Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

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DittmeierGmbH
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Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by DittmeierGmbH » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:19 pm

Hi!

We use Mozilla Firefox in our company. So far the browser plugin worked fine.
Now I cannot register XChange Editor as the browser plugin and Mozilla opens always the main program for opening the pdf.
Now I've read, that Mozilla has disabled NPAPI-Modules since version 52 - the version we have since today. :-(

How can we solve this problem??

Kind regards.

Florian Wäsch
CTO
Dittmeier GmbH

Willy Van Nuffel
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Willy Van Nuffel » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:54 pm

To me it seems that Mozilla Firefox version 51.0.1 is the most recent ?

You can still open PDF's with PDF-XChange Editor, but only "in a separate window", not "in the browser":
- click the menu button (in the upper right corner of Mozilla Firefox browser)
- click Options
- now, in the column at the left, click Applications
- scroll down in the list until you find "Portable Document Format (PDF)"
- click onto this line, and then - at the end of the line - click the arrow
- here you should find "PDF-XChange Editor"
- so, select your preferred choice, and then click elsewhere (on an other line)
- finally, check if hyperlinks to PDF open via PDF-XChange Editor

?? Maybe this solution is what you already mentioned as opening with the main program ??

Best regards.

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Patrick-Tracker Supp » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Hi Willy,

Thank you for the info. This is indeed the only workaround. Firefox pushed build 51 today (or yesterday depending on your timezone). In build 51, the plug-in should still work. I am looking at the beta release notes for 52.0 where the following is written:
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/5 ... roranotes/
Removed NPAPI support for plugins other than Flash. Silverlight, Java, Acrobat and the like are no longer supported.
Unfortunately, Willy's suggestion is the only available "solution". FireFox is one of the last mainstream browsers to support NPAPI plug-ins. Chrome began to phase out NPAPI support in April 2015. Microsoft Edge has never supported such plug-ins. Now, it seems only IE will be able to support these, aside from some other less known web browsers.

HTH!
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DittmeierGmbH
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by DittmeierGmbH » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:09 am

@Willy:
Thanks for your answer, but this is "standard" and really only a workaround.

@Patrick:
Yes, this is the problem of the 52 version. Firefox has told at its blog, that nearly all plugins can be realized with the new web technologies - which are supported by firefox.
I think, that Firefox is the most used browser. Are you working on a solution - means: a new "web tech plugin" of pdf-xchange? The "solution" to open it in a seperat instance is not enough and the integrated pdf.js has a low range of functions...

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:49 am

Hi DittmeierGmbH,

As of this time, there is no solution provided by Mozilla or Google that is both stable and powerful enough to support a plugin as complex as a PDF reader/editor. This is why no company currently offers a PDF reader plugin for Chrome or Firefox. Until a stable and powerful alternative API is provided, I'm afraid that our hands are tied.

Thanks,
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DittmeierGmbH
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by DittmeierGmbH » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:04 am

Hello Will,

thank you for this info. So the reason why yet there ist no pdf-viewer-"plugin" is not your work, but the offered API of mozilla/google...
I hope, that they will recongize that and upgrade their APIs.

Kind Regards

Florian
Dittmeier GmbH

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:10 am

Hi Florian,

(Apologies for missing your name before, it's still early here and I hadn't finished my coffee!)

That's correct, unfortunately.
I hope, that they will recongize that and upgrade their APIs.
Given their responses to complaints, so far, I'm not holding high hopes that they will implement a solution in the near future :(
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by David.P » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:12 am

Hi @all,

while this is nowhere as comfortable as the PDF-XChange Editor plugin, there is still the built-in Javascript PDF previewer in Firefox.

Image
Using the built-in PDF Viewer

Regards
David.P
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:32 am

Hi David,

That will work for some users, I'm sure, but there are an enormous number of users (100's of 1000's of our own) that require NPAPI plugins to work within web applications (e.g. online payroll and reporting systems). These usually require more advanced features that Firefox and Chrome's built-in viewers don't offer. If you add the Adobe, Foxit & Nitro users into the equation, the number of affected users totals in the millions. These users have no option but to use Internet Explorer, for as long as it continues to be supported and to support ActiveX plugins.
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by David.P » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:48 am

Thank you Will, understood!

