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Mindcraft's QuickTime Plug-In Analysis and Fix

Downloads

QuickTime plug-in fix installer [656KB exe file]

Source for QuickTime plug-in fix installer [36KB text file]

Mindcraft's simple plug-in source diffs [2KB text file]

Microsoft hired Mindcraft, Inc. as an independent test lab with the following assignment:

  • To find the causes of the problems Apple Computer, Inc. reported with Internet Explorer using Apple's QuickTime Web browser plug-in and
  • To devise a solution that would make the QuickTime plug-in work properly with Internet Explorer, if such a solution exists.

The technical details of our work are presented in a separate document entitled Detailed QuickTime Plug-In Problems, Analyses, and Solutions [a 168KB PDF file].

For a less technical perspective, look at our Summary QuickTime Plug-In Problems, Analyses, and Solutions [a 62KB PDF file].

Mindcraft tested whether or not Internet Explorer uses the QuickTime plug-in when it encounters an EMBED HTML tag. Our tests used Microsoft-supplied media files with 11 filename extensions that the QuickTime plug-in supports. We found three test failures where Internet Explorer did not invoke the QuickTime Plug-in as expected. Each failure was the result of one or two Apple errors as shown in Table 1. Apple had the knowledge to correct these errors because, as Table 1 illustrates, Apple properly set the information to tell Internet Explorer to use the QuickTime plug-in for 8 of the 11 test files.

Table 1: Apple's QuickTime Plug-In Errors
(Apple’s errors are indicated by a No in the table)

Did Apple Do It?

Filename Extensions QuickTime Plug-In Supports

QT

VFW

AIFC

AIF

AIFF

AU

AVI

FLC

MID

MOV

WAV

Set the FileExtents resource in the QuickTime Plug-in for each filename extension it is to support, as the Netscape Plug-in specification requires

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Set the EnablePlugin Registry key for each filename extension the QuickTime Plug-in is to support, as ActiveX controls require

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Test Results                      
Before Mindcraft’s fix

Fail

Fail

Fail

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

After Mindcraft’s fix to repair FileExtents and EnablePlugin errors

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Based on our detailed analysis of the problems, we conclude that Microsoft did nothing malicious to cause the QuickTime plug-in to fail. In addition, we find that Apple has bugs in its QuickTime plug-in and its installer that prevent the plug-in from working properly.

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