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Chapter 15. Plug-Ins, ActiveX, and Java > Extending the Browser with Plug-Ins a...

Extending the Browser with Plug-Ins and ActiveX

The most common way to extend browser functionality and create media-rich pages is through plug-in content. Creating web pages that rely on this kind of browser extension can be a frustrating experience—even in Dreamweaver!—unless you understand the limitations of the technology underneath it and how to use that technology intelligently.

How Plug-In Media Works in the Browser

Browsers are essentially HTML decoders. Their job is to translate the markup instructions in an HTML file into a visible, functional screenful of information. By adding JavaScript to your HTML, you can add a certain amount of interactivity to web pages. By themselves, however, browsers cannot handle the rich variety of media you might want your pages to contain. They cannot display video, they cannot manipulate and present sound, and they cannot present PDF content. Because of browser differences, it’s also difficult to reliably create complex interactive content that will work across browsers and across platforms solely through JavaScript and HTML.


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