Since Chrome decided to banish Java and Silverlight browser plugins from its platform, Firefox has joined by also deciding to stop supporting plugins based on the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) by the end of 2016.

Browser plugins are created to offer extended multimedia features for websites, such as streaming video, advanced graphics, and gaming. But through the years they have become a source of performance problems, crashes, and security incidents for web users. Firefox began this process about three years ago with manual plugin activation, allowing users to activate plugins only when they were necessary.

Credits: Mozilla

Such features which used to require plugins have all become native Web APIs in the past few years and new platforms such as 64-bit Firefox for Windows will launch without plugin support, since they do not have to support an existing ecosystem of users and plugins.

Flash stays

Nevertheless, Mozilla same as Chrome will continue to support Flash as an exception to general plugin policy and described the feature as a “common part of the Web experience for most users”. Mozilla and Adobe will continue to collaborate to bring improvements including stability and performance, features and security architecture to the Flash experience.

The Mozilla team stated they wish to work closely with affected publishers to make a painless transition to web technologies which are a powerful platform and can usually do everything that a plugin can’t do. In cases where a site needs to extend its Web technologies, the easy and highly recommended solution is to develop the additional features as a Firefox add-on.

The Oracle Java Platform Group has already recommended that sites currently using Java applets consider switching to plugin-free solutions such as Java Web Start. Mozilla continues to work with Oracle to ensure a smooth transition for those web sites that use still Java. More information from Oracle about Java transition plans can be found in a post from the Oracle team.

Source: Mozilla Firefox