Click to play, the next big problem for many smaller companies

Richard Bateman richard at
Fri Sep 6 04:42:58 UTC 2013

Fair enough.  Here are the things that I most commonly see plugins used for that there is currently no HTML solution for (or not a good enough one):

* Encryption / Authentication with encryption
* USB device integration (and other device integration, but USB is the most common)
* Advanced networking; networking in ways that can't be done using websockets; custom protocols, etc
* More complete filesystem access (there is stuff for this, but it is often inadequate to tasks that people need to do)
* Ability to launch other applications
* Ability to interface with other applications, grab screenshots, etc.

Most importantly:

* The ability to run processing code at native or close to native speeds.

I realize that doesn't all translate in, but maybe it'll be helpful. to someone, and I'll add to the list as I think of other items.  I'm offering brainstorms here, which is probably nothing new, but FWIW =]


On Sep 5, 2013, at 20:18, Justin Dolske <dolske at> wrote:

> On 9/5/13 12:58 PM, Richard Bateman wrote:
>>> In addition, I'd love to know if many of the current plugins you
>>> know of can be replaced with native HTML functionality. [...]
>>> Scanning support seems like a simple and obvious extension to
>>> existing camera functionality, and it might help your users who are
>>> using Android phones or tablets.
>> One more thing I want to mention; one really big reason that
>> companies prefer plugins over extensions is the simple fact that with
>> FireBreath they are “write once, run everywhere”.  No matter what you
>> do with extensions, you and Chrome and Safari and IE are all doing
>> different things (and let’s not even consider Opera…) and so anything
>> that is written with an extension has to be written 4 times.  That is
>> a *huge* increase in development time. I don’t know that there is
>> anything you can do about it, but it’s a major consideration for most
>> companies, including ours.
> You've missed the point -- HTML is the "write-once" solution that is Mozilla's mission to advance and improve. It runs in many places plugins can not (notably iOS and Android).
> The "obvious extension" refers to extending HTML and WebAPIs, not browser extensions ala AdBlock. For example, it used to be impossible to do video and 3D graphics without plugins. Now the web has <video> and WebGL.
> Justin
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