Full Article Attached Fully Scriptable Plug-ins for Mozilla

Thursday July 18th, 2002

Yesterday, the Netscape Tech Evangelism Team made a posting to netscape.public.mozilla.plugins announcing that the latest versions of Macromedia Flash and Apple QuickTime are scriptable in Mozilla. Read the full article for more details.

Thanks to Asa for the news.

#1 yea in only Windows of course

by ph1nn

Thursday July 18th, 2002 9:35 PM

Too bad not linux :-/

#2 Linux flash

by ph1nn

Thursday July 18th, 2002 9:36 PM

The linux flash player plugin is outdated and slow unfortunately

#3 Re: Linux flash

by tono

Thursday July 18th, 2002 9:45 PM

Well that's what happens when you use an inferior operating system. Just kidding, of course. That's the one thing that made me switch back to Windows, Key applications I needed just weren't there. I wish the problem would get better, but I just don't see it happening.

#4 Re: Re: Linux flash

by ph1nn

Thursday July 18th, 2002 10:18 PM

Well Linux is certainly not inferior, jokes or not. All OSes have their strong points.

And i once in a while, go back to Windows (Win2k i dual boot, WinXP had to many probs). I do appreciate the compatability. But after a short while i also have the urge to return to my very customised, rock stable, and secure feel that Linux gives me... Besides, it runs almost everything i would want perfectly anyway (i wouldnt mind kazaa tho ;) I could never switch to Windows, i would simply miss Linux too much.

btw i run Slack 8.1 and lovin it

#6 Key applications?

by michaelg

Thursday July 18th, 2002 10:30 PM

Flash is a key application for you?

#9 Re: Re: Linux flash

by whiprush

Thursday July 18th, 2002 11:02 PM

Unless of course, you see this as an advantage. No updated flash? Boo hoo for me ... :)

#22 Re: Linux flash

by olo

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:29 AM

Here's my letter to Macromedia concerning the audio playback issue on Linux, tell me what do you think about it (maybe we could base a petition on it, so that our voice finally gets through to people at Macromedia):


There's a critical bug in libflashplayer, for which there is a known fix. Implementing that fix would probably take a Macromedia programmer 5 minutes (most of this time being the formal paperwork for getting approvement for patch check-in). Fixing this bug will make life better for thousands of users of Mozilla/Netscape browser worldwide, who visit 2 million flash-enabled web pages that exist today.

The bug is because certain latest versions or flash player library released by Macromedia forget to open audio device with in a non-blocking mode (O_NONBLOCK), as it was with older versions. This causes the Flash plugin and the whole browser to hang, if any other application (like a sound player) uses the audio device.

The simple solution which should eliminate the problem would be to add O_NONBLOCK flag to the open() system call which opens the audio device for sound playback. It is located in libflashplayer, and instead of: open("/dev/dsp", O_WRONLY), Flash player library should do this: open("/dev/dsp", O_WRONLY|O_NONBLOCK)

The general description of the bug can be found here: Possible fix suggestion

Proof that this has broken with latest versions of libflashplayer:

Interesting comment outlining the importance of fixing this bug as soon as possible:


#26 Re: Re: Linux flash

by tny

Friday July 19th, 2002 11:29 AM

Well, for one thing, I wouldn't use the all caps at the end. Shouting is never the answer.

Otherwise, it looks ok.

#21 Re: Linux flash

by olo

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:25 AM

And has problems with playing sound (see bug 58339 in Bugzilla), although that bug might be easily fixed by Macromedia people (it seems like a one-liner fix is needed, but on closed source software :( ).

Anybody knows how to speak to Macromedia so that they listen?

If yes, here are URL's worth a visit: ser_Version=Netscape4

#5 Working?

by WillyWonka

Thursday July 18th, 2002 10:18 PM

I just installed the 6r40 plugin, but I can't get that demo to work. Has anyone else been sucessful? (Win2k)

#7 Re: Working?

by vgendler

Thursday July 18th, 2002 10:51 PM

Same with me! It does not react to any click.

#8 Ditto

by goodwatast

Thursday July 18th, 2002 10:56 PM

Build ID: 2002061104. I deleted the plugin from my plugin folder and then re-installed, no luck. Checked about:plugins, correctly installed according to the info there. It was a plugin change, not a browser change, and no mention of a particular build was made, so it should work for anyone using a recent build, right?


