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Skype Toolbar to the Mozilla Firefox Blocklist

01-22-2011
Skype Toolbar to the Mozilla Firefox Blocklist

Skype Toolbar Blocked by Mozilla
: The Skype Toolbar for Firefox is an extension that detects phone numbers in web pages, and re-renders them as a clickable button that can be used to dial the number using the Skype desktop application. This extension is bundled with the Skype application, and is installed into Firefox by default when Skype is installed or, in some circumstances, updated. As a result, a large number of Firefox users who have installed Skype have also installed the Skype Toolbar, knowingly or unknowingly.

The current shipping version of the Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week. Additionally, depending on the version of the Skype Toolbar you’re using, the methods it uses to detect and re-render phone numbers can make DOM manipulation up to 300 times slower, which drastically affects the page rendering times of a large percentage of web content served today (plain English: to the user, it appears that Firefox is slow loading web pages). We believe that both of these items constitute a major, user-facing issue, and meet our established criteria for blocklisting an add-on.

As a result, we’ll add all versions, up to and including the current shipping and beta versions, of the Skype Toolbar to the Mozilla Firefox Blocklist for all versions of Firefox. The blocklist entry will be a “soft block”, where the extension is disabled and the user is notified of the block and given the option to re-enable it if they choose.
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