Mozilla ActiveX Control Introduction Motivation “Wouldn’t it be great if the Mozilla browser engine were an Active control that could be embedded as in applications? That’s delphi explorer.exe question that myself and other had asked on the Mozilla groups soon after the Mozilla project began. Wouldn’t it be great if the Mozilla control used the same API as the Internet Explorer control? The aim of this project is to be both of these things.
Navigator were arguably superior to IE as day to day browsers but they suffered through their immediate usability and modularity. Although the Netscape browser was great as a standalone application, it wasn’t possible to utilize that functionality in third party applications. On the other hand, Internet Explorer shipped with an ActiveX control which allowed exactly that ability. There are hundreds of others apps, some commercial and probably many more running in intranets all over the world. So what would it take for developers to use the Mozilla control as opposed to the IE control? ActiveX Control Implementation Not just a similar API An identical one! Since the Mozilla control implements exactly the same API, it will mean that developers can take existing IE code and port it, sometimes in a matter of minutes!
VB developers must delete the IE control from their project and insert a Mozilla one with the same instance name. Obviously an application will not be so portable if it is viewing IE specific HTML such as VBScript, ActiveX controls or DHTML. In this case, the application may need to modify the HTML content in order to be compatible. Why not just use native Gecko API calls? So if you’re a VB or Delphi programmer, your only way of using Mozilla is through the control. Also, it’s the easiest way to port code that already uses IE. Since it is a true ActiveX control, it can be shipped without headers or source.