This is interesting, because I've never come across a page as you mentioned, where you would actually work with/inside a PDF plugin in the browser. I guess that this is probably more likely to occur with intranet applications.

Cheers
David
Last edited by David.P on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:05 am

Hi David,

That's correct - It's usually internal applications used by large companies. I won't give a specific example of a company, as I don't know that any would appreciate me doing so, but many of these companies hold licenses for our software, for 75,000+ users. A very large number of those users work in browsers. In one or two examples, it's exclusively in-browser (e.g. the entire payroll/accounting department). It's not something that you or I would necessarily need, it's more in the interests of these larger clients. Judging by the number of emails/posts we've received from these companies, it represents a large and essential portion of their workflow.
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by David.P » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:15 am

Thank you Will, now I can see that this problem is quite severe.

Cheers
David
:)
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:23 am

No worries :)
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DittmeierGmbH
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by DittmeierGmbH » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:29 am

Hello Will!

After your information about the limitation for building a new pdf-plugin I had some interesting discussion with Mozilla.
Here is the main statement, which could be important for you?!

We know that it's [PDF.js editor's note] missing some important features like form fill, and we'd love assistance adding those features to it.
Is the web platform good enough to implement a PDF renderer? We believe so! PDF.js is evidence of that. If there are specific technical limitations which you believe are preventing a good renderer from being implemented on the web platform, please let me know (with details).


Kind Regards

Florian

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:56 am

Hi Florian,

The main thing in their reply is "renderer" - they mention this several times. It is one thing to read the contents of a PDF file, and create a raster image of the contents then show it on screen, and totally different if you have to actually touch that file and make changes to it (and make sure that you keep the file conforming to the specification) - even a "simple" annotation needs to change the PDF content, and form filling is waay more complex.
Even if Mozilla can do this in their own developed plug-in - I am sure they use much more than is available to third party developers via the APIs for third party plug-ins. Believe us - we've spent many many hours looking at what they offer, and checking if anything viable can be created, but unfortunately for now the answer is 'no'.

Regards,
Stefan

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by DittmeierGmbH » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:19 pm

Hello Stefan,

ah ok... understood.
But isn't it an option for you, to create a "only viewer plugin" with pdf-xchange which offers more features than the pdfjs and a "shortcut" to open it in the normal installed "fullversion" with full options.
So your solution could be much better than the integratet viewer and you can create new users...

Kind regards

Florian

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:22 pm

Hi Florian,

That would be a massive undertaking with very, very few benefits to us. We would, quite literally, have to build the entire thing from the ground-up as it would not be able to use any of our existing code. That's not something that we can practically do; it would take too many of our developers away from other tasks and, again, offers us no pay out and no real benefit. This is why none of our competitors have done this either.

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Willy Van Nuffel » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:27 pm

What should be the result of all this ...

That a lot people - willing to use their NPAPI plugins and/or willing to have PDF-editor-features available "in" their browser - will be pushed (back) to Microsoft's Internet Explorer ?

I can not imagine that this should be the intention of Google (Chrome), nor Mozilla (Firefox) or others ...

But, actually, myself, I do not immediately see an other solution.

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Patrick-Tracker Supp » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:33 am

Hi Willy,
What should be the result of all this ...

That a lot people - willing to use their NPAPI plugins and/or willing to have PDF-editor-features available "in" their browser - will be pushed (back) to Microsoft's Internet Explorer ?

I can not imagine that this should be the intention of Google (Chrome), nor Mozilla (Firefox) or others ...

But, actually, myself, I do not immediately see an other solution.

Best regards.
I am afraid this opinion is shared by a mass majority of power users like Will mentioned previously as well as most PDF software companies, I am sure :(
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by David.P » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:32 am

Hi @all,

OTOH, if Internet Explorer is developing, eventually, into a relic that is basically only still used as a plug-in wrapper for some oldish Intranet applications (because browser-wise, no one would use IE anyway anymore) -- so be it?

