...problem is that many large companies
have internal systems that were written back when Microsoft pushed ActiveX as
Actually, if these companies had written their internal system software as a
big ActiveX component, they wouldn't have this problem. ActiveX is (as far
as IE's concerned) simply a plugin architecture. Note that the Flash
plugin for IE (an ActiveX control) works the same in IE6-IE8.
The problem with ActiveX is that it's just not an appropriate plugin
technology for browsers. It has no inherent sandboxing capabilities;
there's no way to differentiate between a browser plugin and any other ActiveX
control; and Windows comes with several ActiveX controls that should never be
allowed to be used in a browser (FileSystemObject, anyone)? For what it
was designed for -- resuable components for desktop applications -- it's great,
but MS should have put a little more thought into what they were unleashing when
they decided to make ActiveX the plugin standard for IE. And no, I don't
count "signed" and "marked safe for scripting" features as thought.
No, the problem is that these business systems were all put together using
HTML/CSS content that was only ever written for, or tested with, IE.
Companies that needed these systems took their bizapps people and told 'em to
"make a web version". As is typical with internal apps, they were written
to meet the company's needs as quickly and cheaply as possible; which means
"works in our current environment", not "is ready for the future". Add in
years of ad-hoc tweaks, changes, subsystem additions, and you've got a crufty
piece of web tech that barely works in the originally spec'ed envrionment.
Asking for cross-browser/web standards output from a bunch of stuff written
by programmers who:
- Are used to working with client-side/Winforms VB or C# .Net (or VB6) and SQL
Server/MS Access databases for their bizapps
- Who may or may not be any good at their jobs
- Who may not be the same people who originally wrote the code
- Who were told to pick "fast and cheap" as the two out of three (fast,
- Who were told all of this 10 years ago
is optimistic, at best.