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Starred by 20 users
Status: Fixed
Owner:
Closed: Jun 2014
Components:
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Linux
Pri: 2
Type: Bug



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Dramatically misleading, uninformative UI when blocking NPAPI plugins
Reported by t...@crowdersoftware.com, May 31 2014 Back to list
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/35.0.1916.114 Safari/537.36

Steps to reproduce the problem:
1. Use Chromium 35 on Linux (for now)
2. Make sure you have the Oracle Java plugin installed
3. Try to use it

What is the expected behavior?
A message saying clearly that the plugin installed to handle the content has been blocked because it uses an outdated mechanism (NPAPI), with a link to a plain-language page saying exactly what's going on and why what used to work (the plugin) doesn't anymore.

What went wrong?
See attached: It acts like the plugin isn't installed at all, offering to "Install" it by taking you to the Oracle website -- which has no PPAPI plugin.

There's not even anything in the chrome_debug.log if you use --enable-logging -v=1.

Did this work before? N/A 

Chrome version: 35.0.1916.114  Channel: stable
OS Version: Linux Mint 16
Flash Version: Shockwave Flash 13.0 r0

This should NEVER have made it to stable in the current state. Just the Java plug-in alone will impact ~9% of Chrome/Chromium users, and as the vast majority don't subscribe to the blog, they'll have no idea what went wrong and waste a lot of time trying to fix it.

This urgently needs fixing.
 
install-java.png
151 KB View Download
Cc: jsc...@chromium.org
Labels: Cr-Internals-Plugins
Comment 2 by jsc...@chromium.org, May 31 2014
Cc: -jsc...@chromium.org
Owner: e...@chromium.org
erg@ - seems like Linux shouldn't be offering to install unsupported plugins.
Project Member Comment 3 by bugdroid1@chromium.org, Jun 2 2014
The following revision refers to this bug:
  https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src.git/+/321dd1b019ec46c733188913a559002d63d193af

commit 321dd1b019ec46c733188913a559002d63d193af
Author: erg@chromium.org <erg@chromium.org@0039d316-1c4b-4281-b951-d872f2087c98>
Date: Mon Jun 02 21:51:04 2014

linux_aura: Disable the plugin install infobar.

BUG= 379425 

Review URL: https://codereview.chromium.org/308303004

git-svn-id: svn://svn.chromium.org/chrome/trunk/src@274345 0039d316-1c4b-4281-b951-d872f2087c98


Project Member Comment 4 by bugdroid1@chromium.org, Jun 2 2014
------------------------------------------------------------------
r274345 | erg@chromium.org | 2014-06-02T21:51:04.268354Z

Changed paths:
   M http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/src/build/common.gypi?r1=274345&r2=274344&pathrev=274345

linux_aura: Disable the plugin install infobar.

BUG= 379425 

Review URL: https://codereview.chromium.org/308303004
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Apologies if this is just one part of a larger plan, but as that plan hasn't been shared in the bug, some observations on that checkin:

1. Surely not disabling the infobar *completely*? What about PPAPI plugins?

2. There is a plan to *tell* the user why the plugins that used to work have suddenly stopped working, right? So they don't waste lots of time (as I did) trying to get them working again? Basically, detecting an NPAPI plugin should trigger a notice on startup.

I really need to get the source compiling locally so I can pitch in.
Comment 6 by a...@chromium.org, Jun 5 2014
Labels: TE-Verified-37.0.2031.2 TE-Verified-M37
Navigating to http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp?detect=jre,not seeing any plugin install infobar.

