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RE: OBJECT tag and the IE

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2002 21:02:37 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0207072058570.2833-100000@tux.w3.org>

IE is the major problem with object, because of its wierd implementation.
(Most particularly, the fact that instead of assuming a type of content and
looking for something that handles that content, IE wants a piece of code
specified that will handle it - a problem for accessibility where users may
need different code to handle the same object according to their own needs).

But designing a replacement and waiting for them to implement that seems like
repeating the problem anew - solving it in the first place might be a better


On Fri, 28 Jun 2002, Jukka Korpela wrote:

>Tom Gilder wrote:
>> Sadly IE/win's handling of <object> is severely broken.
>And there are serious problems with other browsers as well. Browsers that
>have no idea of <object> are not the problem, if the document is written
>well, i.e. with adequate fallback as the content of the <object> element.
>It's the browsers that try to support <object> that are the problem, when
>they fail in presenting the object adequately _and_ fail to use the
>specified fallback. There's a page for testing <object> implementations at
>(which crashes my IE 5.5. when ActiveX is disabled, probably due to problems
>related to <object> implementation flaws!).
>Briefly, the implementation problems make the use of <object> questionable.
>> It will eventually display the image, but will behave more
>> like you inserted an
>> iframe - complete with padding and scrollbars. You also can't
>> scale the image.
>These aren't really bugs but a matter of quality of implementation. There's
>no specification of exactly how <object> embedding should take place. But
>there are more serious issues. In fact, <iframe> might be a better
>alternative than <object>, due to fewer bugs in implementations
>> Maybe for IE7, Microsoft?
>Well, even if IE7 supported <object> properly, how many years would it take
>before we can safely use <object>. It takes time before people switch to new
>versions, and people with special needs might find it more difficult to
>upgrade, for various reasons like integration of a browser and assistive
>technologies, or lack of the experience and skill needed for an upgrade.
>Maybe it would be best if <object> got forgotten and a new element, or set
>of elements, introduced instead, designed to that browsers with no support
>to it/them will present the author-supplied fallback instead. (Name? How
>about <include>? :-)) This would, in a sense, repeat the design of <object>,
>but giving it a fresh start, and perhaps with more modest goals. And there
>should be a requirement that a user agent allow the user disable the
>inclusion, so that fallbacks are used; this, if obeyed, would give some
>weapons against too faulty implementations, and it could be especially
>useful for accessibility too, if supported on a per-mediatype basis. (It
>could be essential to be able switch off the inclusion of some media types,
>when they are not useful to the user.)

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Sunday, 7 July 2002 21:02:43 UTC

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