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Castrated Internet on April11th?

(by Andreas Schiffler)

Many of us that maintain websites are (hopefully) aware of the upcoming "ActiveX D-Day" courtesy of Microsoft, Eolas and US patent law. You can read more about it here. So better get your HTML code in order soon ...

In short - the HTML <object><embed></embed> tags that render multimedia content will be effectively disabled in InternetExplorer - at least from a usability perspective - by a software update that will be pushed out on April 11th. This affects anyone who happens to run the automatic update service for Windows (i.e. just about anyone) or downloads the latest IE after April 11th. Once installed, this patch will interfer with any multimedia content on a website (Flash, MediaPlayer, Quicktime, etc.) and HTML changes "of the 3rd kind" are required on any webpage using these technologies to get everything working again.

While the Microsoft page on the issue creates utter confusion even for programmers like me (that's why everyone has avoided the issue in the first place I think) - see MSDN Article - our friends over at Apple have a helpful page detailing what to do in order to get your pages to continue working as usual with IE.

To get embedded Flash content - one of the most common formats on the web - ready for "D-Day", I have prepared a little helpful JavaScript file that should make it very easy to update a website: get the documented version which includes usage instructions or a minimized version with the same functionality at half the size.

Update 04/04: The following article has another solution, that allows one to keep the object tags in place.

By aschiffler | March 30, 2006 |

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