Client control of objects

Rob (
Thu, 11 Sep 1997 02:15:02 -0500

Message-Id: <>
From: "Rob" <>
To: Alexandre Rafalovitch <arafalov@socs.uts.EDU.AU>,
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997 02:15:02 -0500
Subject: Client control of objects

Some rambling (with a few spellink^Hg errors I'm sure):

On 11 Sep 97, Alexandre Rafalovitch wrote:

> Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't the better way (especially with
> OBJECTs) be to be able to disable any mime-type loading. The images and
> sounds internal handlers should be treated in the same way as plugin
> handlers and for either of them, user should be able to say, handle or not
> handle. This way, I could disable techexplorer, BGSound and GIF/JPEG(but

It depends on the context. An ideal browser would allow one to 
differentiate between objects that are loaded inline and one's loaded 
manually by following a link.

Netscape has an option where you can disable loading inline images 
but click on something to load them for a page. Something similar for 
inline sounds and Java applets would be a good thing.

The ability for some more elaborate control of which objects to load 
in a document is needed. (How to do this in a user-friendly way 
without a complex scripting language or syntax is another issue.)

What's lacking in the OBJECT element is a (recommended) method for 
deciding which objects to load which also takes into account 
bandwidth and connection, or user preferences (I may prefer the way 
my system handles .wav files rather than .au files, and would rather 
play .wav over .au if available, for instance).

Take the 'earth' example from the HTML 4.0 draft: say a browser can 
handle all of those MIME types... is it always better to blindly load 
the video image, or should the browser load the .gif and give the 
option to load the video? Or should it decide based on the connection 
quality (and possibly system resources) what to load, giving other 

Other issues are the size or complexity of the object. Short
animations may be fine, but a 10 meg movie may be out of the
question.  Same goes for Java applets... the ability to ignore
certain known useless even dangerous applets (waiting an extra 20
seconds to load "crazy text" is a common source of aggravation) or to 
not trust appets or other specific object types from a site is a good 
thing (and may work well for those who desire censoring certain 
things from their kiddies...)

> not PNG) images on the slow modem day and to have them in full glory on
> the next. There is a question of how easy it is to do when you have >50
> handlers and you only care about changing images and sounds on a daily
> bases, but that is a different issue.

Yes, it's very complex. Maybe for each handler add an option 
disabling when bandwidth/connection is below a certain speed, or if 
the object is above a certain size/download time, or if it comes from 
a certain site, or if the object has a given filename or MD5.

Robert Rothenburg Walking-Owl (
(Se habla PGP.)