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During a discussion of folks involved with Firefox and PFS, we identified the following efforts that need to be coordinated in order to make the Firefox plugin experience better.

Problem Summary

  • Plugin blocklisting is currently too jarring an experience. It's a hammer with little notification to the end user. Needs a redesign. Perhaps include in-page notification (a la malware) with the ability to continue, upgrade, block, etc...
  • There is a long queue of plugins that want to be added to PFS. Currently, the user experience of encountering unknown content types is bad. No guidance is given to the user to help them figure out how to deal with the new formatted content they are encountering. (Perhaps we need 2 tiers of plugins with different levels of vouching).
  • The plug-in install process on Vista is broken
  • It's hard to keep the PFS service updated with the latest and greatest from the vendors (do we need to evangelize an API/service?)
  • There aren't enough content types hosted (or pointed to) on AMO's plugins page
  • Users sometimes have to install the same plugin twice, once for IE and then again when they install Firefox

Multiple Efforts

To try to attack this problem will require coordination from various groups and with different sub-efforts.


  • Outline the use cases and how we'd like it to work
  • Can we do an update ping for plugins?
  • Try to get stuff done for 3.0.3 & 3.1


  • Continue to offer a service URL with substitutions (e.g. give me Flash for Windows, redirect me to download)
  • Put up a web page/service that accomodates
    • Flash and Flash Alternatives
    • Choose an MP3 handler
    • given a mime type, what can I use
  • Build a Listing/Admin/Submit UI
  • Change to a relational database that maps mime types to plugins
  • Coordinate with MozDev on [ PluginDoc] as it is the most definitive plugin database for Firefox
  • Move plugins separately from AMO (e.g.


  • Blocklist criteria
    • Decision Group: security, partnership side, steering committee overview, FIrefox team, metrics to understand deployed impact
  • Who can get listed on PFS
    • Offer 3-tiers (vendors we proliferate, stuff we think is OK but not provide, any old plugin)

Plugin Vendors

  • For blocklsting stuff it's important to work with them
  • We need a place so that we can check for the most up to date version of a plugin
  • Try to get them to pre-install the plugins for Firefox

Up Your Plug/Web Page Plugin Checker

  • Never finished launching [PluginUpdating this web project]
  • It's a problem that PluginUpdating is not automated - manual, gets out of date
  • Mconnor suggests: Package it as a JS lib and make it a support service that shows up at What's New page or on the home page as a Google snippet
  • Add this as an alert/whine on as well


  • Lots of it, TBD

Plugin Bundle

  • Consider offering a plugin bundle of: QT, Java & Flash
  • Whare are the legal implications for distributing something like this?
  • What it means to Mozilla to do this?