A recent Chromium bug listing indicates that Google is considering removing built-in ftp support in the Chrome web browser.
According to the listing, only 0.1% to 0.2% of Chrome users access ftp urls in any given seven day period and that's the main reason for the consideration.
The thread starter suggests to move support to an application instead that users of Chromium and Google Chrome can use instead to add the functionality again to the browser.
With the combination of the sockets API and the downloads API it may be possible to construct a Chrome App which handles this well. Also would need a way to be able to register an app/extension to handle a particular URL scheme so that navigations would be seamless for users of FTP apps.
A bug listing was added on [email protected] as well but it has not received any response yet. The only information it contains so far is the link to the Chromium bug listing.
FTP has been supported by most web browsers for a long period of time and removing it would certainly be disruptive to a small percentage of the browser's userbase. While it is likely that Google and Mozilla will provide apps or extensions that users can install to regain FTP functionality, it would require the installation of an additional program (app or extension) which, in addition to being a one-time operation, would require regular maintenance on top of that.
Firefox and Chrome users can access ftp servers directly in the web browser either by clicking on ftp links, or by entering ftp urls directly in the browser's address bar.
This works to enter public ftp servers but also ftp servers that require authentication as it is possible to add login information to the url in the form ftp://username:[email protected]/.
It needs to be noted that the removal of ftp support is just a suggestion currently and not a done deal. It is unclear if Mozilla or Google will go ahead with the removal or decide against it.
Considering that Chrome has a couple of hundred million users at the very least, 0.1% to 0.2% is not such a small number of users after all.
Now You: What's your opinion on this? Should FTP support be dropped?
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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.