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Well today (17 JUN 2008) will be the release of Firefox 3, a seemingly much anticipated browser update.  I checked out an earlier build (I think beta 2) and it was a nice browser.  I’m not a browser zealot, I use what works for me and IE works for me, has some tools that I like, etc.  Firefox is a fine browser as well and I do use some plugins from time to time in my Firefox install.

Today, I assume a lot of people will be downloading FF3 whether by explicit choice or by a prompt from their FF2 browser installs.  In fact, it appears that FF is going for a world record of software downloads.  Um, cool?  At any rate, the downloads will start soon (FF3 is already on public FTP servers now).

UPDATE (02 JUL 2008): See updated information here on specific silverlight.js update instructions.

So what does this mean for Silverlight?  Well, there has been an issue with Silverlight and FF3 getting along since the first public builds of FF3 started trickling out.  There has been a couple of issues, but two main nagging ones.  I’m not going to go into detail here, but there is certainly an interesting read in the bugzilla comments and a commentary here from Jon.  My personal opinion is that there was some disagreement in the Mozilla core team about if indeed it was a bug or not…the comments are an interesting read and I think the MSFT team made valid arguments (the other issue is here).  The nutshell version is that there was an apparent change in how NPAPI model was implemented in FF3.  Despite the back and forth in the bug report, Microsoft has made some servicing updates as well as SDK updates that make FF3 and Silverlight play nice together.  There still seems to be some broader concern over the FF3 implementation (as there were a number of plugins that stopped working as well), but at least a level of work around has been established for Silverlight.

The main concern really has to do with some install experience and initiation of the Silverlight plugin.  The latest SDK includes an updated Silverlight.js file with the necessary fixes in script detection that works with FF3.  You can get the SDK as a part of the Silverlight 2 SDK downloads.  This doesn’t mean that you have to immediately upgrade Silverlight 1.0 applications to v2, but just that the update is in the Silverlight 2 SDK.

Another item that was fixed (added) was removing the step to restart the browser in these instances as well – these are the same techniques as demonstrated in one of my latest videos on optimizing the install experience.

So if you are a Silverlight site author and anticipating a lot of FF3 usage on your site, you should indeed get the latest SDK for Silverlight and update the detection script and do some testing.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

6/17/2008 2:03 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Ironically enough, FF3 crashes on this Blog entry.
6/17/2008 4:14 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
FF3 crashes each time it exits from a page with Silverlight.
6/17/2008 4:21 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@:): that's what this post is about! your statement isn't 100% accurate. I've visited many Silverlight sites since my install of FF3 and those who have been monitoring the issue work fine...those much older samples and sites might have problems.
6/17/2008 5:15 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I had the same experience as Sean Gerety. It took removing and reloading Silverlight to get here. Your suggestions are great, but if you can't get here to see them, they don't work. To me, the real fix is that Firefox should display the standard "load Silverlight" message versus crashing. (Just my thoughts.)
6/17/2008 7:16 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
i'm pretty lucky because my fx doesn't crash.
don't you guys use noscript?
this page is loaded correctly when noscript enabled.
i don't want to allow your script to make my fx crash.
6/18/2008 1:46 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I'm no Silverlight developer but I have an some xaml files converted from svg. I couldnt display them in Firefox. Can somebody tell me why it doesn't work and what I could do to make it work?

6/18/2008 3:01 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight

it would be nice, if the Microsoft Web-Servers would also get this Silverlight.js update. Only the Silverlight site have this update, not the main sites (including microsoft.com and MSDN/Technet).

Best regards,
6/18/2008 3:06 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Microsoft Fanboy boldly accuses FOSS developers of Microsoft Style API changes. Uses propaganda to minimalize FOSS. Hilarity ensues.
6/18/2008 4:47 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I'm making limited use of Silverlight for a slideshow. I downloaded the Silverlight javascripts from codeplex:

Silverlight.js and SlideShow.js.

