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Plug-Ins

Plug-ins resemble applets in the sense that both are software applications that run within the browser. But applets remain separate from the browser; they can be run only from within the page where the <applet> or <object> element invokes them because they require the browser to run the code. Plug-ins can render material such as video clips, 3D animations, and audio files within the browser. In some cases, though, the plug-in acts as a stand-alone application, spawning a new window on the screen and displaying the content in that window. Web authors may have a choice between these two methods; the choice should always be made in favor of greater accessibility, and with sufficient planning, this need not mean sacrificing visual elegance. It is important as well to remember to inform the user that a new window will open to play the media content, just as you would inform him or her of new windows opened for any other reason.

Plug-ins also resemble applets in that they need to be understood from at least two different perspectives.


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