Friday, April 13, 2012

Mozilla Firefox Plugin's Change

Ask anyone who develops a web browser — yes, even Microsoft — and they’ll tell you that a plug-in free web built on standards like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript is the way of the future. But perhaps no one is more focused on the goal of a future built on openness than the Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla has done battle with plug-ins before, implementing a system that checks for out-of-date installs and block offenders like Java and Flash when serious vulnerabilities surface. Now, they’ve taken plug-in control a step further, introducing a click-to-play feature in the Firefox nightly build.


Chrome added this option several versions ago, and it’s a bit surprising that Mozilla has taken this long to respond when you consider the foundation’s dedication to end-user security and a highly-customizable browsing experience. Power users who have been waiting for such a control to be integrated haven’t been lacking for alternatives, of course. There have been several Firefox add-ons over the years that enable click-to-play.

Mozilla software engineer Jared Wein also says that they’re working on a system that will remember your plug-in preferences on a per-site basis. That means if you want to always load Flash on YouTube or Kongregate, you can flip the switch once and not ever be hassled again in the future. There would also no doubt be a way to manage those preferences after the fact, since this is Firefox we’re talking about.

Ultimately, Mozilla hopes that the switch will provide users with a faster and more stable browsing experience. Plug-ins have often been pegged as the culprits behind widespread Firefox crashing and sluggishness, particularly following version upgrades. As for whether or not click-to-play will become the default setting, that will likely depend on how the web evolves. Once we reach a point where things like Flash can be turned off without altering the average user’s browsing experience significantly, it would certainly make sense to flip the switch.

icreati: Hi-Tech News.