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Chapter 28. Using Java Applets, Browser ... > Understanding Netscape Plug-Ins

Understanding Netscape Plug-Ins

High-end browsers, such as the Netscape browsers and Microsoft Internet Explorer, handle many different media types, but no browser handles everything. Both Netscape and Microsoft put hooks into their products to allow programmers to write code that extends the media types supported by the browser. Netscape browsers depend on helpers and plug-ins. Internet Explorer browsers use ActiveX technology rather than plug-ins to achieve similar effects.

Starting with version 1 of Navigator, Netscape provided ways to enhance its browser with helper applications (page 582), which support data formats beyond the built-in graphics and HTML. With Netscape Navigator version 2, Navigator began supporting plug-ins, another way to extend the range of data types that can be presented on or with a Web page. This continued with Navigator 3 and has been carried into Navigator 4 (which Netscape refers to as Communicator 4). No doubt it will persist in the upcoming Communicator 5.


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