#35 How I got the flash plugin to work. Mac/Windows)

by PaulB

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:00 PM

Granted I am on the Mac and not Windows, but this may help you. On the Mac you can configure the Quicktime plugin to play Flash. I had done this since the Mac flash plugin for Netscape was outdated. By unchecking the preference for Quicktime plugin to play Flash I got it to work. BTW for the changes to take effect you have to relaunch Mozilla.

Hope this helps.


#10 Re: Working?

by ph1nn

Friday July 19th, 2002 12:12 AM

Interesting that you mention it but in the last few builds i downloaded of 1.1a+ (currently running the July 9 build) it broke some of my plugins as well.

Java and flash work fine... Crossover stopped working, and so did PDF files.

I hope it works again in 1.1b whenever that comes out

#15 Not for me with Latest Nightly

by chrisc

Friday July 19th, 2002 5:31 AM

About:plugins shows the correct version of flash, but when I visit the page I get the following in the JS console : Error: flashnav.SetVariable is not a function Source File:{82D93C9B-D351-4563-A5DD-9A7AF4E88FBB}&page=flash_nav&PageID=&NavID=home&SiteVerID=2&LangID=31 Line: 205

#19 Re: Working?

by fgxh298

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:01 AM

I see no difference with the new plug-in installed. IE does the same thing as Mozilla on this page, it's just a bar but none of the button do anything significant. IE is giving a javascript error so I'm highly inclined to believe that this page has issues.

#20 Re: Re: Working?

by stmoebius

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:22 AM

This WFM with both IE5.5 and NS4.78 but not with mozilla. I found bug 86646 about a browser sniffing issue on this site which may cause this problem. Are those of you that do see the correct site contents use mozilla or NS6/7?

#28 make sure flashplayer.xpt is in the plugins dir

by doron

Friday July 19th, 2002 12:19 PM

make sure flashplayer.xpt is in the plugins dir or the components dir.

#30 Re: make sure flashplayer.xpt is in the plugins di

by tono

Friday July 19th, 2002 1:09 PM

flashplayer.xpt isn't anywhere on the harddrive, let alone in the plugins dir or components dir. Where do you get such a beast? Because it's not in the installer that we're supposed to download to get this to work, that's for sure.

#38 Re: Follow up

by bandido

Saturday July 20th, 2002 7:25 AM

I had the same problem with new Flash installation in two computers I have. about:plugins showed the twoo plugins installed: the old one (Flash 6r23) and the new one (Flash 6r40). In both cases I fixed it by deleting the flash plugins from plugins directories manually (npswf32.dll)and reinstalling Flash. Don't forget to close the browser (including Quick launch). Another thing, the test site they mentioned in the full article above is in Germany and sometimes it loads very slowly even with broadband connection)

#33 That Woerks - good call

by TonyG

Friday July 19th, 2002 3:51 PM

I was having similar problems until I found this xpt file and installed it in my plugins dir. It was in my Netscape7 folder (C:\Program Files\Netscape\Netscape 7\components).

You need to completely close and restart Mozilla to get the plugin working.

#47 Re: make sure flashplayer.xpt is in the plugins di

by carenthir

Tuesday July 23rd, 2002 6:49 AM

where can I find this file ? it doens't seem to be installed with the plugin, so where can we find it as a standalone file ?

#48 Re: Linux flash

by olo

Thursday August 1st, 2002 8:59 AM

flashplayer.xpt. It seems that Flash player 6 installer only installs it for Netscape 6 on my machine (it correctly detects 3 intsallations of netscape-compatible browsers: Netscape 4.77, Netscape 6 6.2.1, Mozilla 1.0 (pl), but it only installs the flashplayer.xpt in Netscape6\components directory).

#11 question about xpcom

by macpeep

Friday July 19th, 2002 12:39 AM

Could someone please explain the main differences between IE's use of ActiveX for plugins and Mozilla use of XPCOM? As far as I understand, the two should be pretty close architecturally speaking. IE allows ActiveX to be used in other ways as "plugins", but I'm not sure if there's a lot of difference between just plain vanilla ActiveX controls and ActiveX controls used as plugins. Can XPCOM be used in the same way in Mozilla, to embed "random" functionality into a web page like a Java applet? What are the security mechanisms involved and how are they different from those (highly criticized) ones in IE?