I've inserted the following into my htm page:
<script type="text/javascript">
new SlideShow.Control(new SlideShow.XmlConfigProvider());

I set up the Config and data files and it works well in IE. In FF2 it crashes occasionally after a long time, but under FF3 it keeps telling me that I need to install Silverlight. I've even tried installing Silverlight 2 (beta), but I get the same problem.

Is there a "tweak" I need to do to the javascripts?
6/18/2008 6:51 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@Richard: yes, you'll need the updated silverlight.js file from the CURRENT SDK -- http://silverlight.net/GetStarted
6/18/2008 8:06 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@Martel: i'm not accusing, just pointing out a fact. The implementation of NPAPI in some areas change...that's a known fact, period. And it is still unresolved by mozilla devs if the reference count issue is in line with the NPAPI spec...that too is a fact -- all in bugzilla reports.

@Harry: how are you trying to display the XAML? In a Silverlight application? Direct in the browser? How did you convert the SVG to XAML?
6/18/2008 8:48 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I have installed FF3, Silverlight SKD 2 beta 2, everything, and there are still sites that ask me to install Silverlight in order to view content (although, as I said, I have everything installed).

For instance, this Argentine newspaper, check the right column, in the middle, you´ll get a message asking you to get Silverlight.


Is that part of the bug of FF3, or a problem of that site?

6/18/2008 10:42 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@Marco: that site needs to implement the updated silverlight.js file.
6/18/2008 11:13 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Thanks Tim. I couold have found that out if I'd read around a bit more. New version works - some functionality is slightly different.
6/18/2008 1:33 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I'm use FF3 and have gone to a few Silverlight sites including my own with no ill-effects. FF3 is by far the best browser I've used, Opera is a close second (if only it could display mail.yahoo.com correctly haha)
6/18/2008 8:00 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Guys... this isn't the best solution... the average person isn't going to download a BETA.

Microsoft, Please work with Mozilla on this one! Please!
6/18/2008 10:15 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@oliver: let's be fair...MSFT *IS* working with Mozilla. There seems to be some disagreement whether the NPAPI is being honored or not. Wilco has been submitting feedback, etc. on the bug reports https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=421217#c19
6/18/2008 10:38 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I have no clue and intend not to ever learn what silverlight will ever do but for real will it change anything important
6/19/2008 5:26 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I don't wish to download the 56 MB SDK since I'm not a developer. Can you make this "Silverlight.js" file available on your blog?
6/19/2008 6:54 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Does anyone actually *use* Silverlight? Other than SL developers, that is. I am not trying to be a hater, but still, really, does anyone use it except in demos? I have yet to stumble across a "hey, you need to download the SL plugin" page other than when I was researching SL last Fall, and that was because I was specifically looking for SL apps/demos/pages whatever you call them.

Just curious. Seeya!
6/20/2008 12:34 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Tim, I, too, was merely pointing out the fact that your blog post was strongly suggestive of...um..."spin." It reads as "those Mozilla developers broke a solid, standard API and Microsoft is having to scramble to fix it for them." I've heard of far more compatibility issues caused by API changes in recent service pack releases for Microsoft products than compatibility issues with every major or minor release of Mozilla Foundation products.

Certainly there are more applications that use Microsoft APIs than the Netscape Plugin API, but, for that exact reason, making changes to the Microsoft APIs has much more far reaching consequences and requires a lot more care and finesse. Anyone who puts them self in a position of supporting Microsoft over a FOSS developer group (to which anyone can contribute) over an API change and expects any semblance of credibility must accept and acknowledge the fact that Microsoft routinely changes APIs without notice or warning and expects everyone else to scramble to support said changes.
6/20/2008 5:48 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@Martel: I guess my concern is that Mozilla didn't change an API, they em to be not implementing the spec. To me it is two different things...announcing a breaking change versus not implementing known APIs per the specifications. In my experience working with MSFT APIs I've not had the situation you describe of things changing 'without notice' -- i'm not disagreeing that things change, but I've simply not experienced the 'without notice' side of things. I'm just reading through this situation on bugzilla and it seems there are others (non-MSFT) that agree that Mozilla still have left the questions un-answered. I think in the FOSS world with the openness I guess I expect even more adherence to things given the FOSS mission of standards, etc.
6/20/2008 11:12 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Has anyone tried to use Firefox 3 and Silverlight 1.0 on the MAC? What we see is the following:

On PowerPC Macs:

When using a player control of 240x180 and smaller, there is no video (the video area is black).
When a 320x240 and up, the bottom portion of the video is visible. This increases in size as the video size increases. This ranges from about 1/4 visible in a 320x240 sized player control to just over half in a 640x480 sized player control.

