Reader Myddrin ties in the meaning of a story apparently
completely unrelated to Linux for us in something we welcome:
reader-contributed insights into news items. If you'd like to do
something similar, feel free. Just keep it short in case we can't
(or won't) use it. In this case, to add to Myddrin's take, the
spread of ActiveX may be offset by Konqueror's recent abilities in
that area, but it's clear from watching talkbacks that not
everybody's happy with that.
Ok, what does this have to do with Linux, you ask?
Answer this bit:
The QuickTime compatibility problem comes as Microsoft
is revamping its support of third-party Web applications from
within the browser. At stake is the role of computer code known as
"plug-ins," technology pioneered by Netscape Communications to
extend the function of Web browsers by welding them closely to
With IE 5.5, Microsoft discontinued support for plug-ins,
according to a Microsoft representative. Instead, the browser
relies on technology developed by Microsoft known as ActiveX that
links desktop applications to the Web.
ActiveX has been seen as a challenger to Sun Microsystems' Java
programming language, which Microsoft has said will no longer be
supported by default in its pending Windows XP operating system and
It looks like MS is trying to do an end-run around all competing
web plug-in technologies, and forcing ActiveX on Windows users.
Given that non-IE web browsers are an increasingly small part of
the pie, this could bode-ill for all of us using Linux.
It seems to me that some small-time operators will be dropping
their netscape plug-ins and moving to ActiveX, and it seems like it
would make it less likely for Linux ports in that case.
And of course raises the question of "why?"
Why drop a defacto standard and replace it with something
proprietary that has caused no end of trouble for MS users?