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Incorporating Plug-Ins

A plug-in is a piece of software that takes over a section of the browser window and displays something in it. Usually the display is from a file obtained from the Web server, and most often it’s some kind of multimedia file. Netscape Communications originally devised plugins, and Internet Explorer now supports them. Plug-ins generally aren’t as configurable (with HTML) as other approaches to multimedia, but support by both browsers is a strong point. Displaying a given file with a plug-in requires three things:

  • The file has to be specially marked in the HTML.

  • When the Web server delivers the file, it must properly identify the file type.

  • The Web visitor’s browser must have a plug-in available for the given file type.


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