API,

          Frankly, if your extension supplier isn't keeping up with current architecture, it's malware prone anyway.

          What's that? Why yes, software developers who don't keep up with current architecture IS a pet peeve of mine. Primarily because as a desktop support tech I have to support a critical app in my environment that is created in-house by a bunch of twits who keep insisting that we keep users on old malware prone versions of Java for their IE-required web app. Granted, they have improved in the five years I've been here. Now they're only running one or two versions back whereas when I first started Java was well into the mid 1.6 range and they still insisted on having 1.5.16 installed. I mean, they were so far behind even Sun had removed the installer from their archive.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

            No Dan, your link just says they're changing how you build them, not dropping them:

            It says "We have decided on an approximate timeline for the deprecation of XPCOM- and XUL-based add-ons" which is the last half of 2016.

            So developers can either rebuild them with WebExtensions or you leave them as XUL, which means they will be dropped when Firefox stops supporting XUL extensions. There are many extensions that aren't actively maintained but still work because they follow the XUL extension spec. There are many extensions that are maintained to fix small bugs but the developer doesn't have time to rewrite them for the latest API du jour.

            XUL extensions and NPAPI support are both strong points for Firefox. Why are they out-of-date architectures? Getting rid of them is a great inconvenience to users.

            I imagine they don't update on the day because they have to test if the update breaks anything first. If you have to support browser-based or webstart Java, your job will be so much fun when NPAPI disappears from Firefox.

          2. Cryo

            Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

            "Extensions are in fact going to be dropped too."

            "No Dan, your link just says they're changing how you build them, not dropping them"

            Actually, in many ways they ARE dropping extensions as we know them, and replacing them with what amount to "Chrome-compatible" extensions. Firefox has had an extension system that gives a lot of control to extension developers, and in turn anyone using those extensions. They're getting rid of much of this advanced functionality, so extensions will be quite a bit more limited in what they can do. Many existing extensions simply won't be possible to port to the new system, or they'll need to drop major features in order to work with it. While it may not be the topic of this article, it is likely to be something that's going to upset a lot of people when it happens.

            "After reading this about them dropping NPAPI after having read about them them dropping XUL extensions, I now think Mozilla don't have any idea what they've got and are just dumping features that aren't in WebKit and making it look more like Chrome."

            I suspect their ultimate plan may be to go the Opera route, eventually discontinuing their browser and replacing it with a low-maintenance Chromium re-skin with a few extensions built-in, that they can profit off of without spending any significant development budget on. These are the same kinds of things Opera was doing before that happened, and why the "Opera" desktop browser of today is just a generic featureless Chrome-derivative instead of the feature-packed Internet suite it once was. They may very well be making their browser look and behave like Chrome in an attempt to ease the transition.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

              The Chrome reskin was precisely WHY I dropped Opera having used it since before Firefox launched. I Guess I have to hope that Pale Moon will continue in its current fork if Firefox does get assimilated by the Chrome Borg.

        2. oneeye

          Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

          EXTENSIONS ARE NOT BEING DROPPED !! Read the blog at the link you posted. Good grief man,stop spreading FALSE rumours. Mozilla is modernizing,and improving the APIs to make them more safe,and compatible with all other,major browsers,ie. Chrome,Opera,and possibly MS Edge.

          Ghostery,Adblock Plus,and other well developed add-ons will have no trouble migrating to the new setup. For other,less experienced developers,there is a ton of help available. Again,read the blog,...slowly,and completely,and if necessary, rinse and repeat (-:

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

            I have read the blog, let me summarise for you. XUL support will be depreciated. XUL extensions must be rewritten using the WebExtension API. WebExtensions aren't as powerful so some XUL extensions can't be rewritten. Those XUL extensions that aren't being actively maintained or those that require too much work to be rewritten than the developer has time for also won't be rewritten. A lot of extensions will become incompatible with no substitute. Firefox has jumped the shark.

            Consequently, we have decided to deprecate add-ons that depend on XUL, XPCOM, and XBL. We don’t have a specific timeline for deprecation, but most likely it will take place within 12 to 18 months from now. We are announcing the change now so that developers can prepare and offer feedback. Add-ons that are built using the new WebExtension API will continue to work. We will also continue supporting SDK add-ons as long as they don’t use require(‘chrome’) or some of the low-level APIs that provide access to XUL elements.

            A major challenge we face is that many Firefox add-ons cannot possibly be built using either WebExtensions or the SDK as they currently exist. Over the coming year, we will seek feedback from the development community, and will continue to develop and extend the WebExtension API to support as much of the functionality needed by the most popular Firefox extensions as possible.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. John Tserkezis

    I have to ask, did they screw up their calendar and think it was april?

    I mean Flash? Really? How did they get that deal, did someone from Adobe come on board the Mozilla team?

    Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, really. Haven't you heard the stories of critical network control systems (worth six figures or more) being dependent on Flash to operate? This is a serious case of Flash being "too big to ignore". Kill Flash, and you kill your customer base as they're forced to other browsers just to stay operating. In such an environment, you pretty much don't have a choice. So Mozilla are working the other way and trying to nurse Flash to make it as trouble-free as they can. They're also trying to encourage web developers to switch to alternatives (though it's noted some devs are stubborn). Plus as noted in the past, they're trying to make a drop-in alternative to Flash with Project Shumway.

      1. Tony Paulazzo

        So Mozilla are working the other way and trying to nurse Flash to make it as trouble-free as they can.

        So, kind'a like Chrome then. Sandbox the effing thing and be done with it.

        Now that readers (as opposed to the article), have clarified they're not getting rid of extensions, I can rest easy, I've only got Flash addon and some openH264 video thingy in there.

  7. moiety

    Getting rid of plugins, but keeping Flash and Java? That's the exact opposite of a good idea.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      >Getting rid of plugins, but keeping Flash and Java? That's the exact opposite of a good idea.

      but pragmatically the right thing to do. Kill the API but keep the two which people use during a deprecation period. Some people will still want porn and some will run enterprise apps. Both will still be on death row.

      What other plugins are there?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >What other plugins are there?

        Well I have mplayer and vrml - both of which I still need occasionally. I do not permit either flash or java - both of which I have removed.

        So this is particularly a convenient development for me.

      2. Flatpackhamster

        Other plugins

        Well my Firefox has a VLC, two Office 2010, Flash, Shockwave, Foxit Reader, Google Earth, Picasa and a couple of others. I could probably do without any of them though.

      3. Captain DaFt

        "What other plugins are there?"

        Dozens, just click on "Help", then "About Plugins" to see the list.

        Will it support all the OSS plugins that mplayerplug-in currently supports? If not... FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU!!!!!

      4. Guy Geens

        Other plugins

        What other plugins are there?

        Silverlight: largely academic - most sites using it have gone IE-only.

        Office: Never used it.

        Acrobat: FF has a built-in PDF reader, so mostly irrelevant. Besides: why did that ever become a plugin? Is it too hard to click "Open in Acrobat"?

      5. Someone Else Silver badge
        FAIL

        The mothership (read: my employer) has become enamored w/ BlueJean, and that pig is nothing but plug-ins in Firefox.

      6. The little voice inside my head

        Many DVRs used for "security" (kind of defeating itself, non secure software for security) use these plugins for browsers, I hope these companies get their act together and develop new ways of viewing CCTV via browsers without the need of special plugins for their existing DVRs.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          I hope these companies get their act together and develop new ways of viewing CCTV via browsers without the need of special plugins for their existing DVRs.

          Just had to deal with that in the last few days. Told the customer to return the unit to the supplier and say the $NZ800+ system was not fit for purpose due to requiring the customer use I don't know what version of IE (we tried from 6 to latest on XP, Vista, 7 and 10) and some ActiveX thingy downloaded from the DVR. Simply would not work, and no other way to view except ActiveX.

          Real glad because I had been considering these units as we want to expand our existing system. At least I know not to touch them now. Or trust that supplier.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What other plugins are there?

        My employer uses plugins for single sign-on, SAAS, VPN integration, web deployment ... Customers include 97% S&P 500, and every major bank. To be honest, they probably don't all rely on Firefox, though.

  8. Michael Thibault

    I can understand...

    Mozilla punching itself in the head once, maybe twice, but ...

    This has to be a joke; you'd have to have just dropped in from a parallel universe, unawares, to be so clueless as to steer Firefox in this direction.

  9. tjdennis2

    Don't confuse plugins with extensions

    FireFox is not getting rid of extensions, just the binary plugins which software companies might install on FireFox like video codecs, SilverLight, etc. Think of them like the ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer that everyone has always hated.

    Personally, I think they should dump Flash as well since they set the date at Dec 2016. Apple never supported Flash on their iPhones and iPads and we survived that perfectly well. No excuse for web sites not to convert to html5 in the next 15 months if they care.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't confuse plugins with extensions

      "FireFox is not getting rid of extensions, just the binary plugins which software companies might install on FireFox like video codecs, SilverLight, etc. Think of them like the ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer that everyone has always hated."

      Wrong. They're dropping XUL at the same time.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Don't confuse plugins with extensions

        RE: Wrong. They're dropping XUL at the same time.

        Incomplete: They're replacing XUL with a different API, so not dropping extensions. All popular extensions will no doubt be ported: if not then they probably aren't being updated much either and on borrowed time anyway.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Don't confuse plugins with extensions

          Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Changing the API means old extensions will get dropped, as well those that use XUL that have no counterparts in the new API.

          "All popular extensions will no doubt be ported: if not then they probably aren't being updated much either and on borrowed time anyway."

          But why fix what isn't broken?

  10. Quortney Fortensplibe

    ...Plugin death date of Christmas 2016

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

  11. 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?

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. david 12 Bronze 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. Spaceman Spiff

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

  26. 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..

  27. 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.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. 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.

  30. ewilts

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

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. andykuiper

    Uhhhhmmm, not sure how this will look?

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. Roboiii

    Bye bye

    If Adblocker is gone then so am I.

  38. 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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