Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

Monday September 28th, 1998

John Sheets writes in with a question about a topic that hasn't come up lately. John writes, "I was wondering if Mozilla will eventually include native support for ActiveX on the Windows side. Right now, as I understand it, you have to buy a plugin (from NCompass Labs) and specially convert the HTML files to be Communicator-aware. Kind of a pain."

Anyone know of any plans to accomodate ActiveX controls in the Windows port of Mozilla?

#1 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by George Giannukos

Monday September 28th, 1998 8:40 PM

ActiveX? uggg....That is a hackers dream come true!

#2 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Greg Miller

Monday September 28th, 1998 10:17 PM

It's also a corporate dream come true. ActiveX in the client would help sell Netscape servers for intranets, the main place where ActiveX is heavily (and safely) used.

#3 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Christian Schaller

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 3:47 AM

Netscape should keep to supporting systems that are truly cross-plattform. Active-X is a flop and Netscape participating in making it anything else would just be helping M$ to force their lousy OS on the world.

#4 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Joe Drew

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 4:30 AM

Ugh, I hope not. ActiveX deserves to die the painful death of a million Java applets. Other than the fact that integrating it would be a serious pain in the ass (Do you think Microsoft will support it? Neither do I), it will also be entirely platform-dependant, and that's a serious no-no. Most, if not all, of Mozilla is portable, and ActiveX isn't the sort of thing you can integrate into a FE (Front End).

#5 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Ryan Bacon

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 7:45 AM

I suspect that some group may hack together an Open Source ActiveX plugin for Mozilla. There should be enough documentation to do that; it depends on there being an overlap between the people who demand it and the people who can and will program it.

#6 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by ok__computer

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 1:15 PM

hoping for mozilla to adopt activeX is like hoping for a butler to work in a trailer park. sure, intranets would use it, but that's only if you have some M$ manical manger / sys admin. the way i see it, activeX only exsists so windows users don't whine that they can't make thier terminal do the same neat things linux users do every day.. i can hear the m$ suggestion box, overflown for the past couple of years:

"wah! i can't use screensavers as my desktop wallpaper!"


#7 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by John Sheets

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 1:48 PM

I agree that ActiveX is a painfully platform-dependent solution. I would much rather implement CORBA, and it hurts that I even have to consider ActiveX. However, if my company wants to come out with browser-capable versions of our (Windows front end) software, it's either Java or ActiveX. Java is too slow to be an option. ActiveX will at least run natively on a windows box. If Communicator doesn't support it, all our customers will be forced into using IE, which hurts even more than the ActiveX decision. If anyone has any better ideas on how to embed a complex, interactive GUI interface into a web browser, I'm all ears.

#8 MS Already Has a Plugin

by Jah-Wren Ryel

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 5:05 PM

MS already has an ActiveX plugin for netscape. I've used it myself by mistake. It mostly works.

#9 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by ok__computer

Tuesday September 29th, 1998 6:45 PM

this is mainly directed to john in particular...

but have you considered flash3 for a active gui?

check out sony, maverickrc, etc... even gabocorp... although gabocorp sort of "forgot" to add content to all the silly bells and whistles / techno junk...

#10 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by John Sheets

Wednesday September 30th, 1998 10:06 AM

Shockwave/Flash3 isn't really an option. That'd require us to port everything to Macromedia/Lingo. That would be even worse than Java! (I've used Lingo before.) At least with ActiveX, we can swap the same components in our apps that we use on the web pages. And there's no doubt a significant performance difference between C/C++ and Lingo....

#11 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Brian Stanke

Thursday October 1st, 1998 12:40 AM

While I hardly agree on current Java speed problems (ever try to use Netscape 4's Java on a Mac?) The news of the Mozilla Open JVM intergration to escape Netscape's molass JVMs, may improve Java "enough" I don't have the expertise to test it with the latest JIts myself but it may work, and long before ActiveX arrives for Mozilla (very doubtful). ActiveX support would just break so many of Mozillas design principles I doubt it would be more than a plug-in. Would servlets/ASP/Mod_Perl be options?

#12 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Brian again

Thursday October 1st, 1998 12:42 AM

Sorry that should of been "While I heartily agree..." doing too much at once...

#13 Don't Tie Netscape to a Proprietary OS

by Greg Hayes

Thursday October 1st, 1998 6:42 AM

Adding support to Netscape for anything that is windows only is a BIG BIG step backwards. We all want equal cross-platform funtionality!

#14 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by John

Thursday October 1st, 1998 9:17 AM

Brian, I definitely agree that ActiveX should stay out of Communicator Proper; if its inclusion would result in breaking cross-platform functionality, then I wouldn't dream of advocating it. (Personally, I would like nothing better than to see Linux tromp NT.) However, NCompass Labs has proven that ActiveX _can_ be done as a plug-in. That's all I ever wanted: something free and easy to use that would allow me to drop ActiveX controls into a navigator browse window. ActiveScript is not freeware, and is severely hobbled, but that could be fixed in a more integrated version.

Regarding the latest in Java: I'll take a look at it before we decide on a final path.

And a final note to Greg, et. al. It's too late to keep Windows out of Mozilla. It's already in there. Remember the Active Desktop article on MozillaZine a couple weeks back? To me, IE4 emulation is quite a bit more radical than asking for an ActiveX/COM container.

#15 Re:Will ActiveX Ever Be Supported?

by Doug Blatherwick

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 12:37 PM

> ActiveX in the client would help > sell Netscape servers for > intranets, the main place where > ActiveX is heavily (and safely) > used.

Poor deluded person. Since when was an intranet secure? Ok, if no computers on the intranet were ever connected to the internet, then you might be safe from internet users, but Active X is still is a good basis for a virus that would destroy a complete business from one computer.

To safely use Active X Win32 would have to be emulated, with certain features having heavy security, which basically means that adding Active X would be a waste of time. Plus, its proprietary, don't want that on the web.