SOFTWARE OUTFIT Mozilla plans to limit the use of plugins in its Firefox web browser and will give control over their use to its users.
In a blog post Mozilla engineering manager for stability and plugins Benjamin Smedberg said that Firefox will stop running plugins by default. Mozilla is happy to use Flash in its web browser because of its ubiquity, but wants to draw the line there.
"To give people a better Firefox experience, we're changing the way plugins work. Earlier this year we talked about our plan for putting users in control of their plugins. We are now seeing these plans take shape in the latest version of Firefox Aurora," he said.
"To give people more control over their browser, Firefox will no longer activate most plugins by default. When a site tries to use a plugin, the user will be able to choose whether to enable the plugin on that site."
Smedberg said that most users don't notice any problems with plugins, but said that they are often behind "hangs, crashes and security incidents." The example given in the images is the Silverlight plugin used by streaming service Netflix.
More suited to the dustbin of history than mobile devices, the plugin is now obsolete, according to the firm.
"Plugins are now a legacy technology, and not available on most mobile devices. Mozilla encourages website developers to avoid using plugins wherever possible," said Smedberg.
"If there are plugin features which are not available in the web platform, we encourage developers to post their use cases to mozilla.dev.platform project list, so that Mozilla can prioritize web platform work to make those use cases possible." µ
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