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Microsoft gives developers until 2nd June 2006 to Fix Sites using ActiveX
outrun

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 11:39 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

[blogs.technet.com...]

For our April IE cumulative security update, we will include the IE ActiveX change in the security update, but we will create a "compatibility patch" (deployed like a hotfix) that allows customers to turn off the change for a limited period of time through the June update cycle (2nd Tuesday in June) to provide time for enterprise customers to resolve compatibility issuess.

Looks like its time to start changing the way your websites handle plugins for IE.

Apple has already given some work arounds.
[developer.apple.com...]

 

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 12:27 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I read this earlier. It really surprises me the little press this is making... it will have a huge impact on websites which are made of flash. Especially if those same sites aren't updated by this time.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 12:45 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, those are big changes. Simple ones too. Plus, it eliminates a whole lot of code bloat and invalid elements being used.

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 12:56 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Fix for Flash:


function flash(name, width, height) {

document.write('<embed src="' + name + '.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" width="' + width '" height="' + height '">\n</embed>');
}

I'm sure something similar can be done to fix it for quicktime and other embeds.

Also, I read on another blog that 'onmouseover' is effected. Is this true?

Web_speed



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 2:16 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

So in plain English, what is the viewer (with a patched IE browser) is likely to see when (S)he hits a page with a flash movie on (flash navigation etc.).

Is the flash movie going to be disabled by default?

encyclo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 2:35 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is the flash movie going to be disabled by default?

Yes - it will require a mouse click, tab or enter keystroke to activate the object. This is going to be a huge change for a great many sites, especially those build by tools which automatically generate code which will now no longer work as expected from the beginning of June at the latest (and in less than two weeks for many).

I'm particularly interested in the effect on alternative methods for inserting Flash movies such as the Flash Satay method. Can anyone confirm that Flash Satay will no longer be fully functional in IE?

The overall effect of this forced change is to make many objects (Flash, embedded movies, etc.) inoperable without Javascript.

outrun

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 2:46 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes - it will require a mouse click, tab or enter keystroke to activate the object. This is going to be a huge change for a great many sites, especially those build by tools which automatically generate code which will now no longer work as expected from the beginning of June at the latest (and in less than two weeks for many).

Actually Ive seen most flash movies that don't require user interaction will still play. Even if you don't enable them. Flash menus however do not work without enabling them first.

More from MSDN [msdn.microsoft.com]

Interactive controls are ActiveX controls that provide user interfaces. When a web page uses the APPLET, EMBED, or OBJECT elements to load an ActiveX control, the control's user interface is blocked until the user activates it. If a page uses these elements to load multiple controls, each interactive control must be individually activated.

Krapulator

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 2:50 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perhaps you could still use the <object> tag in a <noscript> block to get around the javascript issue?

MatthewHSE

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 3:02 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

What impact will this have on the growing number of Ajax applications around? From what I understand, they rely on ActiveX to work in IE.

Lorel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 3:25 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ever since Microsoft quit supporting IE for the MAc I gravitated over to other browsers with less headaches. I was about to buy a Flash program but now I'll wait. I manage over 32 websites and don't have to fix one of them because of this new MS problem. I have a friend whose new PC computer was destroyed by some virus --she's buying a Mac too.

Yeah Mac!

outrun

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 3:29 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

What impact will this have on the growing number of Ajax applications around? From what I understand, they rely on ActiveX to work in IE.

I have yet to find a problem with AJAX I was going to refer you to the MSDN article I posted earlier were it links to the update where you can test it, But the link isnt working.
Its here:
[support.microsoft.com...]
Youll have to intstall it eventually if your developing anyway.

encyclo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 3:37 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the link outrun.

There is also: [msdn.microsoft.com...]

After a forthcoming update, Microsoft Internet Explorer users will not be able to directly interact with Microsoft ActiveX controls loaded by the APPLET, EMBED, or OBJECT elements. Users will be able to interact with such controls after activating their user interfaces.

There is a good amount of documentation on the MSDN site.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 3:55 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I read on another blog that 'onmouseover' is effected. Is this true?

It looks like it to me. This is from MSDN [msdn.microsoft.com]

DHTML Events Blocked by Inactive Controls
The following table lists the DTHML events that are blocked when ActiveX controls are inactive.

onactivate
onbeforeactivate
onbeforecopy
onbeforecut
onbeforedeactivate
onbeforepaste
onblur
onclick
oncontextmenu
oncontrolselect
oncopy
oncut
ondblclick
ondeactivate
ondragend
ondragenter
ondragleave
ondragover
ondragstart
ondrop
onfocus
onfocusin
onfocusout
onhelp
onkeydown
onkeypress
onkeyup
onlosecapture
onmousedown
onmouseenter
onmouseleave
onmousemove
onmouseout
onmouseover
onmouseup
onmousewheel
onmove
onmoveend
onmovestart
onpage
onpaste
onresize
onresizeend
onresizestart
onscroll
onselectstart


outrun

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 4:07 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

DHTML Events Blocked by Inactive Controls
The following table lists the DTHML events that are blocked when ActiveX controls are inactive.

I was worried about that before I tried the update as well but most I have tested work fine without any prompt or unwanted effects from that list including "onmouseover". Unless "DTHML events that are blocked when ActiveX controls are inactive" has some strange other meaning.

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 4:44 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmm...

