[webkit-gtk] [webkit-dev] Plugin process

Adrian Perez de Castro aperez at igalia.com
Mon Jul 20 01:47:44 PDT 2020

Hi all,

On Sun, 19 Jul 2020 15:49:37 -0700, Brent Fulgham <bfulgham at apple.com> wrote:

> We haven’t removed it from Apple builds yet, because we think there are
> still some WebKit clients that use them. I.e., WebKit framework users on the
> platform that are not Safari or one of the other web browsers.

For the GTK port we have already removed the support for NPAPI plugins
that use the GTK2 plugin process in the 2.28.x releases (the current stable
series), but using the GTK3 plugin process is still supported.

Our tentative plan for sunsetting the NPAPI support is to keep supporting
the GTK3 plugin process in the next stable release series. This means that
we could remove the support from trunk after creating the stable branch
for the 2.30.x releases—that would be around September-October 2020.

> We should take another look, because it would be great to get rid of it
> completely.

> > On Jul 19, 2020, at 11:12 AM, Michael Catanzaro <mcatanzaro at gnome.org>
> > wrote:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Is anybody still using the plugin process? I understand that Safari does
> > not allow plugins anymore. Epiphany doesn't either, nor does anything
> > packaged in Linux distros  (afaik). If nothing is using it, maybe we can
> > delete a lot of code? Is it exposed in Apple system APIs?
> > 
> > WebKitGTK still has an enable-plugins setting that is not yet deprecated.
> > Probably long past time to at least deprecate it. There's also,
> > incredibly, an enable-java setting, which I presume toggles the old Java
> > browser plugin. I sense there must be some history behind that setting. :)

AFAIU, the idea is to allow things like enabling plugins in general, but not
the Java plugin in particular. Probably the reason has been that the Java
browser plugins have historically been plagued by bugs—but this is just me
doing a wild guess ;-)

I think we would need to make the public API to toggle the support for plugins
a no-op and log a warning to avoid breaking applications.

When building against GTK4 the plugin process is never supported (and has
never been, we decided to avoid it from the very beginning).

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