Until this year, most of the browsers that were available to consumers were based off the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugin. But as soon as 2015 started, most mainstream browsing platforms started giving up the NPAPI support. For instance, Google dropped support in April with the release of Chrome 42 and Microsoft got rid of it with the launch of Edge in July. Add another name to that list now as Mozilla has today announced that it will try to remove NPAPI support by the end of this year.
Apparently, the company has been working along with other Web proponents to develop replacements to features that were once only available via NPAPI. This new trend in getting rid of the traditional web design support tool could be because of its negative impact on a browser’s security, speed, and stability. Also, the code base is very complex.
Firefox has been one of those browsers that has allowed users to opt for manual plugin activation. This enables you to toggle plugins as and when you require. To add to that, the newer versions of Firefox like the 64-bit variant will launch without plugin support.
One thing to note is that, like every other company, Mozilla too doesn’t want to get rid of Flash, just yet:
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 about major tweaks in the firefox add-ons department, adding more focus on Web technologies.