Times are changing, and it has been announced that Mozilla Firefox will be done with old plugins in 2016, following in the footsteps of Microsoft and Google.
- Both Microsoft’s Edge, Internet Explorer, and Google’s Chrome have stopped support for NPAPI
- Firefox will be following in suit, with Adobe Flash as the only exception
- Website owners will have to find alternative options other than Silverlight and Java-based apps
Plugins are usually the death of web browsers, causing multiple crashes and too many glitches to count. For most, the old Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) has become a plague among them. Those are ancient types of add-ons that have been removed by most mainstream companies. Firefox is just capping it up.
According to the company, plugins are the source of “performance problems, crashes and security incidents for web users”, which is why they’re intending a cleanup. All of them will be gone. Except for Adobe Flash, of course.
Due to its popularity among users, and its important role in HTML 5 or streaming, Flash will remain safely available for all browsers. It’s still a common part of the web browsing experience. In fact, Firefox has voiced out their intention of working with Adobe to provide for a safer and more stable performance.
Both Microsoft and Google have done the exact same thing. They ditched the old technology, but kept Flash. In fact, they recently updated their Adobe plugin, so it’s pretty clear that it’s here to stay.
Microsoft’s Edge and Internet Explorer have already dropped NPAPI, with Google’s Chrome following not far behind. The latter has explained their its decision to cease working with the old technology due to several security issues. It made users more vulnerable to malware or phishing attempts. Now it’s time for it to go.
The old NPAPI has been supported for, apparently, longer than it should. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a great numbers of websites that still make use of them. It’s now time to find out an alternative way, and should be warned that their sites will soon see a change. Certain features will stop working.
So, it would be a good idea for every website owner to start browsing for alternative extensions. Those based on Java or Silverlight will be gone.
Starting 2016, Firefox will drop support all together for old plugins, and there are only a few months to go in order to think about replacements. However, there are many out there that might be better suited. It all depends on preference.
Firefox renouncing their use of NPAPI will mark the end the old tech’s era. It’s the last popular and mainstream browse to end its support.
Image source: pageresource.com