Friday, November 9th, 2007

No more “Click to Activate”, no more SWFObject / UFO?

Category: IE

Pete LePage has posted on the IE blog about the change to component activation in IE. Microsoft licensed the silliness from Eolas, which now means that you don’t have to click to activate a component anymore.

Previously, people were getting around that by using SWFObject or UFO, but shortly you will be able to just embed away. Here is the timeline:

IE Click to Activate

So you’re probably wondering when we are going to release this update? The first chance will be with an optional preview release, called the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview, available in December 2007 via the Microsoft Download Center. Additionally this change will be made part of the next pre-release versions of Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3. After giving people enough time to prepare for this change, we’ll roll this behavior into the IE Cumulative Update in April 2008, and all customers who install the update will get the change.

If you have a custom application using WebOC or MSHTML, there may be some changes that affect your application. For example:

  • If your application uses the DOCHOSTUI flag to opt-in to the current “Click To Activate” behavior, that behavior will continue to be respected and your application will require “Click To Activate”
  • If you application uses the registry key FEATURE_ENABLE_ACTIVEX_INACTIVATE_MODE to opt-in to the current “Click To Activate” behavior, this registry key will no long be respected. If you wish to continue to use the “Click to Activate” behavior, please use the DOCHOSTUI flag.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be updating the MSDN article with descriptions of the new behavior. Keep an eye out here for when the preview goes live. 

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:48 am
16 Comments

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3.7 rating from 33 votes

16 Comments »

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I still find swfobject useful to add variables and parameters to the swf with swfobject methods…

Comment by Ramiro — November 9, 2007

Yes, swfobject is still the bees knees for things like express install as well.

Comment by Jack — November 9, 2007

About damn time for this to happen. But still though, why does it have to be bundled with SP not just a regular update?

Comment by Simon Jia — November 9, 2007

After giving people enough time to prepare for this change, we’ll roll this behavior into the IE Cumulative Update in April 2008, and all customers who install the update will get the change

We’ve been prepared for this change since “Click to Activate” first came into being. Fix it already.

Comment by Jon — November 9, 2007

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would still use SWFObject to stay compatible with older eolas IE.
The damage has already been done.

Comment by Troy — November 9, 2007

@Troy:
I don’t think this fix is going fix what you mentioned. It simply reverse back to not having to do “Click to Activate”.

Comment by Simon Jia — November 9, 2007

I think Troy is right, we’d still have to deal with users who still have the ‘eolas IE’. Ofcourse you could just leave out the SWFObject’s/UFO’s to try to persuade your visitors into updating their browsers, but do consider that Opera has the same ‘Click to Activate’ functionality since the release of Opera 9, and as far as I know they haven’t bought a license from Eolas yet.

Even though Opera may eventually end up licensing the patent, there’s still no assurance other browsers will not be affected with this ‘Eolas headache’. Eolas may just as well decide to go after FireFox/Safari (KHTML) next for patent violation and when they do you can expect those browsers to start behaving like IE/Opera do now.

Unless the Eolas patent is either declared invalid (which was tried by proving prior art) or Eolas promises not to prosecute ‘patent violators’ (unlikely, given the amounts of money flowing their way now) I will remain a SWFObject/UFO user.

Comment by Rogier — November 10, 2007

…called the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview
Really?

Comment by mike — November 10, 2007

That’s funny.

Comment by Richard Kimber — November 10, 2007

I find the title somewhat misleading. Although many people only started to use UFO/SWFObject after the introduction of the “click-to-activate” mechanism, it’s really only 1 issue these libraries are trying to solve.

The next gen of UFO/SWFObject, SWFObject 2.0, is rebuilt from scratch with both web standards and JavaScript developers in mind. Some more info:
http://www.swffix.org/devblog/?p=19
http://code.google.com/p/swfobject/wiki/SWFObject_2_0_documentation

Comment by Bobby van der Sluis — November 12, 2007

Previous comment: “1 issue” should be “1 of many issues”, duh

Comment by Bobby van der Sluis — November 12, 2007

Will Microsoft update IE6?

Comment by Chris Phillips — November 12, 2007

SWFObject is a truly elegant way of detecting Flash versions, serving up accessible alternate content when necessary, and providing search robot-friendly content behind the scenes even when Flash is detected. “Click to Activate” is just one of the problems it solves, and even if this problem had never existed, I would still use SWFObject to serve up Flash content for users. Never again will I simply embed!

Comment by Mike H — November 13, 2007

HAHA GO MICROSOFT!

Comment by Web Design NY — November 17, 2007

I’ll be happy to drop the bloated SWFObject crap.

Comment by Reinis — November 18, 2007

Yeah I’ll tell all my visitors to update their registry while authors of malicious code would avoid using the DOCHOSTUI..

Case truly solved. (Don’t you agree some idiots really push the industry hard enough?)

Comment by detay — December 25, 2007

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