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Mozilla to boot all plugins from Firefox … except Flash

NPAPI plugins get death date of Christmas 2016

By Simon Sharwood, 9 Oct 2015

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 “is still a common part of the Web experience for most users”. 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.”

Mozilla says it's also working with Unity to find ways to get content curated by the company into a plugin-free world.

Java's also go an escape route, as Oracle has issued advice that developers keen to point browsers at applets should henceforth use Java Web Start.

Mozilla's also banishing NPAPI plugins by December 2016, consigning the Netscape-derived format to its grave.

As Mozilla explains, burgeoning native web support for the kinds of things plugins used to do is the reason it's confident a plugin-free Firefox is the way to go.

“Plugins are a source of performance problems, crashes, and security incidents for Web users,” the outfit argues. And users are happy to avoid all three of those issues. Publishers, Mozilla suggests, need to suck it up and give users the experience they deserve. ®

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