[vlc-devel] [videolan-announce] Update on the VLC browser plugins

Rafaël Carré rafael.carre at gmail.com
Fri Oct 29 22:19:35 CEST 2010

On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 20:47:07 +0300
"Rémi Denis-Courmont" <rem at videolan.org> wrote:

> 	Hello all,
> This is a long overdue update on the state of the two VLC plugins for
> web browsers, i.e. the ActiveX plugin for Microsoft Internet
> Explorer, and the Mozilla plugin for just about every other browser.
> Effective today, the web plugins will be separated from the VLC media
> player.

The web plugins source code repository has been effectively separated
from the VLC media player source code repository.

> This is mostly an organizational change for us developers and
> should not directly affect our end-users. There are several
> motivations behind this:
> ❶ Prove the plugins are really independent from the stand-alone
> player. The web plugins will be used as a testbed to ensure the
> quality of "LibVLC". LibVLC is our Software Development Kit; it
> enables third party computer programs to leverage the power of the
> VLC media player engine.

And indeed they seem to be really independent (although npapi plugin
still doesn't run on windows)

> ❷ Let the web plugins development follow its own pace and decouple it
> from the VLC media player development cycle. This will enable the
> VideoLAN project to deliver innovations and important improvements to
> its flagship VLC media player to end users faster than previously.
> Similarly, enhancements to the web plugins will not anymore be kept
> on hold for months until the next major version of VLC media player
> major is released.
> ❸ Work on the web plugins will become much easier once separated from
> VLC. Hopefully more developers will be able to join the VideoLAN
> project's efforts to deliver a best-of-breed open-source
> cross-platform cost-free multimedia stack.

And yet the npapi/activex plugins are still bundled with standalone
VLC installer for Windows, so there is zero improvement on this side.

The webplugin (npapi) download for OSX has been separated from VLC for
years, I suggest we do the same thing for Windows and Linux.

For Linux we will just need to tag a release, make a tarball, and
upload it somewhere so packagers know where to look.

Difficulty: easy, git tag, make dist, upload tarball, tell packagers.

For Windows since we provide the binaries this might need more work,
e.g. on webpages, and someone needs to write an NSIS script.

Since mozilla plugin installation is disabled by default this should
not be a problem, i can't tell about ActiveX.

Also I think that ActiveX plugins have a unique ID registered to
microsoft, which is associated to an URL, and that the browser (IE)
will fetch the VLC installer from this URL if it's not installed.
Can anyone confirm/infirm, and if it's true tell us how to change this
installer URL?

✍ Rafaël Carré ☺
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