Not just deprecated, but deleted: Google finally strips File Transfer Protocol code from Chrome browser

A death by a thousand cuts


The Chromium team has finally done it – File Transfer Protocol (FTP) support is not just deprecated, but stripped from the codebase in the latest stable build of the Chrome browser, version 95.

It has been a while coming. A lack of support for encrypted connections in Chrome's FTP implementation, coupled with a general disinterest from the majority of the browser's users, and more capable third-party alternatives being available has meant that the code has moved from deprecated to gone entirely.

Support for fetching document resources over FTP was stripped from Chrome 72, proxy support for FTP was removed in Chrome 76, and Chrome 86 introduced a flag to turn it off completely.

In between 76 and 86, Google tinkered with deprecation, backing away in the first half of 2020 in response to the pandemic and the workload faced by hardpressed IT crews. However, the writing was on the wall for the venerable protocol.

By version 88 it was disabled for all users, but still could be switched back on. Now the code to support it has at last been removed once and for all, a little later than hoped.

Mozilla dumped the protocol from its Firefox browser back in July, and Apple doesn't really support it in Safari.

As for Microsoft, while its Edge browser might be based on Chromium, there is always Internet Explorer, which should still do the business should you have a need for a bit of browser-based retro file-transfer action. And few browsers deserve the retro tag as much as IE, even if Microsoft is determined to kill it off in most forms next year.

As for why FTP has attracted such ire – well, the protocol is over 50 years old and comes from more innocent times, when authentication was not what it is today. More secure options now exist (such as FTPS and SFTP) and, frankly, Google and pals would rather users opted for a dedicated transfer app than bother maintaining the code in the browser.

There remain a good few FTP sites out there (such as the US Census Bureau), although many now have alternatives for file transfer. The final ejection of the code from Chrome, which lays claim to a huge userbase, means it really is time to move on. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • India reveals home-grown server that won't worry the leading edge

    And a National Blockchain Strategy that calls for gov to host BaaS

    India's government has revealed a home-grown server design that is unlikely to threaten the pacesetters of high tech, but (it hopes) will attract domestic buyers and manufacturers and help to kickstart the nation's hardware industry.

    The "Rudra" design is a two-socket server that can run Intel's Cascade Lake Xeons. The machines are offered in 1U or 2U form factors, each at half-width. A pair of GPUs can be equipped, as can DDR4 RAM.

    Cascade Lake emerged in 2019 and has since been superseded by the Ice Lake architecture launched in April 2021. Indian authorities know Rudra is off the pace, and said a new design capable of supporting four GPUs is already in the works with a reveal planned for June 2022.

    Continue reading
  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021