Re: The 'state of the browsers' report

Benjamin Franz (snowhare@netimages.com)
Wed, 14 May 1997 12:49:54 -0700 (PDT)


Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 12:49:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Benjamin Franz <snowhare@netimages.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: The 'state of the browsers' report
In-Reply-To: <Marcel-1.20-0514092317-0b0LJLo@om92.acorn.co.uk>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970514110315.7080A-100000@ns.viet.net>

On Wed, 14 May 1997, Simon Middleton wrote:

> On Tue 13 May, Benjamin Franz wrote:
> > NS and MSIE's 'support' for OBJECT is downright discouraging - not only
> > have NO improvements in the handling of OBJECT been made since their 3.x
> > releases, MSIE has arguably *lost* some ground. NS remains blissfully (and
> > harmlessly) unaware of OBJECT
> 
> This isn't quite true I believe. Netscape do actually advertise support for
> OBJECT in 4.0. I haven't tried it with Java or Shockwave but I did try it
> with a jpeg image. The results were not encouraging as for each OBJECT it
> brought up an modal error box saying that there was no component installed 
> to handle the type image/jpeg.
> 
> Bringing up that kind of error whilst rendering a page would seem to me
> to be the worst possible response, short of crashing. This was the
> first Communicator alpha so maybe it's fixed by now.
> 
> I'm not sure whether this should bring their mark up or down...

Well, they must have changed something between a1 and b4 - now an enclosed
IMG renders without an error message for a JPEG - but it shows no
indication of being aware of the one pointed to by the OBJECT tag itself -
which would actually be a correct UI decision for an unsupported TYPE
(even if it is moronic to not support JPEG in OBJECT directly when you
already have native support for it in IMG). I'll test some other types and
see if it works with OBJECT. If they are in fact supporting OBJECT - but
just silently not rendering an unsupported type (the right thing to do),
it will improve their grade considerably.

Bingo. OBJECT *IS* implemented in Netscape4.0b4. I successfully embedded a
midi sound with the following code:

<OBJECT data="sounds/newevaop.mid"
            type="audio/x-midi"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
</OBJECT>

A WAV with this:

<OBJECT data="sounds/saotome-ranma-desu-sumimasen.wav"
            type="audio/x-wav"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
</OBJECT>

and it even handled:

<OBJECT data="sounds/saotome-ranma-desu-sumimasen.wav"
            type="audio/x-wav"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
<OBJECT data="sounds/newevaop.mid"
            type="audio/x-midi"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
</OBJECT>
</OBJECT>

by correctly playing the *outermost* object it could support. However,
when I tried:

<OBJECT data="sounds/newevaop.mid"
            type="audio/x-midi"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
<OBJECT data="sounds/evangelion-op.mp2"
            type="audio/mpeg" standby="Loading Sound"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
<OBJECT data="sounds/saotome-ranma-desu-sumimasen.wav"
            type="audio/x-wav" standby="Loading Sound"
            width=0 height=0>
<PARAM NAME="AUTOSTART" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="AUTOLOAD" VALUE="TRUE">
<PARAM NAME="VOLUME" VALUE="100%">
</OBJECT>
</OBJECT>
</OBJECT>

it played *both* the MIDI and the WAV files simultaneously. This seems to
be a bug - only the MIDI should have played.

Netscape goes from a D to a B for OBJECT. Not an A because they seem to
have only supported the types supported via EMBED (plugins) - not their
natively supported types, doesn't display the 'standby' or 'alt' elements
content and because it played two of the three nested objects.

Microsoft still gets a F because unless you set the security to below the
default setting you cannot view a JPEG or other non-ActiveX media because
it flags it as unsafe ActiveX, complete with user scaring security dialogs
(something that should be reserved for unknown media and known unsafe
media - JPEG doesn't qualify), for adding a huge whitespace border (20
pixels above, below, and to each side of the image) inside the object
frame around the images itself and unneeded scrollbars to the image and
completely failing to fall back as per the OBJECT spec under any
configuration I tried. 

-- 
Benjamin Franz