Goodbye Mr. Click-To-Activate

imageI'm not sure how I missed this one, but for those of you not following Tim Heuer's blog, he's recently blogged about an announcement from Pete LePage of the Internet Explorer team about an update to Internet Explorer that will eliminate those "Click to Activate" messages that have been annoying us for what seems like forever.  Coming in December the "Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview" (I agree with Tim - this is a silly name) will enable people to use ActiveX objects on the web (such as the Flash Player, or YouTube embedded videos) to use those objects without having to activate them first.

Of course, your web site didn't *need* to show the Click to Activate messaging - it all depended on how you rendered the ActiveX control (see picture at the top of post).  If you used JavaScript to "inject" the object or embed tag within the browser (such as what Silverlight has been doing) you were automatically good to go.  If you put an object or embed tag directly into your HTML (such as what the ASP.NET Futures code does when you add an <asp:media> element) the annoying C2A message would appear.  Based on how annoying these messages are, I'm surprised that relatively few sites made the update to their object tag rendering to eliminate the messaging.  Perhaps people didn't know, or didn't want to spend the cycles to make the adjustments - can't say I blame them, but no C2A does make for a better overall UX...

And besides, I'm wondering why it took so long to work this out with EOLAS - especially since we've been complaining about the C2A functionality for a long time.  I know there was litigation involved, and there was probably some wrangling about licensing costs, but this has been something that has caused people heartburn about using IE and moving them more towards alternative browsers such as Firefox and Opera.  At least after the update, this problem will be gone and we'll be able to go back to the behavior we'd expect from IE...

Thanks IE Team!

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Comments (2)
  1. Eric Hexter says:

    I am so glad to hear this.  It has been painful spending development time updating the C2A scripts when we should be working on new site functionality.  

  2. Eric says:

    Well, the original judgment against Microsoft for this patent of questionable validity was for half a billion dollars, and that didn’t count ongoing licensing.  

    It’s amazing this got settled positively at all.

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