Google to ban Npapi

Asked by monkeybrain2012 on 2014-01-05


Just wondering if pipelight is going to stop working on Chrome after jan 24. Google says it Npapi won't be supported any more.

Pipelight at the moment works well with Firefox, but just wondering if there is any plan to address this.


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Michael Müller (mqchael) said : #1


Google will not drop the support for NPAPI before the end of the year.

If you take a look at you will see that the change which is planned for January does not really affect Pipelight at all. Chrome already asks for the permission to execute Silverlight or Unity3D as their unusual on Linux. This will affect Windows users only.

The next change during Mid-2014 is only to annoy users a bit more when they are using a NPAPI plugin. You now need to do a right click to whitelist a website instead of a button press in the top bar. Anyway, this will still not prevent Pipelight from working inside of chrome.

There is not yet a final date when they want to remove the NPAPI support completely ("Support for NPAPI will be completely removed from Chrome in a future release, probably by the end of 2014"), but I doubt that all plugins will suddenly start to use one of the plugin APIs which only work in Chrome. I therefore wouldn't worry so much about this now and simply wait a bit more and see what happens.

Anyway, if they remove the NPAPI completely we can not simply adjust Pipelight to use a different plugin API. All APIs which Chrome wants to keep in the future require the plugin to be executed inside of a sandbox and it is not possible to run Wine in such an environment. It may be possible that Pipelight will only work in Chromium but not in Chrome then.

Moreover, we also developed a Sandbox especially for Pipelight which should have the same effect as Chrome's sandbox mechanisms, but there is no big interest in it yet and this will also not prevent Chrome from dropping the NPAPI support.

I think the best we can do now is to simply wait a bit more and see if chrome really sticks to it's plan.


Sebastian Lackner (slackner) said : #3


if these news are true this is really a bit annoying - especially because
PPAPI is only supported by Chrome. This will not only be bad for Pipelight
users, but also for all other plugin developers, who have to develop the
same plugin multiple times to support both Chrome and Firefox in the future.

Nevertheless I wouldn't worry too much yet, we still have some ideas and
workarounds, which we could use as soon as this happens.

The article for example mentions that the step to drop NPAPI is due to the
switch to the Aura graphic stack - but this is nothing Linux specific. In
fact Chrome will switch to the Aura graphic stack on all platforms sooner
or later, as soon as it works good enough and passes their tests. Since
these other platforms will not drop NPAPI so soon I conclude that it should
be no problem to support NPAPI in combination with Aura, but it probably
needs someone to implement it. Moreover they article says that they accept
patches exactly for this - this also sounds like they don't really want to
remove it immediately, but instead are just searching some volunteer to
implement it for them. ;-)

When they're going to drop NPAPI support later - what they'll do is
basically just remove some parts of their code. Nothing can prevent us to
provide our own Chromium version, where we reinsert this code, and provide
it for example in a PPA. Maybe its not even necessary to reinsert code, but
just to change a flag, that the code is used again.

Besides that Chrome will not drop non-sandboxed PPAPI (not to be confused
with sandboxed PPAPI, this is the only plugin interface remaining in the
future) at the same time. Currently its not yet possible to use Pipelight
with this plugin API, and we had the opinion that it doesn't make sense to
implement it, as it will be dropped in the future too - but it could
probably be implemented as a workaround in the meantime.

These are just a few ideas - I think we'll have to wait a bit more until we
get some more detailed information, and can then decide if it makes sense
to develop an intermediate solutions or if other ideas (like custom
Chromium builds) are easier.


2014/1/9 bowser <email address hidden>

> Question #241737 on Pipelight changed:
> bowser posted a new comment:
> Hi,
> Just saw this , it comes sooner than we thought. : (
> april-2014?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+d0od+%28OMG!+Ubuntu!%29
> --
> You received this question notification because you are an answer
> contact for Pipelight.

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