Monday, October 5, 2009

Mozilla's New Firefox Plugin Check Page - Beta

Via Mozilla Web Development Blog -

Following up on the Flash Detection on the What’s New page, we are developing an upgrade to the Plugin Finder Service (PFS2).

We could use your help! Please hit our testing server’s Plugin Check. We will be able to capture information about plugins and help fill-out the PFS2 database. See an issue? Look through current bugs and leave feedback in Bugzilla.

If you’re a Plugin Vendor, please put the version of your plugin into the name or description field of your plugin. For example, since they don’t expose this information, the following very popular plugins cannot have their minor versions accurately detected in Firefox with JavaScript alone:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Windows Media Player Plug-in
  • RealPlayer (on Mac only, Windows exposes version information)

Some plugins don’t expose a good version number in the description, but can be detected by instantiating the plugin. We’re using Eric Gerds’ PluginDetect for this type of plugin.

On the other hand, kudos go to Microsoft’s Silverlight team for the following information: name=”Silverlight Plug-In” description=”3.0.40818.0″. That’s exactly what we need to identify when a Plugin has fallen out of date. If a vulnerability is discovered and published against 3.0.40818.0, we can alert the user to pick up the newest version.

It’s very fast and easy for us to detect your release version, when the proper information is provided by the plugin. Doing so is a win for you and your users. We’ll be encouraging Firefox users to keep their plugins updated to the latest and greatest. This means better distribution and lower support costs for you. We’re contacting many vendors right now to make this happen.

Firefox 3.6 is going to be adding enhancements to the way Plugin information is exposed to JavaScript. We’re looking forward to how this will simplify this task.

Interested in the code under development? Check out PFS2 server, PFS2 client and of course where it will eventually live.


Clearly this is a work in progress, but it is a very cool idea. This will fill a missing gap for users running Firefox on OS Secunia's Online Inspector doesn't work on OS X.

No comments:

Post a Comment