Site-specific permissions for Firefox’ opt-in plugins
20 April, 2012 § 18 Comments
Today I landed an implementation of site-specific permissions for Firefox’ opt-in plugins. I previously wrote about Firefox 14’s non-default support for opt-in (also known as click-to-play) plugins last week.
That blog post garnered a lot of attention. Over 25 news sites covered the news, and the blog post was viewed close to 3,000 times.
Many people downloaded the Nightly version of Firefox to test out the feature, and a few people have told me how they are now using the feature full-time. Today’s addition of site-specific permissions makes using the feature much easier.
With site-specific permissions, users can whitelist sites that they visit often and trust. Sites that are whitelisted will activate plugins automatically upon load.
To add site-specific permissions, click on the plugin block in the location bar. The doorhanger that appears contains a dropdown with options to: Activate plugins; Always activate plugins for this site; Never activate plugins for this site; and Not Now.
To manage these permissions, users can click on the site-identity block next to the website address. From there, click on “More Information…“. The Page Info dialog will now appear. Clicking on the Permissions tab of the dialog will show any site-specific permissions that are stored for the current site, as well as the ability to change any of those permissions.
This feature will remain disabled by default in Firefox 14. David Keeler is also helping implement the feature, and has most recently been working on adding the ability to only enable plugins of a specific runtime (Flash, Java, Silverlight, etc). For more information on the status of the feature, see our feature page for Opt-in Activation of Plugins.
Opting-in to plugins in Firefox
11 April, 2012 § 84 Comments
Whether you hate them or love them, content accessed through plugins is still a sizable chunk of the web. So much so, that over 99% of internet users have Flash installed on their browser. However, plugins can also carry with them extra vulnerabilities and system slowdowns.
A couple days ago I landed an initial implementation of “click-to-play plugins” in desktop Firefox. To see and play with the feature, download a Nightly build of Firefox, go to
about:config, and enable the
plugins.click_to_play is enabled, plugins will require an extra click to activate and start “playing” content. This is an incremental step towards securing our users, reducing memory usage, and opening up the web.
I’m currently working on implementing the ability for plugin activation settings to be remembered on a per-site basis. I hope to get these changes landed within the next week before the deadline for Firefox 14.
If you are curious and want to learn more about our plans for opt-in activation of plugins, you can take a look at the feature page on our wiki.