Microsoft Announces Changes to IE for Developers

In a move likely to break some existing applications, Microsoft announced changes
to the Internet Explorer programming model, scheduled to be released
with Service Pack 1b for Internet Explorer 6, updating the version
number to 6.01. I suspect this change is in response to losing a lawsuit
from Eolas over their object embedding technologies. There has been a
lot of speculation that Microsoft did not seek other solutions short of
limiting their own products by, for example, buying the company and
their patent, because the change might be more damaging to Microsoft
competitors than to Microsoft themselves. That would be evil.

There
could be many implications of this decision, and each developer will
need to evaluate their own code. Microsoft provides a beta of the
“bits” to test. I’ll need to wait until I have a sacrificial machine
from the TR&A labs to test them out. Applications I’m concerned
about right away include those with embedded HTML Help, embedded IE
browsers, and those I’ve written to spider web sites, including those
with RSS feeds.

Ken Levy, now Visual FoxPro Product Manager,
distributed code to use an embedded IE control as WebExplorerX, when he
was an independent developer and posting his samples to
http://www.classx.com (no longer available but you can find archive
echos at
http://web.archive.org/web/20000511064829/http://www.classx.com/). If
you used some of the WebExplorerX technology, you’ll want to retest
with Microsoft’s patches. Good luck!

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