Cheers
David
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:01 am

Hi David,

That's essentially the case at the moment. Perhaps Google and Mozilla will respond to ever growing number of upset users and developers with a viable alternative, who knows? We can all only cross our fingers :wink:

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by David.P » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:27 am

Thank you Will, for the clarification!
Cheers
David
:)
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:01 am

:D
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Peter 123 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:57 pm

Hello and apologies for my so trivial question after this high-quality discussion among experts. But I think it will be of interest for other users too in order to be completely sure:

A few hours ago I installed (this silly) version 52.0 (32 bit) of Firefox and pdf-documents cannot longer be viewed with (my beloved) PDF-X Change Editor. The corresponding plugin of course does not exist any longer too.

Is my conclusion from your above discussion right:
It will not be longer possible to use the PDF-X Change Editor for viewing pdf-files within Firefox and there is no hope that this situation will change in the near future? :(

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Patrick-Tracker Supp » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:14 am

Hi Peter,

Thank you for the post,
Is my conclusion from your above discussion right:
It will not be longer possible to use the PDF-X Change Editor for viewing pdf-files within Firefox and there is no hope that this situation will change in the near future? :(
I am afraid that you are right. Chrome and firefox now offer alternative metrics for plug-ins that are unfortunately incapable of supporting an application as complex as ours.
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Peter 123
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Peter 123 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:27 pm

Many thanks for your clarification, Patrick.

Of course that's no good news. But I would also like to thank Willy for the workaround he presented in the second posting of this thread:
Willy Van Nuffel wrote: You can still open PDF's with PDF-XChange Editor, but only "in a separate window", not "in the browser":
- click the menu button (in the upper right corner of Mozilla Firefox browser)
- click Options
- now, in the column at the left, click Applications
- scroll down in the list until you find "Portable Document Format (PDF)"
- click onto this line, and then - at the end of the line - click the arrow
- here you should find "PDF-XChange Editor"
- so, select your preferred choice, and then click elsewhere (on an other line)
- finally, check if hyperlinks to PDF open via PDF-XChange Editor
I followed these instructions and it is indeed an effective way to keep the PDF-XChange Editor as standard viewer of pdf-files from the Internet.

Thanks again to both of you.

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:29 pm

:)
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by angel herraez » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:27 pm

I am also not willing to give up the convenience of viewing PDFs in the browser using all the functionality of PDF-XChange Editor, and the great option of the bottom-right button to transfer the document from the browser to the stand-alone Editor or --in the few cases it's needed-- to Adobe's viewer.
Since Firefox has decided to abandon NPAPI plugins (PDF and Java were my preferred and needed ones), I am abandoning Firefox and moving to another browser, Pale Moon, with derived from Firefox (a fork) and has promised to keep supporting these plugins. Now I see PDFs in Editor inside my browser as before. Also, Pale Moon retains all possibilities of customisation (the reason I used to like Firefox), extensions, etc. and does not try to look like Chrome. If I liked Chrome I would not have been using Firefox for years!

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Patrick-Tracker Supp » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:39 pm

Hello Angel,

Thank you very much for providing this information! :)

Take care!
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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by technovia » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:03 pm

Hello
For all having this problem, see this page : https://support.mozilla.org/t5/Problems ... ta-p/31069
Here below an except of the page:
"In case you’re not yet ready for this transition to happen, the ESR (Extended Support Release) of Firefox 52 will continue to support these plugins until early 2018.
Click https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/organizations/all/ to download Firefox ESR.
Important: The Windows 64-bit version of Firefox 52 ESR only supports the Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight plugins. If you also need support for Java or other plugins, choose the Windows (32-bit) download.
"

Hope to be useful

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Re: Editor Mozilla Browser-Plugin no longer working (NPAPI?)

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:06 pm

Thanks for that technovia! :D
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