Verified on Linux Ubuntu 12.04,chrome version:37.0.2031.2(Official Build 274999)dev
Comment 7 by e...@chromium.org, Jun 5 2014
Labels: M-36 Merge-Requested
Matthew, we apparently missed some UI that talked about NPAPI plugins when we removed support in M-35. This patch just flips a disabling flag in the gyp files. May I merge this to M-36?
Labels: -Merge-Requested Merge-Approved
Project Member Comment 9 by bugdroid1@chromium.org, Jun 6 2014
Labels: -Merge-Approved merge-merged-1985
The following revision refers to this bug:
  https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src.git/+/bf69c12ea557c501b4ea4f2819e5f39171d363bd

commit bf69c12ea557c501b4ea4f2819e5f39171d363bd
Author: erg@chromium.org <erg@chromium.org@0039d316-1c4b-4281-b951-d872f2087c98>
Date: Fri Jun 06 17:11:59 2014

Merge 274345 "linux_aura: Disable the plugin install infobar."

> linux_aura: Disable the plugin install infobar.
> 
> BUG= 379425 
> 
> Review URL: https://codereview.chromium.org/308303004

TBR=erg@chromium.org

Review URL: https://codereview.chromium.org/322573002

git-svn-id: svn://svn.chromium.org/chrome/branches/1985/src@275461 0039d316-1c4b-4281-b951-d872f2087c98


Comment 10 by e...@chromium.org, Jun 6 2014
Status: Fixed
Project Member Comment 11 by bugdroid1@chromium.org, Jun 6 2014
------------------------------------------------------------------
r275461 | erg@chromium.org | 2014-06-06T17:11:59.391497Z

Changed paths:
   M http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/branches/1985/src/build/common.gypi?r1=275461&r2=275460&pathrev=275461

Merge 274345 "linux_aura: Disable the plugin install infobar."

> linux_aura: Disable the plugin install infobar.
> 
> BUG= 379425 
> 
> Review URL: https://codereview.chromium.org/308303004

TBR=erg@chromium.org

Review URL: https://codereview.chromium.org/322573002
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Again: So you're just whole-hog disabling offering to install plugins? Not even PPAPI plugins? While an improvement over offering to install plugins that won't work, it seems a bit...broad.
(Apologies for the double-post.)

And separately, again: There's a plan to *TELL* the user why their plugins stopped working, right? Not just silently fail and waste people's time?
I'm seeing "Status: Fixed" on this ticket.

This bug is NOT fixed.

> What is the expected behavior?
> A message saying clearly that the plugin installed to handle the content
> has been blocked because it uses an outdated mechanism (NPAPI), with a
> link to a plain-language page saying exactly what's going on and why what
> used to work (the plugin) doesn't anymore.

I don't see anything in the above saying anything other than that this will cause NPAPI plugins to fail silently.
I wasted a lot of time too sorting out it was not me being able to fix it. 
This is not how a big company who cares for its users should behave
Comment 16 by Deleted ...@, Jun 10 2014
This is extremely annoying.  As an end user I should expect a detailed explanation why Java and other plugins (pipelight was another one I used) do not work after updating the browser.
Comment 17 by a...@chromium.org, Jun 13 2014
 Issue 384115  has been merged into this issue.
Yes, this is extremely annoying, but are you seriously talkinng about simply informing users about why certain plugins don't work any more (which is certainly necessary, to avoid at least making people waste time trying to install them which is insulting) INSTEAD of just reverting the idiotic decision to drop support for plugins which are vital and for which there is no alternative to make them work?
Do you realize that Chrome is now a browser without java support? For god's sake, A BROWSER WITHOUT JAVA SUPPORT!

Where does the estimate of 9% of users having the java plugin installed come from? It's hard to believe it's that few.
But it still a huge percentage, which shouldn't tell you only "those users shouldn't be wasting their time trying to install a plugin which won't ever work", it should tell you "it's totally insane to remove support for such a plugin".
Well, I do understand that Google had reasons to drop the support of NPAPI plugins. And I can understand that the only way to force 3rd-party vendors to rewrite their plugins is to drop the support of the old ones, assuming that you have enough influence (which Google probably has). Also, this is not the first time such things happen - both iOS and Android dropped Flash support (actually, iOS never had it), to make people switch faster to HTML5, for example. So that's not a problem IMHO.

