Mozilla will set all Firefox plugins except whitelisted ones to click to play by default from Firefox 30 on.
Mozilla and Google are moving towards a plugin-free web experience. Google announced last year that it will block all classic plugins -- s0 called NPAPI plugins -- from the Chrome browser in 2014.
While Google's move is rather radical, considering that the browser wont support plugins at all anymore when the company implements the change, Mozilla's approach is slightly different even though it may have the same result at a later point in time.
The organization will set all Firefox browser plugins except those on a whitelist that it maintains to click to play. This means that plugins won't start automatically anymore if they are not the on the whitelist, but that users won't lose any functionality as they can still enable the plugin on a site that requests it.
Mozilla announced the creation of a whitelist back in March 2014. It added Adobe Flash to that whitelist automatically and asked plugin developers to submit plugins for whitelist inclusion.
Plugins had to adhere to the Firefox Plugin Whitelist Policy if they wanted to be included on the whitelist. One of the requirements was a credible plan to move away from NPAPI.
Accepted plugins are added to the whitelist so that they are still activated by default in Firefox for the next four releases cycles.All other plugins are set to click to play.
Companies can apply for a second inclusion on the whitelist after the first period.
Mozilla reserves the right however to exclude any plugin, even those it accepted beforehand, from the whitelist at any time. This can happen for instance when plugins cause critical security issues in the browser.
The whitelisted plugins
All whitelisted plugins have been listed now on Bugzilla. It is still possible that additional plugins will get added in the future, but it is very likely that Firefox 30 will ship with this whitelist.
Update May 8:
Every other browser plugin will be set to click to play by default when Firefox 30 is released.
Note: You can set any plugin to click to play in Firefox, and change the state of plugins at any time as well. While it is too early to tell, it seems likely that you can set plugins to always activate manually in Firefox.
One interesting bit that you can take away from the whitelisted plugin listing is that it is very likely that all of them will be made available in a different form in the future (with the exception of Flash).
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.