Till this year, most of the browsers available supported the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plug-in, but currently some browsers started dumping the support for plug-ins. Recently Chrome removed plug-ins like Java and Silverlight, Microsoft also removes NPAPI support in its Internet Explorer 5.5 and Edge browser.
Following this path, Mozilla has also announced via its blog that Firefox will also stop supporting NPAPI plug-ins by the end of 2016. This is pretty long time, but still a good news for Firefox users. For over the years, plug-ins have been in the browser for adding functionality like gaming, video support and interactive maps. But these plug-ins also created some problems like stability issues, performance downside and security vulnerabilities.
So to get rid of these problems created by NPAPI plug-ins, the Web Standards Community has developed native functionality like HTML 5 video. Mozilla will stop supporting all NPAPI plug-ins except Flash by the end of the 2016. Flash will still be there in Firefox, as it is impossible to remove Adobe Flash Platform.
In the blog, Mozilla said about the Flash support, “Because Adobe Flash is still a common part of the Web experience for most users, we will continue to support Flash within Firefox as an exception to the general plugin policy. Mozilla and Adobe will continue to collaborate to bring improvements to the Flash experience on Firefox, including on stability and performance, features and security architecture.”
Mozilla is also bringing some major changes in the Firefox add-ons section.