back to article Firefox alpha dons Flash flak jacket

Mozilla has pushed out a Firefox developer preview that runs Adobe Flash and other plug-ins as a separate process, hoping to prevent crashing plug-ins from crashing the browser proper. The move comes as Apple Insider reports that Steve Jobs and cult have asked a group of "elite" testers to kick the proverbial tires on a new …


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  1. Jerome

    Safari on 64bit Snow Leopard ...

    already has Flash in a separate process, so Flash crash do not impact Safari.

    So that makes quite a lot of "elite" testers.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ah nice to see..

    ...Mozilla lifting code from Chromium, that's what Open Source is for. This particular thing, the plugin condom is something that I'd love to see stolen and implemented all over the place..

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Quick question for the Greater Geeks: will sandboxing the add-ons in this way provide for greater (potential) protection from exploit-on-error content poisoning? (Dodgy PDFs, flash files etc..)

    1. Ivan Slavkov

      Quick answer - no

      Most of these are based on holes in the enforcement of the DOM model and this changes very little to that respect.

      It is primarily a stability fix and its consequences are fairly well known - Konqueror has been using this technique for a very long time.

    2. dogged

      short answer, longer answer

      Short answer: No.

      Long answer: Not in and of itself but it will give us a secondary layer in which to implement anti-poisoning safeguards.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Click To Flash

    I run Click To Flash, and don't regret it for a moment.

    What's that? Why, yes you can:

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ClickToFlash is the shiznit

    massively reduced memory footprint, reduced processor activity, less fan action, more battery life, many video-streaming sites rendered in H.264 goodness, zero annoying Flash ads. I can't think of a single time Safari has crashed on me, although Flash has managed it on a few occasions when I was on a page that absolutely required it.

  6. Jonathan Dieter

    Doesn't nspluginwrapper do the same thing?

    I've been using nspluginwrapper on Fedora for years and it seems to do exactly the same thing. When flash crashes, the box it was in just turns gray, and everything else continues to work fine. Reloading the page gets flash back.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge


      yes, nspluginwrapper does the same thing.

      I even have a 'flashkill' program I have to periodically run, because in my experience, a lot of badly done flash items freeze rather than kill flash.

      killing the flash process unlocks the firefox freeze.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    nsplugin and jobs

    I was going to refute it, but you're quite right, nspluginwrapper runs plugins in seperate processes already. Perhaps putting this support directly into the rendering engine will make it slightly more efficient.

    I want to add, every time Jobs talks about flash I think he sounds like a real douchebag. i've seen macs plenty of times, sorry, they were not even running the browser so this really can't be blamed on flash! I really think flash is too big a deal to exclude simply because of one person disliking it -- let the user decide if they want flash or not! Of course this is the essence of Apple -- the user doesn't have control of the product, Steve Jobs does.

    1. Bilgepipe
      Jobs Halo


      More "Apple Control Freakery" FUD. Take your tin foil hat off, you sound really stupid.

      Jobs says Flash is crap because it *is* crap, and now browser developers are having to go to all this effort because Adobe are too incompetent to get their products working. ClickToFlash should be default behaviour in ALL browsers.

  8. b166er

    How embarassing

    for Adobe. Get your shit together.

    1. Atli


      Adobe needs to put some serious work into both improving the flash plug-in itself (especially on non-windows systems), and into reducing the amount of damage bad ActionScript code can cause. - Most of these flash crashes can probably be attributed to cheap coding-labor that would have to find a copy/paste'able snipped online to so much as write a hello world app. - Adobe need to restrain the plug-in from leaking memory and hogging CPU time.

      Perhaps put a fixed cap on the amount it is allowed to use. Just, you know, so that random flash ad can't eat up 500MiB of my memory and cause my system to hang while it spends all my CPU on... I can't even imagine what.

  9. jake Silver badge


    What's that?

    1. The Original Ash

      Re: Flash: What's that?

      It's that important technology which makes iPlayer, 4oD, DemandFive, YouTube, Veoh, and almost every other video website on the internet work. Until browsers and sites go native <video> and use open formats (that's REAL likely), we're stuck with Flash as an in-browser viewer.

      I hate it, but it's necessary right now. Not all of us use Lynx.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @The Original Ash

        "It's that important technology which makes iPlayer, 4oD, DemandFive, YouTube, Veoh, and almost every other video website on the internet work. Until browsers and sites go native <video> and use open formats (that's REAL likely), we're stuck with Flash as an in-browser viewer."

        That word "important" ... I don't think it means what you think it does.

        "I hate it"

        Then why use it?

        "but it's necessary right now."

        Ah. Addiction. That's not good. Seek help?

        "Not all of us use Lynx."

        Hey, my fingers know it ... So shoot me!

      2. Ammaross Danan

        Missed the point

        Very informative reply, but I think jake simply missed clicking the "joke alert" icon, as his "Flash? What's that?" comment most likely implied he chooses not to install flash at all and therefor has no problems. Good attempt though.

  10. SIGTERMer
    Thumb Up

    same here

    npviewer.bin does the same here. reloading the page gets flash running again.

  11. Richard Cartledge

    Click to Flash

    I installed click to flash on my Macbook, and I now get 7 hours of web browsing from the battery.

  12. Ivan Slavkov

    Fantastic idea... Lifted from KDE

    Konqueror has been doing this for a very long time now. 10 years or so if not more.

  13. h 6

    Only me?

    Down with OOPP? Yeah you know me!

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