#14 Re: question about xpcom

by leafdigital

Friday July 19th, 2002 3:30 AM

I don't think there is a great deal of security, but there are fewer XPCOM-enabled plugins. Windows comes with a great many ActiveX/OLE controls, some of which have had security holes and some of which are not really intended for use in Web pages (but can be...).

It is entirely possible that a plugin such as Flash or Quicktime could include a security flaw which might be exploitable via the XPCOM / Javascript plugin communication mechanisms (or by some other mechanism such as passing invalid parameters to the embed tag). However, Mozilla won't have the same variety of available controls to abuse.

So in summary, Mozilla's system may be less secure in principle (no code signing, no control over plugin scripting), but in practice there is a much smaller risk.

(And of course, it is no less secure than Netscape 4's system. I don't recall any Netscape 4 security issues related to Javascript control of common plug-ins).


#31 Re: question about xpcom

by grahams

Friday July 19th, 2002 1:45 PM

By default, no javascript code loaded remotely can instantiate XPCOM components without the user's permission. It is true, though, that once the user has granted permission the component pretty much has carte blanche to do whatever it wants to the users system.

#37 Re: question about xpcom

by gwalla

Friday July 19th, 2002 11:32 PM

XPCOM and Microsoft COM are both implementations of COM (the Component Object Model). ActiveX is a particular technology implemented *using* MSCOM.

#12 What about WMP?

by GAThrawn

Friday July 19th, 2002 2:25 AM

What are the chances that Microsoft will implement something similar for the Windows Media Player plugin for Netscape? :-p

Yes I know next to no chance at all, but it's still annoying that the only thing I go back to IE for now is because my broadband ISP insists on streaming the high resolution movies from it's portal in .asf format in popup windows with scripted playback controls.

#16 Re: What about WMP?

by cgonyea

Friday July 19th, 2002 7:17 AM

Go to the PluginDoc page on There it explains how to get the Windows Media Plugin to install. I believe all you have to do is copy a couple of DLL's from Windows Media Player's directory to the Mozilla plugin directory.

I listen to my college radio station (streaming audio with Windows Media Player) all the time with Mozilla and it works.

#34 Re: Re: What about WMP?

by thomanski

Friday July 19th, 2002 5:05 PM

And it does even work under Linux with Codeweaver's Crossover Plugin.

#44 Re: Re: What about WMP?

by GAThrawn

Sunday July 21st, 2002 8:45 AM

Sorry should have mentioned that I already have the WMP plugin installed in Moz and have listened to streaming audio and watched video through it. The problem is that the popup window launched by the page disables WMP's built-in playback controls and puts Javascript buttons on the page to control playback. So if you want to rewind a bit or even watch the whole video again you have to reload the whole page.

And yes I have brought this up in their newsgroups, but their engineers just say that they include a copy of IE and WMP on every installation CD they send out so why should they need to support any other browser? Of course the fact this also blocks out Linux users is something else that they're not worried about.

#45 Re: Re: Re: What about WMP?

by MCrider

Monday July 22nd, 2002 11:10 AM

Would you mind saying who the broadband ISP is? Sounds like some evangelism might be needed here.

#50 Windows Media Player for OSX

by skyman375

Saturday October 19th, 2002 11:08 AM

Can anyone point me in the right direction trying to install WMP to work with Mozilla 1.2 beta for OS X? Thanks

#13 Does this mean we finally got sound?

by TonyG

Friday July 19th, 2002 3:01 AM

I have been under the impression for a long time that Mozilla cannot play in the way ns4 could/can. EG - I have an image that plays a beep noise as I roll over it.

In the past I have gotten round this using Flash, but it was still a pain due to lack of scripting since it meant I had to make the images as Flash movies, instead of using a single hidden movie containing my sound that I could play via script.

#17 Turn OFF flash?

by flacco

Friday July 19th, 2002 8:09 AM

Does this mean we'll be able to toggle Flash the fuck OFF when we start getting motion sickness while trying to read text elsewhere on the page?

