W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

IE's AND EVERYONE ELSE'S object implementation problems (was RE: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 09:08:08 -0500
Message-Id: <740E319B-8E5C-427C-8214-5C84754A162E@robburns.com>
Cc: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
To: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org

Hello all,

I've intended to put together some tests for some time, and Chris's  
question prompted me to do it. I find it crazy the steps authors go  
through to display non-text media into their pages. In my view,  
OBJECT should should just be a simple container that an author can  
attach any of the most common media types two to embed content. For  
all of the common cases, it should be as simple as:

<object data='afile'>the fallback content</object>

Well, we may be getting closer to that goal. I put together a page to  
test the ability of browsers to handle this simplest authoring  
practice. This page is to test the treatment of the OBJECT element in  
various browsers and other UAs. It includes images that have  
intrinsically small dimensions and intrinsically large dimensions  
repeated three times for: PNG, GIF and JPEG. There are also three  
time-oriented files: an MP3 audio file; a video file using 3rd  
Generation Partnership Project 3GP container with H.264  
content.baseline profile; and a Flash video file (SWF).

The 3GP might not have been the best choice since I'm not sure how  
much support there is for that format. I think the other formats  
should be widely supported in most user's environments. The page is  
located here:

<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2007Aug/att-0027/ 
TestObject.html>

What I've found is this:

   Safari 3.0 beta: Poor support for images beyond particular  
intrinsic dimensions. It expects images to be smaller than a  
particular size and then provides scrollers for any larger images.  
Time-based media (audio and video) do not load,.except  for flash.
   Safari 3.0 beta with recent nightly build of WebKit: The large  
still images problems are fixed. Still no luck with time-based media  
except for flash.
   Mozilla (2.0.0.6): Still images work fine: both small and large.   
Time-based media does not load except for the audio track, which  
plays automatically on load.
 Opera (9.0.2 build3512)  handles still images fine. Time-based  
media is also handled nicely in a sane default way. All media begins  
playing immediately on load. Video is visible. Audio is audible.  
Small unobtrusive controls are provided for: forward, revers, volume,  
play/pause, and an quicktime menu.
 iCab (3.0.3)  Same as Opera. Handles still images fine. Time-based  
media is also handled nicely in a sane default way. All media begins  
playing immediately on load. Video is visible. Audio is audible.  
Small unobtrusive controls (probably from QuickTime) are provided  
for: forward, revers, volume, play/pause, and an quicktime menu.
   IE7 (7.0.5730.11): Fails every test. It presents the fallback  
content for every image, video and audio file (sorry Chris). This  
could be due to the video formats I chose, but since the images were  
not handled either I doubt it. I would imagine that anyone with a  
recent QuickTime/iTunes installed on Windows should be able to handle  
this content.

A couple of caveats here. These are all very current browser  
releases. Who knows how well this simple approach works for the large  
base of older browsers out there. It looks from these results that  
OBJECT still could not replace IMG as a simple container for still  
images providing a fallback mechanism even in the latest releases.

For video (including flash) and audio Opera is the hands down winner.  
It basically passed every test. What a simpler World we would live in  
if every browser handled other media so nicely. I could imagine  
changing minor things about Opera's implementation, but for the most  
part, the other browsers just need to do what Opera is doing (for   
example, the audio OBJECT would be better handled if the CSS box  
generated for it wrapped only the controls by default; vertical- 
alignment and other CSS properties might be used to further change  
that).

The one idea that occurred to me in putting together and running  
these tests is it might be desirable to have an attribute on OBJECT  
to turn on or off time-based controls. Perhaps this is something CSS  
should handle, though in these sorts of inherently visual objects,  
I'm inclined to think it should be handled in both layers: semantic  
and presentation.

Take care,
Rob

On Aug 21, 2007, at 5:07 AM, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:

>
> At 10:01 -0700 UTC, on 2007-08-20, Chris Wilson wrote:
>
> [...]
>
>> Could someone describe the exact issue, and tell me if it is still  
>> present
>> in IE7?  I know we still don't deal with 404 errors properly, but  
>> OBJECT
>> fallback was dramatically improved in IE7.
>
> Just search the public-html@w3.org Archive. (There's plenty of  
> specific
> questions to you/Microsoft that haven't been responded to yet.)  
> Here's a
> selection:
>
> <http://www.w3.org/mid/op.tuheo3gdwxe0ny@widsith.local>
> <http://www.w3.org/mid/ 
> a9699fd20706260653ua3f03d6h4ccbff6ea11ab158@mail.gmail.com>
> <http://esw.w3.org/topic/ObjectTestResults>
> <http://www.w3.org/mid/468A52F8.2000100@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
> <http://www.w3.org/mid/468AE397.3000200@fastmail.us>
>
> And two relevant test cases:
> <http://santek.no-ip.org/~st/tests/object/>
> <http://santek.no-ip.org/~st/tests/picturetag/>
>
> I don't have IE7 available, but I'm sure you do ;)
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2007 14:08:21 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:04 GMT