back to article New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons – except one hacker favourite

Mozilla is excluding Flash from a more general clamp-down on the enablement of browser add-ons with the latest edition of Firefox. Firefox’s click-to-activate plugin whitelist, introduced in September 2013, has been removed. This means that users will have to proactively enable add-ons while surfing using Firefox 47.0 beta …

  1. BoldMan

    Now we just need the BBC to get a freaking clue!

    1. Captain Badmouth

      Last time I looked C4 needed to, as well.

    2. Steve 114

      No hope for the 'BBC', you only pay for them. Just so long as they keep the 'Third Programme' (whatever it's called nowadays), preferably without the self-promoting Ad. slots where they talk over the music.

      1. Richard 22

        The BBC have an html5 beta version of iplayer;

        1. Cynical Observer

          Not just iPlayer

          @ Richard 22

          Thanks for the heads up on iPLayer - but it's also the articles on the BBC News Site that need attention.

          A quick check just now and out of the 10 most popular stories, two reported that Flash needed to be installed in order to view the video segment included in the article.

          Think the BoldMan's point stands. The BEEB needs to climb off the Flash merry go round and move on from there - sooner rather than later please.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not just iPlayer

            The html5 implementation is limited to the usual suspect browsers. Unlike everywhere else.

          2. tony72

            Re: Not just iPlayer

            There's a greasemonkey script to make BBC news use an HTML5 player instead of flash, I have it installed at home (I'm at work right now, but I think it's this one), it works great. Presumably could be easily modded for other beeb sites, I haven't looked

            Of course that's not an ideal solution for a whole bunch of reasons, but it does work.

        2. John Tserkezis

          "The BBC have an html5 beta version of iplayer;"


          BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only.

          And everyone wonders why we pirate so much...

          1. johnfbw

            You pay the license fee, you get the content

            1. RNixon

              Actually no, you pay the license fee and you still don't get the content if you're outside the UK.

              Not only can a Canadian not purchase a UK television license, if a UK resident who has a license is outside the UK, they can't access the content on the web site.

              The reason for this is it would be 'technically impossible' to enforce 'only licensed users from outside the UK'.

              Apparently they have never heard of 'accounts' and 'passwords'.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Luckily BBC Radio can be accessed abroad, although there are occasional glitches when fucking DRM gets in the way to block some content -- cunts.

                Even more luckily I can record and SAVE stuff on my PVR to upload to my laptop and watch anywhere in the world. I pay an arm and a leg for the 'privilege' of watching the beeb and then I can't because I am out of the country.

                I know, I know, it's all to do with content providers' rights [=Hollywood].

                As I said, cunts.

    3. Adair Silver badge

      Use of a 'user agent switcher' (other names are available) is an inelegant, but workable, solution to the BBC problem. The BBC serves HTML5 video to devices purporting to be using Android and other 'mobile' OSes.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Yes, what with warnings about Flash plastered all over the page along with warnings that I can't see something from Twitter because "I've got third-party cookies blocked" the BBC website is increasingly devoid of content.

      Maybe this is all part of some cunning plan to push users into walled gardens?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doe that mean you will have to keep re-enabling add-ons every time you use the browser - or even for every time you view a page?

    Things like the Selenium browsing automaton add-on are meant to run without any intervention.

    1. Lutter

      No The author confuses addons such as Selenium with plugins such as Flash.

  3. Aodhhan

    Goodbye Flash.. so long Java

    Our company has already begun turning vendors away who continue to use Flash and/or Java on their web apps. Kudos to Google for demanding the same. If a vendor hasn't already gone to HTML5, you have to wonder just how seriously they take security.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Flash.. so long Java

      Not everything that uses Flash is from a "vendor". It's extensively used by e-literature, among other things, which will become increasingly inaccessible thanks to people like the Mozilla devs who are only interested in their own use cases.

      But then the IT industry is nothing if not short-sighted.

  4. kain preacher

    I can see it now. Its12/1/25 The worlds first truly secure and unshockable os is invented. 12/2/25 some installs flash and java and falls over.

    1. Graham Cunningham


      Is that 12 Feb 2025 or 25 Feb 2012?

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: standards

        Kids, just remember Datey McDateformat - aka ISO 8601 !

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

        Re: standards

        Or Dec 2 2025?

  5. staringatclouds

    Is there a Firefox fork that doesn't have built in DRM ?

    1. BD 1

      Search for Firefox EME free


    2. Cynical Observer

      One Option

      ....would be to have a look at Palemoon.

      This from about 2 years ago....

      Finding a DRM-free replacement for Firefox

      Pale Moon

      Pale Moon is a small project that releases an optimized version of Firefox. Its home page claims increased stability and smaller memory requirements. In addition, it has more customization and configuration options than Firefox. The layout is different from Firefox, but not so much that most users should have trouble adjusting.

      Moonchild, the lead developer, describes DRM as "punishing the people who play by the book." He goes on to say, "Ive decided not to implement DRM in Pale Moon, EME or Adobe black box or otherwise, since it requires the inclusion of closed-source components that you're not even allowed to *look* at. All in all,it goes straight against the premise of FOSS."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash gets a stay of execution...

    ... actually, Firefox get on the list of "why would I use it?". There *are* alternatives.

    1. arctic_haze

      Re: Flash gets a stay of execution...

      Firefox does not install Flash on your computer. You need to do that separately and I have good news for you:

      You do not need to install Adobe Flash at all! And even if you do, you can still block it within Fiefox. It's not difficult.

      So why hate Firefox?

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Flash gets a stay of execution...

        I've tried uninstalling flash. A few video players still work, but I get plenty of 'there's a problem' or 'your browser doesn't support video playback'.

