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Fully Scriptable Plug-ins for Mozilla

by NETSCAPE TECHNOLOGY EVANGELISTS | Greetings all,

Some good news for those that have wondered why for a long time, major plugins like Flash and Quicktime have NOT been scriptable in Mozilla and Netscape 6.x and Netscape 7 (PR1). "Scriptability" is the term used to describe the invoking of Plugin methods via Web-delivered JavaScript, and vice-versa — the Plugin's ability to access the DOM and invoke client JavaScript methods.

Now, both Flash and Quicktime are fully scriptable: Macromedia have released Flash 6 r 40 and Apple Quicktime have released Quicktime 6. Both plugins have installers that recognize both standalone Mozilla browsers and Netscape browsers. Here's a little more about what this means:

Until a few days ago, you could not invoke JavaScript commands on these plugins, nor could the plugin in any way access the DOM or call client JavaScript. This was a by-product of the fact that Mozilla browsers do not support the old "LiveConnect" method present in Netscape Communicator 4.x browsers of scripting plugins via the JRI/JNI bridge, and that Plugin Vendors (like Macromedia) had not yet adopted the XPCOM ideas to script plugins in Mozilla.

All that is poised to change now that we have a scriptable API that Plugin Vendors are using :-)

Flash 6 r40 is both scriptable and FSCommand compliant. FSCommands allow you to "talk" to the browser, and you can now invoke methods on the Flash player:

http://www.macromedia.com/support/flash/
publishexport/scriptingwithflash/


As a quick test, go to http://www.ford.de without the new Flash, and see the difference after you do install it!

Similarly, Quicktime 6 is fully scriptable. You can read about the exposed API from:

http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/quicktime/
qtdevdocs/REF/QT41_HTML/QT41WhatsNew-72.html


Those multimedia/DHTML experiences that we were once "locked out of" are now available in Mozilla and Netscape browsers :-)

-- AKR

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