Let’s face it, using plug-ins in your website is a pain in the ass. Most of the documentation provided by plug-in makers is either grossly outdated or non-existent, and when you do find useful information, one plug-in maker might have you use one method, and another has a completely different set of rules.
HTML has had proper support for plug-ins for a long time: the
object tag, which is flexible enough to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. But because of the [wrong] way many browsers interpret this information, many plug-in vendors still require (or at least suggest) the use of the
embed tag either along with or instead of the
object tag. Why is this? It’s 2006! Lets put some pressure on these companies to make things easier for us as developers. Why can’t I layer HTML over my Flash content or my Quicktime content? Why does Internet Explorer make me use this crazy
classid attribute when specifying a mime type should suffice?
It’s time to clean up the world of browser plug-ins. It’s not enough to just sit back and say plug-ins suck, or that the very nature of them doesn’t fit into the ‘Web Standards philosophy.’ Whether you like it or not, they are here to stay. Standardizing them won’t be easy (If things like this were easy, the Web Standards Project wouldn’t exist), and it will probably take years to do, but it’s something that really needs to be done.