Microsoft vs Eolas Update

It apparently took Zeldman's take on the plugin suit for the news to reach Slashdot.

I had already ranted on a bit concerning the suit's applicability to other browsers like Mozilla and Applications/Safari, but since that aspect is constantly downplayed by the Linux zealots, it keeps getting flooded in the anti-Microsoft propaganda. But the fact that Jeffrey Zeldman went out of his way to explain exactly why other browsers are equally liable and what that actually means seems to have gotten the point across.

Meanwhile, the alternative approaches that Microsoft apparently proposes (based on the article) border on the reckless. Mention is made of using DHTML to launch external applications (as if the JavaScript security model wasn't broken already) and other kludgy (and potentially dangerous) workarounds that apparently ignore the fact that the plugin/ActiveX/applet model had security constraints built in for a lot of very good reasons.

Other techniques, like the one described here and used on, are just plain stupid ways to circumvent the "thou shalt not directly render dynamic content" commandment. I mean, document.write is one of the worst JavaScript kludges ever bestowed upon us, and using it to create IFRAMEs for the purpose of grabbing just enough broken HTML to activate Flash content is an absolutely hideous way of going about things - tantamount to greasing a Chihuahua and forcing it through a fat hosepipe while throwing it through a flaming hoop held by a cartwheeling elephant.

Heck, the little critter was perfectly capable of jumping through a regular hoop on its own... Why mess up things?

As before, very few hard facts have come to light on the actual terms of the patent and precisely what Microsoft intends to do to IE. Even the public-web-plugins mailing-list has yielded very little - a week back, people seemed more concerned in debating spurious instances of prior art (like custom BBS and intranet front-ends harking from the IBM 3270 days) and bashing Microsoft than actually sharing factual information...

But it might be just me. After all, this week's workload made it impossible to keep track of any mailing-list, and I have something like 1300 messages to wade through still...

Update: via Simon Willison, here's Ray Ozzie's demonstration of embedded content in Lotus Notes. Could it be considered as "prior art"?