W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-bugzilla@w3.org > March 2010

[Bug 9221] New: still unclear definition of "plugin"

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2010 14:55:25 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-9221-2486@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

           Summary: still unclear definition of "plugin"
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: Windows NT
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec bugs
        AssignedTo: dave.null@w3.org
        ReportedBy: julian.reschke@gmx.de
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: ian@hixie.ch, mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Copying discussion from mailing list which didn't get any feedback

"The term plugin is used to mean any content handler that supports 
displaying content as part of the user agent's rendering of a Document 
object, but that neither acts as a child browsing context of the 
Document  nor introduces any Node objects to the Document's DOM.

Typically such content handlers are provided by third parties, though a 
user agent can designate content handlers to be plugins."

I'm still confused about whether the code that displays a JPG is a 
plugin or not. It seems to fall under the definition above.


"Typically such content handlers are provided by third parties, though a 
user agent can designate content handlers to be plugins."

I have a hard time understanding what the 2nd part of this sentence 
means; can somebody help me with that?

Looking at

"...However, a PDF viewer application that launches separate from the 
user agent (as opposed to using the same interface) is not a plugin by 
this definition."

...we might want to consider to coin a term for this; it might be needed 
in other places ("helper application"?).

Going back to Bugzilla; Ian writes in 

> It's possible for a plugin to support JPG types, yes. More common is for
> browsers to natively support SVG or PDF yet have that support fall into the
> "plugin" definition. Really the only effect is whether <embed> can display the
> content or not.

So this confirms that any code that displays a JPG falls under the 
definition of "plugin".

I fail to understand the comment about <embed>, unless it's mean to 
apply to <object> as well.

The whole thread was started because of "sandboxed" vs plugins. The 
definition of <iframe> currently says:

"The sandboxed plugins browsing context flag

     This flag prevents content from instantiating plugins, whether 
using the embed element, the object element, the applet element, or 
through navigation of a nested browsing context."

Does that imply that a plugin that was invoked through <img>, <audio> or 
<video> would be allowed to run?

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Received on Tuesday, 9 March 2010 14:55:27 UTC

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