Mac Intel:
Some portion of the video is visible at all player sizes.

We tested this with Firefox 3.0 and Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 that works well with the Intel Macs. Unfortunately, Silverlight 2.0 is not supported for Mac PowerPC users.

Firefox 2.0 and Silverlight 1.0 as well as Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2.0 did not have these issues.
6/22/2008 6:20 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Well, I saw Bugzilla, and they seem to be arguing about a hard block for Silverlight 2 (or 1).

Quite a few people have mentioned this on the Firefox forum.

I know these things take time, but this problem has been around for a while.

I'm really wondering when (or if) under system requirements, the latest version of Firefox (3) is going to be listed as compatible with Silverlight 1.

A beta, like I said, isn't a real answer.

(If I knew that Expression Blend 2.5 - the design tool for Silverlight 2 - was going to be a free upgrade from Expression Blend 2.0 for sure, I wouldn't complain, but I don't know that).

And with almost 17 million downloads - me included - I'm still worried.

What's the point of this post? I don't know. I just know that it should be mentioned.

Sorry for bother you,

6/23/2008 3:58 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight

At last I made my website compatible with FF3, the Silverlight Players work in FF3 :)

FF3 gave me lots of tensions regarding Silverlight 1 based players which were on my website. Now they work fine. Someone ask in this blog, if only SD are using Silverlight, well I am using it too, but thats a different situation, mine is not a very important website:))


6/26/2008 1:55 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Let's hope they have this resolved for the Olympics. Remarkable that Flash Player doesn't crash FF3 even though they have to use the same browser APIs...
BTW I too am still waiting to see any decent SL applications outside the 'demos' that are being promoted - and which often crash or error out on their users. See my post http://tinyurl.com/6e4mnj
6/26/2008 8:55 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@Stefan: Flash actually kept updating their plugin while the breaking changes were occuring. Microsoft chose not to chase a moving target and wait until the official release. Initially FF3 *did* break Flash as well. As to the demos on the showcase...agreed there -- we need to continue to do a better job of making sure those who want to showcase are updating their beta code.
6/26/2008 9:05 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I downloaded FF3 on its release day and have not had any problems...
Moreover, Adobe has not updated Flash Player since the FF3 release. I've tested current releases of Player 9 with FF3 and they seem to work fine, too.
I must ask: which Flash Player updates are you referring to exactly?
6/27/2008 1:13 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I have troubles in FF3 installing SL2-b2. De installations image shows up, and after clicking it and going through the installation, it doesn't work. After manual installations SL2-b2 works.
The only problem I have is that playing an mp3 or wma audio file sometimes works, sometimes not, very weird. No problems in SL2-b2 on IE7.
6/27/2008 12:50 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@Hugo - try the silverlight forums.
6/27/2008 2:53 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Just tried Silverlight 2 Beta 2 in Firefox 3. Still no content, but this time I didn't get an option for Silverlight Configuration.

I uninstalled it, of course.
6/29/2008 3:13 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I just install IE Tab Add-on to see Silverlight sites that do not support FF3.

But some others like www.WindowsClient.net do not need it.

Benjamín Romero
7/6/2008 6:28 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I wish Silverlight worked with FF or Safari on the Mac...I just want http://watch.tsn.ca/ to work, but it asks me to install Silverlight every single time, and I've tried both browsers, with V1 and Beta V2 of Silverlight. Or I can click to 'watch without Silverlight', which triggers a WMV link that opens in Flip4Mac (another shoddy workaround).

