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IE6 SP2 and local "security"
html and media from a CD
tedster




msg:602986
 11:18 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm hoping I don't just go into a rant right now -- my frustration level is pretty high, but I WILL be disciplined.

It's been a few years since I burned website data to a CD for distribution. But when a client requested this, because I'd done it before I had no reason for concern, right? Wrong! -- with SP2 the folks at Microsoft have really monkeyed around with "local security" on the IE browser. I guess the idea is stop malicious programs from running AFTER they get on your machine. It takes two clicks to get past each and every warning.

At any rate, what happens is that you get a security warning any time there javascript -- and that means even an "IE expression" in a CSS file. You also get a warning if you click a link to a local media file, or anything involving ActiveX in any way.

Microsoft has some extensive documentation here:
[microsoft.com...]

So my question now is how to burn some promotional CDs with a few hundred HTML files plus assorted media -- without scaring the recipients on every other click. I've uncovered a few answers, but I don't like any of them so far.

1. Tell your users to change their security settings. Right.

2. Tell your users to use a different browser. Right again.

3. Embed a local server on the CD. Well, I assume this will work, but I'm a bit at a loss for a product to use, and out of my depth technically at any rate. And I'm more than a bit ticked off that this solution might be necessary. I'm a marketer, not a true tecchie.

4. Use the "Mark Of The Web" on every HTML document. What is the MOTW, you ask? it's a comment tag placed right after the DTD, and it looks like this:

<!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet -->

The key here is that the number in parens is the character count of the string (url) that follows it. Really. And it does work for javascript and embedded media, but links to other media types are still a no-go.

5. Put the html web content inside an iframe in a .hta file. OK, but other browsers then have trouble with autorun. And links to MP3 files, for instance, are just dead. And the hta interface doesn't seem to offer what a regular browser interface does -- like a back button.

For now, I'm going with the MOTW solution. I'm putting all the MP3 files into Flash movies and embedding ithose SWF files in a web page...and I think this will work OK for me. But what a huge PITA it has been. Before I learned about the MOTW, I already made a thousand small changes to eliminate javascript -- mostly informational pop-up pages and max-width workarounds...a workaround that only IE needs in the first place.

There, I didn't rant too much now, did I? If anyone has another approach, I'm all ears.

 

henry0




msg:603016
 12:11 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Although there are ways to produce a cross platform CD, the best you could do is have to have it autostart for Widows, and have alternative executables for whatever other OSes you need.

Point well taken, thanks.
I will need some sort of alternate system as suggested
I know that my target will run 80% wins but also a large 20% Mac users
how will I go making it Mac accessible?
any clue?

tedster




msg:603017
 6:21 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do not know whether Tedster needs cross platform

I should have clarified. This CD is promoting some Windows-only software, so reaching a Mac audience does not matter.

But if I did need cross-platform, anyone not using IE6 on Windows could just view the content directly in their browser -- if only I can point them to the index.html file inside /htdocs/. (I am not using the PHP and MySQL functions of the embedded server.)

However, I am following the cross-platform discussion. This is the kind of information that will come in handy some day.

henry0




msg:603018
 7:26 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tedster terrific!
Now I can go ahead with my own project
and D-load it; as you probably figured I did wait to benefit from your input :) so thanks again.

I was wondering about PHP and MySQl
but you answered my quest thanks,

I guess (I know guessing is the mother of screw up!)
by using php I could develop a very simple interface to offer links
Such as IE, Other platform etc...

I will post within a few days or earlier the state of my findings.

sunnylyon




msg:603019
 8:31 am on Dec 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had the same problems described above and ended up going for something called Menubox. It creates an HTML Window that's built around IE, but bypasses the IE security settings, enabling you to distribute active content to everyone very easily. It cost a few dollars, but I was very happy with this extremely simple solution to the problem.

(Why do my posts always sound like adverts? I don't work for Menubox or have any commercial relationship with them... )

graeme_p




msg:603020
 9:34 am on Dec 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

if I did need cross-platform, anyone not using IE6 on Windows could just view the content directly in their browser -- if only I can point them to the index.html file inside /htdocs/.

I can think of two ways of doing that, offhand.

1) Burn the CD with Rock Ridge extensions, then use a unix symbolic link from the top level of the CD to htdocs/index.html.

This will work for Linux and Unix. It should work for MacOS as well.

2) Have an index.html in the top level with a forward to htdocs/index.html in a meta tag.

The (possiblely) nice thing about have an index.html (or a symlink to one) in the top level of the CD is that people who have file managers that show index.html pages (when one is found) instead of a directory listing will go straight to the HTML page as soon as they click on CD-ROM icon. Of course I do not know what proportion of people have file mangers set up this way - it is the default for Konqueror (one of the two main Linux file managers) but I for one turned it off.

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