It's time to remove plugin support from Firefox mobile

Kevin Brosnan kbrosnan at mozilla.com
Fri May 10 12:01:02 PDT 2013


On Fri 10 May 2013 11:50:46 AM PDT, David Keeler wrote:
>> We still struggle to get mobile content served to us by
>> websites/servers.
>
> Well, it's not going to happen if we don't push them.

They don't care at this moment about non-webkit browsers. This 
sentiment is starting to change in the web design world but even 
getting sites where we have good contacts such as FB to fully support 
us is hard. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=759986

We don't have the market share to be as aggressive as you are 
suggesting. If sites don't work in FxA users will just use 
Chrome/Stock/Dolphin.

>> Our h264 decoding on Android is still a work in progress.
>
> H264 support is not a prerequisite to removing plugin support. As
> illustrated, there are other existing options for delivering the content
> people want.
>
>> Removing it before Adobe EoL Flash will result in negative reviews
>
> According to
> http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/flashplatform/whitepapers/flash-runtimes-roadmap.pdf
> , "Adobe will continue to provide critical bug fixes and security
> updates for existing device configurations through September 2013".
> Assuming 6 weeks per release, Firefox 24 will be released mid-September,
> just in time for EoL of Flash on Android. I think this is a good time to
> start making plans for this.

The hardware Flash runs on does not immediately get replaced. We do 
need to provide an exit ramp. But a wall on September is not the 
correct action. Flash runs on about 70% of the hardware currently on 
the market.

Kevin

> On 05/10/13 11:33, Kevin Brosnan wrote:
>> Now is not the time.
>>
>> We still struggle to get mobile content served to us by websites/servers.
>>
>> Our h264 decoding on Android is still a work in progress. There are
>> devices that are blocked from trying h264 [1]. We (FxA QA) are in the
>> process of doing a review of our playback on 70+ devices we have on
>> hand. The issues we have found so far are listed on a meta bug [2].
>>
>> We regularly get 5 star reviews on the Play Store because of our Flash
>> support. Removing it before Adobe EoL Flash will result in negative
>> reviews and some of the positive reviews to change to 1 or 2 star reviews.
>>
>> Kevin Brosnan
>>
>> [1]
>> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Blocklisting/Blocked_Graphics_Drivers#On_Android_2
>> [2] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=867846
>>
>> On 05/10/2013 10:54 AM, David Keeler wrote:
>>> [bcc'd to many lists for wide visibility - discussion should probably be
>>> on mobile.firefox.dev
>>> (https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/mobile-firefox-dev )]
>>>
>>> TL;DR: Now is a good time to remove plugin support from Firefox for
>>> Android.
>>>
>>> Consider:
>>> * We do not support plugins for Firefox OS and do not plan to
>>> * The only plugin that most users care about is Flash. Adobe stopped
>>> development for Flash on Android in November of 2011, which is a year
>>> and a half ago[1].
>>> * Popular sites that use plugins have native apps. This includes
>>> YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and so on. Other sites can follow suit or use
>>> modern web technologies like HTML5. Addons are also an option.
>>> * Plugins are a security hazard
>>> * Plugins drain battery life and make Firefox seem slow
>>>
>>> Let's be bold, let's protect our users, and let's move the web forward.
>>>
>>> [1] http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> mobile-firefox-dev mailing list
>>> mobile-firefox-dev at mozilla.org
>>> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/mobile-firefox-dev
>>
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