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JavaScript and Embedded Objects

There's more to Web browsers than (X)HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. ActiveX, plug-ins, and other embedded objects help make the Web what it is today. Get the scoop on these and more in this chapter excerpt from JavaScript: The Complete Reference, second edition, by Thomas Powell and Fritz Schneider McGraw-Hill/Osborne, ISBN 0072253576.

Author Info:
By: McGraw-Hill/Osborne
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 92
October 26, 2004
  1. · JavaScript and Embedded Objects
  2. · Java
  3. · Including Applets
  4. · Accessing Applets in JavaScript
  5. · Issues with JavaScript-Driven Applets
  6. · Plug-ins
  7. · MIME Types
  8. · Detecting Specific Plug-Ins
  9. · Interacting with Plug-Ins
  10. · Refreshing the Plug-Ins Array
  11. · Interacting with a Specific Plug-In
  12. · ActiveX
  13. · Cross-Browser Inclusion of Embedded Objects
  14. · Interacting with ActiveX Controls
  15. · Summary

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JavaScript and Embedded Objects
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JavaScript 2.0 The Complete RererenceModern browsers support many technologies beyond (X)HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. A wide variety of extra functionality is available in the form of browser plug-ins, ActiveX controls, and Java applets. These technologies provide extended capabilities that can make Web pages appear more like applications than marked-up text. Embedded objects provide a natural complement to the limited capabilities of scripting languages like JavaScript.

Embedded objects come in many forms, but the most popular are multimedia in nature. Agood example is Macromedia Flash files, which allow designers to add advanced vector graphics and animation to Web sites. Various other types of embedded video, sound, and live audio are also quite popular. Embedded Java applets are often included in pages that require more advanced graphics, network, or processing functionality.

Browsers provide the bridge that facilitates communication between JavaScript and embedded objects. The way this communication is carried out is essentially non-standardized, although browser vendors adhere to their own ad hoc “standards,” which are in widespread use. Even so, there are numerous concerns when dealing with embedded objects. First, including them makes the assumption that the user’s browser has the capability to handle such objects. Second, even if the user does have an appropriate extension installed, many users find embedded objects annoying because they increase download time while only occasionally improving the overall utility of the site. Third, users with older browsers and users on non-Windows platforms are often unable to use embedded objects because of lack of support.

This chapter introduces the way that JavaScript can be used to interact with embedded objects in most major browsers. Complex integration of objects with JavaScript requires more comprehensive information, which can be found at browser and plug-in vendor sites.

McGraw-Hill-OsborneThis chapter is from JavaScript: The Complete Reference, second edition, by Thomas Powell and Fritz Schneider, McGraw-Hill/Osborne, ISBN: 0072253576). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.

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