The problem is that if I have Chrome 34 with these plugins installed, and I get update notification asking me to upgrade to Chrome 35, the installer MUST notify me that some of my installed plugins WILL STOP WORKING after this upgrade, and I will not be even able to rollback easily (because officially Google doesn't provide neither rollback capability nor Chrome 34 installers). Then I would decide whether I would like to upgrade or I would prefer to stay with Chrome 34 until 3rd-party vendors rewrite their plugins.
Comment 20 Deleted
> Also, this is not the first time such things happen - both iOS and Android 
> dropped Flash support
Yep, and that was demential too.

> to make people switch faster to HTML5, for example. 

The problem is that end users can't "switch" to anything. The content they need to access is what it is.

There are a lot of ugly and tremendously obsolete technologies out there, so bad that the world would be a better place if they never existed, but which sadly are still used. But if they were to be erased from the face of the earth before an alternative is available, for the sake of encouraging the switch to better technologies, vital things we rely upon would stop working, such as ATMs.
@matteosi:

Any discussion of or objection to dropping NPAPI support belongs elsewhere, not in this ticket. (And...good luck with that. Google shows every sign of being committed to this.)

This ticket is about being informative, telling the user what's going on.

@Dmitry:

> ...the only way to force 3rd-party vendors to rewrite their plugins is to
> drop the support of the old ones, assuming that you have enough influence
> (which Google probably has)...

Just FYI, Mozilla has repeatedly and firmly stated that they will not support PPAPI in Firefox. Full stop. So plug-in vendors have the unpleasant option of developing *both* NPAPI and PPAPI plugins. And it's not at all clear that the APIs made available in the PPAPI sandbox are sufficient to handle something like Java.

Completely agree with you about the warning, but beware of continuing to use old versions of Chrome. Old versions of web browsers have security issues.
@erg@chromium.org: Again, this bug is _not_ fixed. Thanks in advance for fixing it.
Comment 24 Deleted
@22 "Any discussion of or objection to dropping NPAPI support belongs elsewhere, not in this ticket.
This ticket is about being informative, telling the user what's going on."

Yes, but what MUST urgently be done is reverting that idiotic decision to drop support for vital plugins (which btw was done ahead of the announced schedule for Linux), and once that is done, this bug will disappear and no fix will be needed at all. So that's kind of relevant to this bug.
Comment 26 Deleted
Comment 27 Deleted
Comment 28 Deleted
Comment 29 by Deleted ...@, Jun 16 2014
Since I use enterprise applications that require Java then I can no longer use Chrome.  I guess I'll switch back to Firefox since I'm not going to downgrade.  Be sure to make a global announcement that Chrome has some sort of Java support of I'll never use it again.
All:

PLEASE DO NOT POST COMMENTS HERE COMPLAINING ABOUT NPAPI PLUGIN SUPPORT BEING DROPPED. (For instance, comment 18, comment 28...) If you want to complain about that, or ask that the decision be reversed, please find or create a relevant issue.

THIS issue is about making sure users know *why* their NPAPI plugins stop working from one version of Chrome/Chromium to the next. It is not about changing the decision to drop NPAPI support. It is about making sure people are informed. There's also  issue 380227  about warning them *in advance*.
Okay, we'll treat failing to tell the user what's going on as a separate issue then:  Issue 389464 .
Comment 32 by Deleted ...@, Oct 13 2014
This is absurd. I wasted so much time trying to figure out why I couldn't get java to install. So now I'm annoyed about NPAPI being dropped AND wasting a few hours of my very limited time.
This bug is not fixed. (Chrome 37.0.2062.120 on Linux.)

From the bug report:

> Expected behavior:

> A message saying clearly that the plugin installed to handle the content has been blocked because it uses an outdated mechanism (NPAPI), with a link to a plain-language page saying exactly what's going on and why what used to work (the plugin) doesn't anymore.

Instead you just get "this plugin is not supported." How is that clear about what's going on? Where's the link to the clear explanation

I just Do Not Get It. Why are you seemingly so absolutely *dedicated* to making this a poor user experience, rather than a positive one?
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