[whatwg] name/codebase attributes on object element

Michael A. Puls II shadow2531 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 25 00:33:27 PDT 2007

On 10/22/07, Vlad Alexander (xhtml.com) <vlad.alexander at xhtml.com> wrote:
> I noticed that the latest HTML 5 draft states that the "name" and "codebase" attributes are not allowed on the "object" element.
> 1. Plug-ins, such as XStandard, use the "name" attribute for submitting content to
> the server without the need for JavaScript. This makes for an accessible solution.
> XStandard has been doing this for 4 years in some browsers. IE, Firefox and
> Opera support this feature. This attribute serves a vital role for plug-ins.

Yes, I agree. The name attribute has to be supported (at least when
the object is inside <form>. (All the form stuff hasn't been dealt
with yet though.)

> 2. The "codebase" attribute is the only way to auto-install or update plug-ins in IE. > This is an important feature that should not be removed without providing an
> alternative solution.

If we do define it, it's going to be fun because what it's for depends
on how it's used.

It can be a URI to fetch a new version (for IE).
It could be the directory that java class files are in (in browsers
besides IE when using the Sun java plugin).
It could be a base URI used for resolving relative URIs (in browsers
besides IE for possibly native stuff and some plugins).

For the last 2, there would need to be rules to follow  to determine
whether it's an IE upgrade URI or a base URI so browsers besides IE
don't use it as a base path if it's not really a base path. But,
there's not much need to use a codebase attribute in FF, Opera and
Safari (not even for java).

Of course the codebase issue isn't really a problem.  If you author an
HTML5 page, just use:

<!--[if !IE]>-->
modern markup
<!--[if IE]>
IE markup

That way, you can support IE and still be valid (most of the time).
You have to do that now a lot of times anyway if you don't wan't to
use EMBED or IE css hacks and still support IE6.

> 3. The HTML 5 draft states that the "embed" element is used for plug-in content.
> The "object" element is a better mechanism for loading plug-ins and is supported
> by all browsers. The HTML 5 spec should state the "embed" or "object" elements
> can be used for loading plug-ins.

"plugin" is mentioned as an example in the object section. It also
talks about an external resource handled by a 3rd party.


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