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[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/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9221

           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
(http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Feb/0597.html):

"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.

Also:

"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 
<http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=8828#c5>:

> 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 GMT

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