Browser plugins are still required to access contents on many sites on the Internet. Barely any online gaming site does without them for instance and the majority of video streaming services support Flash as well.
While the latter move towards HTML5, there are still some that only support Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight for its functionality.
Firefox's Plugin Finder service notifies users about missing plugins. When a user visits a website that requires a specific plugin, say Adobe's About Flash Player website, and Flash Player is not installed, a notification is displayed to the user that contains an offer to install the missing plugin so that all contents of the site are displayed after the installation.
Mozilla made the decision to remove the Plugin Finder service from Firefox 35. This means that starting with that version, Firefox will no longer suggest to install missing plugins.
Two core reasons were given for the decision.
It is also important to note that the Plugin Finder was always limited to popular plugins such as Adobe Flash only. It did not support all plugins in existence so that its use was limited right from the start.
Along with the change comes the retirement of the Plugin Finder web service which Mozilla will shut down as well. It is unclear at this point in time if it will be kept up running after the release of Firefox 35 to make sure Firefox ESR users can still use the service.
An alternative that is currently being discussed is to patch the notification in Firefox ESR as well so that it does not show up anymore.
The service itself had limited uses because of the relative short list of plugins that it supported and a removal should not be too problematic either because of that. In fact, it is likely that most Firefox users never experienced the service at all and that even fewer users will notice that it is not available anymore.
Now you: Are you using Plugins? If so which and for what purpose?
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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.