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Published 4 years ago with 8 Comments
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  • idlethreat

    The title is sorta shit, and I didn't read the article, so here' my take on what's going on.

    Two decades ago, Netscape Corporation came up with a standard for web plugins. It was named NPAPI. It was popular. Caught like wildfire and basically everyone supported it. It was an okay standard. But like any code, it had it's own pile of bugs and security holes.

    After google released Chrome, they designed a ground-up implementation of NPAPI and named it PPAPI. A lot of their cleanup was to make it easier to write plugins, to have cross-platform plugins, as well as security.

    Recently, Chrome disabled it's use of NPAPI. 100% of running plugins use the new PPAPI, instead. This did affect some people since some shitty third parties (I'm looking at you, Oracle) only had NPAPI plugins available. Now, there's a mad dash for them to move their plugins to PPAPI.

    Originally, the Netscape folks didn't want to move to PPAPI. They're probably the last holdouts.

    For the normal web user? You probably won't see a real difference at all. Most browsers have an in-built method to install and update new plugins.

    • racerxonclar (edited 4 years ago)

      Yeah, this exactly. As soon as it said that Chrome had dropped plugin support...and clearly saw extensions were still running for me, I knew there was a terminology difference being incorrectly harped on.

      EDIT: Actually, wait, I'm an idiot. Even I'm thinking of add-on instead of actual plugins.

      • idlethreat

        The only plugin that I was aware of to cause user problems was Oracle(TM) Java(TM). Basically, Chrome stopped using NPAPI, a good number of people freaked whenever their Java enterprise apps started dying. I'm assuming that Oracle has released a PPAPI plugin by now. Hopefully. The number of browsers supporting NPAPI just decreased by one.

        "Extensions" and "Plugins" are a murky sort. Here's a quick blog post on the differences between them.

  • tehdiplomat

    Wow, plugins was one of the main reasons I used FF over Chrome for so long to begin with. If they're going to keep making themselves more like Chrome (which every release seems to suggest), why wouldn't I just use Chrome?

    • korosensei

      I agree T_T

    • IridescentOak

      why wouldn't I just use Chrome?

      Add-ons? about:mozilla? I agree, though, Firefox should follow its own direction; we like and use it because it's not the competition!

    • Fuyu

      I don't like Chrome for a lot of reasons, so when Firefox started copying it a year or so ago, I jumped ship to some FF forks. Pale Moon is excellent and their goal is to keep to the old style of Firefox. I'm currently using Cyberfox but I'll probably switch back to Pale Moon because Cyberfox is great, but a bit of a pain that you have to manually update it to the new version every few days.

  • Zeus

    For a second, I thought that said they'd end support for add-ons. Which would have really been bad.

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