IE7 Beta 2 Preview (March 20th Ed.), already has the flash change,where you have to click on before you can interact, yet onclick, onmouseover, etc. etc. work fine.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 4:45 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks outrun -- that's a relief. We really can use a lot more clarity on the entire issue, and fast. The IE6 Eolas Patent Update for Dummies would be quite timely, methinks!

Web_speed



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 5:01 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes - it will require a mouse click, tab or enter keystroke to activate the object.

Ho My God!

Would activation be required on a site by site basis....or is it a once off thing?

outrun

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 5:34 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

All the events tedster mentions in msg 13 Ive tested and work for now with the update Microsoft is providing now, so

1.If ActiveX is on a page user gets prompted to run it, even if the user has clicked ok for that page and visites that same page again, the user is prompted run it.

2.If a plugin has user interaction such as a flash menu, it will have a tooltip saying "Press Enter or spacebar to activate Control", or if you hover over it a tool tip will say "click here to activate this control" again if the user has clicked ok for that page and visites that same page again, the user is prompted to do the same thing.

3. Flash movies with no interactions work fine, but if you hover over it will show "click here to activate this control".

Hester

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 9:04 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will Opera and Firefox and Safari et al be forced to follow suit?

Iguana

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 1:25 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can you imagine what this will mean for MySpace? Most MySpace member profiles have 1 or more EMBEDS or OBJECTS on them (videos/music players). Anyone going to that page will be asked to confirm they want each ActiveX to play and the same again when they return to the page - perhaps after they have clicked the Add Friend or View pictures buttons. People are going to get very sick of this very quickly.

Why have I mentioned MySpace in particular? Well, you cannot put any Javascript in your MySpace profile so there is no workaround.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 6:33 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you find yourself having to change a lot of code as a result of this then I have to say you were kinda of asking for it.

This is what happens when you don't code for all browers across all platforms using the accepted standards. If you have ActiveX running funtionality on your site then I can't see your site and it is possible that it will even crash my browers (I love when pages do that), no one working for IBM can see your pages because all their workstations are RedHat linux now, soon no one working in that building will have a windows box anymore. Why abandon users because they don't have IE.

Yes you can do some neat stuff with ActiveX but it is not a standard, it is a propriatary thing made up by a company who loves to break standards. It only really works in 1 browser and it is the reason for more then 50% of the security vulnerablities.

Big surprise they are making massive changes and hooping people who trusted in them to use it. Microsoft is famous for this and I bet if you run around making these changes then in 5 years you will have to do it all again. Meanwhile sites using standards will continue to work for many more years to come, as they have been for the previous years.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 8:38 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

If a plugin has user interaction such as a flash menu, it will have a tooltip saying "Press Enter or spacebar to activate Control", or if you hover over it a tool tip will say "click here to activate this control" again if the user has clicked ok for that page and visites that same page again, the user is prompted to do the same thing.

outrun, where does that tooltip appear? I mean, is it in your face easy to see? Or is it the yellow status bar type thing? I cannot believe the sheer number of users who don't know what the message bar is or where it is at.

I had a conversation with client not long ago about popups. He wasn't seeing something on a site where we use popups for enlarged images. He didn't know that the little yellow area above his viewing window was telling him that popups were blocked, it wasn't intrusive enough.

StupidScript

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 8:42 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

The workarounds are all Javascript-initiated, but in the end, they leave the controls exactly as they were! What is it about that patent that is the problem, here? That the controls are being loaded without Javascript?

NO!

At issue is how ANY web browser handles "hypermedia objects embedded in a hypermedia document".

Edited from the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals Opinion [fedcir.gov] (PDF pg.6/8):
..wherein .. embed text format is parsed by .. browser to automatically invoke .. executable application to execute on .. client workstation in order to display .. object and enable interactive processing of .. object within a display area..

This applies to ANY browser, not just MSIE. MS is just the company that Eolas sued to establish the validity of their patent, and from whom they stood the best chance of reaping a big judgement.

So now we have Javascript workarounds, because the patent doesn't cover how Javascript pulls in "said objects", just how the browser, itself, uses the info inside the <object>, <embed> and <applet> tags to locate and "initiate processes specified by" those tags.

Getting around a patent by inserting a different method to do the same thing. Tsk. How long will those workarounds hold up? Let's talk about the security involved with using insecure Javascript to load what might be a secure Java applet, shall we?

It's kind of funny that MS absolutely NEEDS the technology developed by Netscape in order to keep their browser within bounds of the ruling, though.

What a mess, and what a messy workaround.

outrun

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 10:08 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

outrun , where does that tooltip appear? I mean, is it in your face easy to see? Or is it the yellow status bar type thing? I cannot believe the sheer number of users who don't know what the message bar is or where it is at.

Its those little yellow tooltips like that ones explaining to you what a button is for in windows applications it floats over the control. The tooltip only appears if its the selected control, when the page is first loaded nothing appears, you have to hover over it and then the tooltip apears if you click back and click forward in the browser then the yellow tooltip over the control says "click spacebar and enter to activate control", with plugins such as quicktime you get prompted to run activeX.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12013 posted 2:04 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

when the page is first loaded nothing appears, you have to hover over it and then the tooltip apears if you click back and click forward in the browser then the yellow tooltip over the control says "click spacebar and enter to activate control", with plugins such as quicktime you get prompted to run activeX.

Hmmm, I can see the Usability Forum heating up after the 2nd of June. ;)

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