ActiveX Update Woes

Are all of your client sites April 11th Compliant? I’ve spent much of my day so far going through client websites (many of which we didn’t even build) looking for instances of applet, object and embed tags (mostly flash) to make sure they won’t break on April 11th. On that day, Microsoft will be releasing a security update for IE containing a particularly annoying ActiveX update. Any ActiveX control that a user interacts with will now need to be activated. For instance, if you have a flash movie or multimedia object and a user clicks on it, they will get a nice message like this:

ActiveX Activation

One way of avoiding this annoying activation routine is to call your objects via an external script file. Fortunately we’ve been doing this at work with our flash files for quite a while using Geoff Stearns’ FlashObject. By using FlashObject, swf files will not require activation and users will be able to interact with the flash just as if they never got that silly ActiveX update.

So why is all this happening and who should we blame? You guessed it. Micro$oft:

A jury in 2003 found that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser infringed on a patent owned by Eolas and the University of California. The software vendor was ordered to pay $521 million in damages. Microsoft has vowed to fight the ruling, but so far has been unsuccessful in getting the patent invalidated. – Click here to read the full story at Top Tech News

Thank you Microsoft! To read more about making your sites April 11th compliant, visit the msdn page: Activating ActiveX Controls.

2 comments on “ActiveX Update Woes

This shouldn’t have any effect on sIFR, right?

Well, sIFR is called via external js, so no, it will not have any effect.

As a side note, ever since I installed the update, IE 6.0 has been rather flaky. You won’t believe this, but if I click any sIFR link, any external link in a flash movie, or even the home button on the browser, it opens the link in a firefox window. If I click any regular links or the forward/back buttons on the browser it navigates fine. My guess is that the home button, and links created with flash are using ActiveX and that’s why it’s freaking out. I even set IE as my default browser (temporarily) to see if that would make it stop linking to Firefox, but it still has the same behavior. My boss updated his IE as well though and isn’t having these “problems”. 🙂

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