Dunno if you can have a look at that site, you may have to be in Canada for it to work. TSN (and parent company CTV) have unwisely decided to use Silverlight, alienating many Mac and Linux users in the process. Two thumbs waaaay down.
7/6/2008 8:22 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
@OddyOh: I do not see any Silverlight content on that link...can you point me to some? Also, Silverlight is supported on Mac I don't know why people keep saying it isn't. It is, and always has been. Supported platform matrix is here: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/resources/install.aspx#sysreq
8/8/2008 2:59 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
So I'm only able to install Version 1 because my mac is more than 2 years old (PowerPC) and the NBC Olympics require Version 2b. Is there another plugin or player that will allow me to access the video feeds on nbcolympics.com
8/8/2008 3:26 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Beach: i think there is an option to proceed without the plugin, but you don't get the HD enhanced experience.
8/8/2008 4:33 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
If there is a way without the plugin I'd sure appreciate someone telling me. MS support in India gave a canned response and said to write to the NBC website people. They haven't yet replied. When I try to access the video it has an auto detect that just gives the error msg.

Video is currently supported on the following browsers:
* Internet Explorer 6, 7 for Windows
(Vista, XP SP2 or greater and 2003)
* Firefox 1.5, 2, 3 for Windows
(Vista, XP SP2 or greater and 2003)
* Firefox 1.5, 2, 3 for Mac
(OS 10.4.8 or greater, Intel only)
* Safari 2 & 3 for Mac
(OS 10.4.8 or greater, Intel only)

Thanks for any help.
8/9/2008 10:05 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Beach: for me if I don't have Silverlight installed it prompts me but at the bottom of the window it has a link that says "Proceed without plugin" -- I'm sure MS support wouldn't be of help because it isn't their site, but rather NBC's site. Look for a feedback link there but I think it is [email protected]
8/9/2008 2:30 PM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Also have a PPC mac and have not been able to stream NBC Olympic video.

The "Proceed without plugin" link does not display if you are running an unsupported machine. I was able to "trick" the site into displaying the link by changing the User Agent in Safari to IE 7 -- but even though the video window appears, no video plays.

I dropped a note to NBC via the Feedback link, and would suggest anyone else with this problem also do so - have not yet seen a workaround that solves this problem.
9/22/2008 12:06 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
thanks buddy you post helps me and solve my silverlight slideshow issue in FF3.
Great job..:)
3/23/2009 6:22 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
HtmlPage.Window.Navigate(new Uri("http://abcd.com"), "_blank");
HtmlPage.Window.Eval("window.open('http://abcd.com'), _blank");
Not working in FireFox 3.0
Actually i want to open a URL in a new browser in FireFox 3.0. It is working in IE8 but not working in FireFox.
3/23/2009 6:52 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Chandan, popup blockers are probably getting in the way here. Look at the PopupWindow API in Silverlight.
4/13/2009 6:03 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Now, with the new 3.0.8 version of Firefox, Silverlight is not detected.
4/13/2009 10:22 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Matthieu - it absolutely works. The site you are visiting likely has not updated their site with the appropriate script as indicated here. If you let me know the site I can help inform them.
11/24/2009 10:06 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight

Could you tell the Expression Blend people that you can't run Silverlight apps on FF3. It just says you have to install Silverlight.

FF 3.0.15
Silverlight 3
Blend 3

-- Rubio
11/24/2009 10:40 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
Rubio -- you absolutely can -- you are likely using an older SDK -- if you can point me to the output I can help you understand the issue.
2/16/2010 10:08 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
hmmm....crappylite still not working for nbcolympics.com :P go figure Fail for Silverlight
1/9/2011 1:22 AM | # re: Firefox 3 and Silverlight
I am not able to browse silverlight pages(.aspx)in firefox 3.5. I tried in all ways.I have installed silverlight 4 add-on in firefox. but also im not able to browse. it's just displaying blank screen. can you please suggest me any solution asap.it's urgent.

Please add 7 and 2 and type the answer here:


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