To provide a better and safer experience on the Web, we have been working to move Firefox away from plugins.
After much testing and iteration, we determined that Firefox would no longer activate most plugins by default and instead opted to let people choose when to enable plugins on sites they visit. We call this feature in Firefox click-to-play plugins.
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, makes plugins much less essential than they once were. Plus, plugins present real costs to Firefox users. Though people may not always realize it, we know plugins are a significant source of poor performance, crashes and security vulnerabilities.
Developers will increasingly find what they need in the Web platform, but we also recognize that it will take some time for them to migrate to better options. Also, we know there are plugins that our users rely on for essential tasks and we want to provide plugin authors and developers with a short-term exemption from our default click-to-play approach. Today, we’re announcing the creation of a temporary plugin whitelist.
Any plugin author can submit an application to be considered for inclusion on the whitelist by following the steps outlined in our plugin whitelist policy. Most importantly, we are asking for authors to demonstrate a credible plan for moving away from NPAPI-based plugins and towards standards-based Web solutions.
Today marks the beginning of an application window that will run until March 31, 2014. Any plugin author’s application received before the deadline will be reviewed and processed before click-to-play is activated by default in Firefox. Whitelisted status will be granted for four consecutive Firefox releases and authors may reapply for continued exemption as the end of the grace period draws near.
Our vision is clear: a powerful and open Web that runs everywhere without the need for special purpose plugins. The steps outlined here, will move us towards that vision, while still balancing today’s realities.
– Chad Weiner, Director of Product Management