Firefox Updates/Firefox plugins - There has to be a nice way to make Firefox not display the "install missing plugins" link, but instead present the user with a dialog that allows them to install the missing plugins through APT. Same for updates.


There are several plugins for which there are packages in the repositories for that can't get installed through Firefox's "Install missing plugins" mechanism. For example, totem-gstreamer-firefox would allow multimedia playback in Firefox, but a dialog to allow installing it from within Firefox is needed. The same goes with Flash player (flashplugin-nonfree), and Java.

Use cases

* Dan, an experienced Windows user, installs Ubuntu and tries to play a movie trailer on the Quicktime website. The trailer doesn't load, and Firefox tells Dan to "Click here to download plugin." Dan clicks, and Firefox tells him "No suitable plugins were found." Dan doesn't know how to make the video play.

* Robert visits the Mozilla Firefox website and notices that a new version of Firefox is out. He downloads the ".tar.gz" that Mozilla provides for the new version of Firefox, but does not know where to extract it or how to install it.



This problem has to be broken down into three parts:

  1. Replacing the Firefox "Install missing plugins..." mechanism with a dialog that allows the user to install the missing plugin through APT.
  2. Making sure the Universe/Multiverse repositories are enabled, since many of these plugins will probably reside in those repos. There's probably a spec kicking around that deals with this. (Maybe DesktopTeam/CommonInstallHook ?)

  3. Replacing Firefox's "New update" mechanism... (Is this just disabled by default in Ubuntu? That might be good enough, since update-manager takes care of making sure the user gets the latest updates...)



Data preservation and migration

Outstanding issues

BoF agenda and discussion

  • Not every user wants to use the same plugins, and some people don't want to use any plugins at all (most of them are buggy as hell), so using apt is not always the best solution. --JanClaeys

  • Not to mention that the more popular ones (java, flash, qt) aren't available in the main repositories (i.e., you have to add non-free or 3rd-party repos).


  • I'd just wish updates appeared in the repositories (quite) as soon as they're released


  • Could this be tied into DesktopTeam/CommonInstallHook or UbuntuCommonHooker. -- Sam Tygier

  • Yes, both this spec and the two specs you list above should use the same mechanism to suggest and install applications/plugins. If a proprietary plugin needs to be installed, then the user must be provided with a way to do that.


CategorySpec CategorySpec

FirefoxUpdates (last edited 2008-08-06 16:29:13 by localhost)