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Mozilla is carrying forward its intent to enable ‘Click to Play’ by default for all plugins. Last year in January, Mozilla said choosing plugins to play manually would improve browser performance and stability. Plugins cause memory and security issues; poorly designed ones often crash browsers. Users can minimize these faults if they have the option to load only the plugins they want.

Firefox Crash

Mozilla has requested site authors and developers phase out use of plugins in favor of new browser technologies. Native performance is becoming more powerful each day and plugins are less essential.

We strongly encourage site authors to phase out their use of plugins. The power of the Web itself, especially with new technologies like emscripten and asm.js, make plugins much less essential than they once were.

But in a balancing act, Firefox has also set up a temporary “Whitelist” for essential plugins that users cannot do without. Plugin authors and developers can include their plugins on this whitelist before the close of March 31, 2014. After this date, plugins not in this list will be blocked by default in Firefox and users will have to click to play them. The whitelisted status will run for four consecutive Firefox releases and authors may reapply to stay on the list as the end of the grace period draws near.

The latest version of Adobe Flash would be exempt from the click-to-play rider as users generally expect videos to play automatically when the page loads. If your version is not updated, you will have to click and play for Flash to run.

Mozilla’s intentions are good – as web technologies mature, it is time to cull persistent browser issues, most of which can be traced back to a faulty plugin. But are you as a user, happy? Are you willing to click and play along?

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Source: Mozilla Blog via The Next Web

  1. Erik G
    March 5, 2014 at 12:16 am

    This sounds like a pretty good idea -- I'm all for better performance. What type of technology will replace the functionality of some of the current privacy/security plugins that prevent tracking, kill ads, or kill cookies?

  2. Ben S
    March 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    This is good news, as I've been seeing the Shockwave Flash crash message way too often lately. Since most people also don't disable the Java plugin, this should cut down on problems in that area too. I think the more plugins are phased out, the better.

    • Saikat B
      March 5, 2014 at 5:19 am

      Same here. We are moving towards web technologies which will make plugins unnecessary. You can see a Flash-less example on Mozilla's Shumway project

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