      2. DropBear

        Re: Flash gets a stay of execution...

        "So why hate Firefox?"

        Because it's still incapable of playing back anything x264 (aka only actual real-world HTML5 video format you can get anything in) on my OS.

  7. oiseau Silver badge

    Flash and Firefox? Still?

    I thought we were to finally be done with this crap once and for all ....

    Whatever happened?

    Not happy.

  8. tony72

    No, it won't.

    New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons

    Plugins are not the same thing as add-ons. Things like Flash and Silverlight are plugins. Things like AdBlock and Bamboo are add-ons. The difference does matter. We're talking about plugins here, not add-ons. You might say that that's obvious, but considering the amount of hysterical, mostly misdirected anti-Mozilla rhetoric that gets spouted these days, it really wouldn't hurt to get it right.

    1. Doctor Evil

      Re: No, it won't.

      Flash and Silverlight are indeed plug-ins, but AdBlock and Bamboo are extensions. They are all accessed under menu Tools | Add-Ons, so they are all classed generally as add-ons. (Rather confusingly, extensions are added to in Firefox by using the Get Add-On option but plugins are not.)

      Both the article and the headline, however, use the term "add-ons" when it was really plug-ins that were meant, so readers could be forgiven for thinking that all Firefox add-ons will be similarly treated.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Skinned Fox

    Alas.. Looks like the only Fox in my the future will be hanging on the wall. Sadly they have become another nazi "me too" browser.

  10. Palpy
  11. Jim-234

    Flash and Java need to be cleansed from the face of the earth and it can't happen soon enough.

  12. Captain DaFt

    It's late, I'm bored, sooo...

    And now, The Script Kiddy Chorus:

    Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun

    Flash a-ah

    Backdoor of the Internet

    Flash a-ah

    We'll pwn everyone of you!

    (Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary software flaws)

    (Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha)

    (What's up with Flash?)

    (Only Edward Snowden, formerly at NSA, has provided any explanation)

    Flash a-ah

    It's a bloody train wreck

    (This morning's unprecedented Internet attack is no cause for alarm)

    Flash a-ah

    Fixing it is impossible

    and for every one of you

    a flaw that'll let us through

    to each and every one of you

    Every man, every woman

    Every child, on a browser

    (Holy Crap, more flaws are opening.)

    (What do you mean more flaws are opening? Close firewall! All admins! Patch this mess at once!)

    Flash a-ah

    (Backdoor installed!)

    Flash a-ah

    We'll pwn every one of you

    Just a flaw

    In your system

    You know it's

    Nothing but an app

    But it will ever fail

    No one can keep us out

    Til you delete this mighty fail


    (Flash, Flash, who needs you, now I have other ways to view online video!)


  13. Anonymous Coward

    Firefox lovers

    What's with all the love for Firefox? I can understand hating it a bit less than Chrome, Safari, and IE/Edge... but only a wee little bit. Firefox ain't what it was 10 years ago.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    be carefull wot you wish for...

    better the DEVIL you know!

  15. bombastic bob Silver badge

    HTML5 in adverts? I blocked the FLASH ones easily enough!

    To think that adverts switching to HTML5 would be a GOOD thing... it's *NOT*.

    they're MUCH easier to BLOCK when they use FLASH! How? DISABLE THE FLASH PLUGIN!

    (we should keep advertisements in the 'flash' ghetto, for our own good)

    Also 'NoScript' helps eliminate flash content. It's amazing how much FASTER a web site that does NOT load embedded video content will display, compared to the alternative...

  16. oceanhippie

    Click to run - this was the default for a long time in Opera. I miss those days, It's settable in Vivaldi, therefore probably all chrome/chromium browsers.

    I find this the perfect solution to flash - you only see what you right click and "run plugin" on.

    It's almost a shame html5 video isn't a plugin. I did put in a feature request for Vivaldi not to autoplay videos. Meanwhile I have a plugin that stops HTML 5 vids from autoplaying

  17. Steve Graham

    "Firefox 53 beta will play embedded YouTube videos with HTML5 video if Flash is not installed."

    I think 53 must be a typo for 47, since that's what the referenced release notes are for. ("Typo"? I don't know. The two numbers sum to 100. Perhaps the article was written by software with a bug.)

    Anyway, hasn't embedded youtube been working since about release 40?

  18. Joe Drunk


    If you want to watch Netflix on Windows 7 without Silverblight Firefox is the way to go. I used to watch it on Google Chrome but it was choppy/stuttery. Buttery smooth playback on the same PC with FF.

    I don't really have a favorite browser right now, they all have their pros and cons. Firefox is my favorite for Netflix for sure.

  19. thisever

    re the useability of Mint

    ...I spent two or three evenings trying to install it alongside windows as dual or possibly triple boot setup a couple of years ago (sorry I cant remember which) but the process was so time consuming that I gave up on it. The software for making partioning 'simple' wouldn't do what I wanted etc etc. Mint appeared to want to sell itself as being user friendly but once you get past the shiny welcome pages its clear the IT industry is unable or unwilling to take away pitfalls that catch new users. Thats why free software doesn't get a bigger user base. Its almost like they don't want people to find it easy and accessible.

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: re the useability of Mint

      It's not that they don't WANT people to find it easy. It's that there seems to be this geek/nerd thing that if it was hard to create, it should be hard to install and configure. I swear it's a disease that the folks who make FOSS (and bless them for doing so) are utterly incapable of understanding that not everyone wants to edit config files with a hex editor. That not everyone knows their big-endian from little-endian. That not everyone even fucking CARES so long as it does what they want it to do in the easiest manner possible. And no, "so write your own" is NOT an appropriate response to that complaint.

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