Monday, October 1, 2007

Is Firefox too feature-rich for its own good?

I have recently been confronted with a need to integrate multimedia plugins of various kinds on our Linux boxes so that our group could have a uniform and consistent approach when it comes to multimedia. Easier said than done, I guess as if that were easy all Linux distributions would have had it in place. And some, specifically Open SuSE, leave much to be desired in that department. Others, such as Mandriva, are not bad at all, on the other hand, but it is Open SuSE we are using so it is up to me to do the multimedia integration.

Now finding various multimedia players and plugins doesn't seem like such a big deal - but getting them to work is a different story altogether. And what is puzzling me is how a browser - any browser, but I am specifically interested in Firefox as that is the one we use mostly - decides where to look for its plugins and which one to load. For example if there are two plugins available that could play a Windows Media file (let's say a MPlayer plugin and a VLC plugin) which one is the browser going to pick?

At any rate, my impression is that while Firefox is very powerful the controls and transparency necessary to configure it with ease are not there. At least not yet.

And if you know how to configure the plugins in Firefox - please email or leave a comment, help would be much appreciated.

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