May 27, 2006
IE 7b vs Plug-in Detection Redux
The last Information Gift described a problem with widely used Windows Media plug-in detection scripts which annoyingly trigger the new ActiveX alert bar in IE7. I recently received word that at the request of the Windows Media Player team, the WMP 6.4 shim control will not be pre-approved in IE7.
The skinny on this is if you use AWStats' awstats_misc_tracker.js for technographic reporting, or utilize Windows Media plug-in detection based on code from sources like WebMonkey or Apple, then you'll need to change your scripts to rely on post-WMP 6.4 ProgID to save your IE7 users confusion and perhaps some trepidation.
For instance, awstats_misc_tracker.js uses the following code and ProgID to set up their test for the presence of Windows Media Player 6.4 and greater:
var TRKwma = awstats_detectIE("MediaPlayer.MediaPlayer.1")
The ProgID employed here is MediaPlayer.MediaPlayer.1, which maps to the WMP 6.4 shim control on newer and updated systems and WMP 6.4 on older setups.
Instead of using this now problematic ProgID, if you replace the line with the following:
var TRKwma = awstats_detectIE("wmplayer.ocx")
Then AWStats will now report on Win IE visitors with support for WMP 7 and above. Changing the ProgID in your custom detection & degradation scripts will likewise avoid this problem with IE7.
Sites employing AWStats and affected WMP plug-in detection should make this change sooner rather than later, both to avoid upsetting early adopters (who may very well be your more technically inclined clients) and to get a head start on IE7 compatibility.