FireFox 3.5, Plugins and The Meaning of Life

khess 0 Tallied Votes 490 Views Share

FireFox 3.5 is due out by the end of June and includes some pretty interesting new features--and not a moment too soon. Some of these new features include the ability to play videos in the browser without the need to download and install a third-party plugin. It also includes TraceMonkey, which is a JavaScript Engine that is much faster (And hopefully less buggy) than the one in previous FireFox versions.

This is all good news but you realize that with every bit of good news there's something dark and mysterious waiting to be brought into the light: Plugins.

I hate plugins. Hate them. They are the bane of my online existence. Why do I need plugins? Why can't the browser just come equipped with the plugins I'll need to successfully and happily navigate through websites?
Surely the developers can come to an agreement with Adobe or whomever it is with the technology that requires a damn browser plugin to just allow them to include the plugin with the browser.

Why do I need to download and install a browser plugin just because someone has some Flash video thingy on their website?
And how often do I need to continue to send my eternal soul to the deepest, darkest reaches of hell by cursing and yelling at browser plugins that don't work or won't install?

It's very frustrating.

It is just this kind of annoying behavior that makes open source tools and Linux adoption all the more difficult. Do you really want to have to call your local tech support people every time a browser plugin won't install? No, you don't. Furthermore, you shouldn't have to.

Here's my solution:

Dear Browser Developers,

Hi. I'm a technical guy who works on a variety of operating systems and have been working with Linux and open source applications for a very long time (Circa 1995) and I have one simple request for your wonderful product <Insert Plugin-needing Browser Name Here> that needs various plugins to operate correctly on websites. INCLUDE THEM WITH THE DAMN BROWSER. Pretty please.

Including the most common plugins with the browser would solve so many problems and make our, the end users, lives so much simpler. And I know you want that too, don't you? You see, many who use, or would use, your product want a trouble-free experience and if we have to spend many frustrating hours downloading, installing and troubleshooting browser plugin problems just so we can see someone's Flash presentation--well, it just isn't worth it.

So, please--I'm asking nicely--include the plugins with the browser.

Sincerely yours,

Ken Hess

There. See? Painless and simple.

Surely it isn't too much to ask. If it is, then can someone please create a plugin that successfully downloads and installs all other plugins?

Life just shouldn't be this difficult when the solution is so simple.

Write back and tell me about your interesting browser plugin experiences. I'm hoping it isn't just me.

virtualrosario 0 Newbie Poster

What’s New in Firefox 3.0.10? Firefox 3.0.10 fixes two issues found in Firefox 3.0.9:

* Fixed a security issue.
* Fixed a major stability issue.
* See the Firefox 3.0.9 release notes for changes in previous releases.

delfick 0 Newbie Poster

hours ???

installing flash takes around a single minute
it really isn't that hard to press the shiny yellow bar at the top of the page that points to the download page for flash player

where you click a single button, which then proceeds to download the plugin. It then asks if you want to install it, you press yes, and voila it's installed.

where is the difficulty?

khess 95 Practically a Master Poster

The difficulty is when it doesn't work and you have to troubleshoot, which is often. FireFox on Linux has lots of quirks--not sure about FireFox on Windows and I've only seen a shiny yellow bar on IE, not FireFox. These are just my experiences.

Aviqc 0 Newbie Poster

What a tech! I'm a stay-at-home mom and I have very few difficulties with plugins. The only one I can't get to work is Moonlight! Seriously, I think this guy hasn't considered the proprietary nature of some of these plugins, or the fact that one can choose from a list of plugins in some cases and not install all of them; doing so only weights the browser down.

yturieow 0 Newbie Poster

I sometimes have difficulty finding the correct plugin, but installing it normally isn't a problem for me. I use Firefox with Windows only, so can't comment on Linux compatibility issues.

khess 95 Practically a Master Poster

I guess my major angst with the whole plugin thing is that if your browser were a car, you'd have to install the horn before honking or install the windshield wipers while it's raining. They should just include them. There's really no reason not to.

crowder 0 Newbie Poster

We are actually trying to solve the problem you rant about in your open letter by providing the web with unencumbered alternatives to proprietary plugins like flash. We're doing this in Firefox 3.5 by supporting the new HTML5 <video> and <audio> tags.

A colleague of mine, Paul Rouget has written some really impressive demos of this new technology, which you can discover on his blog, if you're interested. They're fun and cool, and they use all open, standardized web technology.

Also, I'm curious to know what bugginess you discovered in previous versions of Firefox's JavaScript engine.


mhanry 1 Light Poster

Well such are the issue but still Mozilla is much preferred then of other web browser when it come to the working , you can tweak and trick with mozila .. So such problem are acceptable with this.

jingda commented: Last post is in 2009, dude -1
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