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Chapter 24. Using Java Applets, Browser ... > Understanding Netscape Plug-Ins

Understanding Netscape Plug-Ins

Modern browsers handle many media types, but not even the most sophisticated browser handles everything. To deal with this, both Netscape and Microsoft put hooks into their products, so programmers can write code to extend the media types supported by the browser. Netscape browsers depend on software components called helpers or plug-ins. Internet Explorer browsers use ActiveX technology, rather than plug-ins, to achieve similar effects.

Starting way back with version 1 of Navigator, Netscape provided ways to enhance its browser with small programs called helper applications. 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 was carried into the various versions of Navigator 4 and 6.


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