#18 Re: Turn OFF flash?

by WillyWonka

Friday July 19th, 2002 8:44 AM

No, it simply means that the flash/quicktime can now interact with the page which hosts it.

#49 Re: Turn OFF flash? here's how:

by jtedley

Saturday August 17th, 2002 10:42 AM

blocking ad servers has become a religion for me since i started using mozilla. still, the flash ads slip through. the best solution i've found is to RENAME the plugin rather than deleting it, so you don't have to download the thing for the odd flash animation you want to see. I also wrote a GUI tool to handle this. it's called jTFlashManager and it's free for the taking with source code on One caveat -- it runs on Java and was compiled with 1.3. so, until someone writes a plugin....


#23 How to disable Flash

by FattMattP

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:49 AM

This URL has information on how to disable the Flash plugin for people who'd rather no use it: <p><br>

#40 Re: How to disable Flash

by Tanyel

Saturday July 20th, 2002 6:29 PM

If I did not want to use the Flash plugin then I would uninstall it.

#41 Re: Re: How to disable Flash

by asa

Saturday July 20th, 2002 7:57 PM

I want to use Flash. I don't want to be used by flash. There are a half-dozen sites where I use the flash (usually either navigation or games) and there are dozens of sites that serve obnoxious flash advertisements. Capability to toggle flash on and off would be nice. I belive it's one of the most frequently requested enhancements to Mozilla.


#24 Perhaps

by theuiguy

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:49 AM

It might be possible to do this with a JavaScript bookmarklet.

#25 Re: Perhaps (Turning off flash)

by theuiguy

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:52 AM

And of course that was in response to the request to toggle flash. If it's scriptable, it should be possible to call the stop play method.

#27 QT 6 _doesn't_ detect Mozilla

by olo

Friday July 19th, 2002 11:56 AM

nor Netscape. I've tried both the QT6 online installer and standalone installer, they don't install the qt6 plugin and don't allow me to select a Netscape-compatible's plugins folder by hand :(.

#29 Re: QT 6 _doesn't_ detect Mozilla

by WillyWonka

Friday July 19th, 2002 12:47 PM

How did you install mozilla?

When I installed Quicktime 6 it detected Nav4.79, Mozilla 1.0, and my mozilla nightly. If you just unzip your mozilla build it might not have the proper regirtry entries (Assuming you're on windows)

#32 Re: Re: QT 6 _doesn't_ detect Mozilla

by MXN

Friday July 19th, 2002 2:30 PM

It was funny when I installed it. The installer detected 8 browsers, but I only had 5 of them. Oh well.


#36 QT 6 and Mozilla

by PaulB

Friday July 19th, 2002 10:11 PM

What Mac OS version are you running. On Mac OS X the plugins are all installed in the Internet plugins folder in the Library folder were they are all advailable for any browser you select and uses plugins to use.

I suspect you are using a pre-OS X OS version. If you have Netscape 6 or 7(beta) installed run the installer and copy the plugin over from Netscape 6 or & (beta) to Mozilla's plugin folder. It should work. I hope this helps.

#42 Re: QT 6 _doesn't_ detect Mozilla

by markus

Sunday July 21st, 2002 2:27 AM

Did you download the English version? If you chose any other language than English when downloading you still get version 5. (That's what happened to me when chosing German)

#39 I'd rather be able to turn flash off

by deckardnc

Saturday July 20th, 2002 10:08 AM

I don't like flash. I think, it's as bad as java applets. However, some pages do not work without them. So I'd rather be able to turn it on/off when I need it.

Right now, I have to move those plugin files to appropriate dirs and then move them out, and I don't like this solution.

#43 Re: I'd rather be able to turn flash off

by PC1

Sunday July 21st, 2002 8:11 AM

I second your request.

It would be nice to be able to modify some of the preferences without going to preferences or by moving files. Opera browser preferences can be modified by pressing "F12", and I use this frequently to avoid many annoying sites. A simillar function in Mozilla would be great.

#46 Adobe SVG Plugin?????

by ldpercy

Monday July 22nd, 2002 4:44 PM

Is there a Mozilla/Netscape version of the Adobe SVG Viewer coming anytime soon? My company is using SVG quite a bit in our website now and it's killing me to tell my clients to use IE. Alternatively, will native SVG make it into a major release soonish?