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

Re: Eolas vs. <object>

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 04:04:52 +0200
To: "Jeff Schiller" <codedread@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.tq0deeqxwxe0ny@widsith.local>

On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:35:08 +0200, Jeff Schiller <codedread@gmail.com> wrote:

> I haven't heard this discussed yet here, but will <object> in the
> markup ever actually be feasible now that Microsoft lost the Eolas
> case?  I mean using <object> for "plugin" type material of course and
> not stuff most browsers can handle natively.

That disctinction more or less invalidates your question. Opera handles SVG, Firefox handles some SVG and some MathML. It is possible to handle flash natively. Most browsers handle PNG, JPG and GIF images natively. In principle there is no reason why anything you think of cannot be handled natively. And some stuff, like SVG.

But (as I spend the rest of this email justifying - so you can skip it now :) ) that doesn't invalidate object, as markup, nor necessarily the use of plugins.

> Workarounds right now force people to use script to add an <object>
> element directly into the DOM.

... where there is not native handling, or not reliable handling.

> Out of curiosity, did Microsoft invent the <object> element in the
> first place?  If not, why was Microsoft sued and not W3C or other
> browser makers?  I guess the reality is they got a free pass because
> they don't have Microsoft's deep pockets?

As Chris Wilson says, "Microsoft gets sued first". Yes, they have a lot of money, and a lot of deployment, so they are the obvious target (just as they are for viruses).

> Seems like the Eolas patent definitely has some implications for
> future versions of HTML (in terms of plugin support), but IANAL

Nor am I, but I don't see what the implication is for HTML. There is an implication for the Web, that plugins are less attractive as a way to do things in markets where EOLAS actually holds a patent (for all I know, EOLAS has no patent in Vietnam so if you are working exclusively in Vietnam you can happily ignore the question. Although they may have that covered - check first). Which is a whole different thing. There are still use cases for plugins (if you want to use animation in SVG, for example, you need to run a plugin for Firefox since it can't handle it natively).

just my 2c worth


  Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
  hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
chaals@opera.com          Try Opera 9.1     http://opera.com
Received on Thursday, 19 April 2007 02:04:48 UTC

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