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4.8.4 The object element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
If the element has a usemap attribute: Interactive content.
Listed, submittable, form-associated element.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more param elements, then flow content and/or interactive content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
data
type
typemustmatch
name
usemap
form
width
height
DOM interface:
interface HTMLObjectElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString data;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute boolean typeMustMatch;
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString useMap;
  readonly attribute HTMLFormElement? form;
           attribute DOMString width;
           attribute DOMString height;
  readonly attribute Document? contentDocument;
  readonly attribute WindowProxy? contentWindow;

  readonly attribute boolean willValidate;
  readonly attribute ValidityState validity;
  readonly attribute DOMString validationMessage;
  boolean checkValidity();
  void setCustomValidity(DOMString error);

  legacycaller any (any... arguments);
};

Depending on the type of content instantiated by the object element, the node also supports other interfaces.

The object element can represent an external resource, which, depending on the type of the resource, will either be treated as an image, as a nested browsing context, or as an external resource to be processed by a plugin.

The data attribute, if present, specifies the address of the resource. If present, the attribute must be a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

Authors who reference resources from other origins that they do not trust are urged to use the typemustmatch attribute defined below. Without that attribute, it is possible in certain cases for an attacker on the remote host to use the plugin mechanism to run arbitrary scripts, even if the author has used features such as the Flash "allowScriptAccess" parameter.

The type attribute, if present, specifies the type of the resource. If present, the attribute must be a valid MIME type.

At least one of either the data attribute or the type attribute must be present.

The typemustmatch attribute is a boolean attribute whose presence indicates that the resource specified by the data attribute is only to be used if the value of the type attribute and the Content-Type of the aforementioned resource match.

The typemustmatch attribute must not be specified unless both the data attribute and the type attribute are present.

The name attribute, if present, must be a valid browsing context name. The given value is used to name the nested browsing context, if applicable.

Whenever one of the following conditions occur:

...the user agent must queue a task to run the following steps to (re)determine what the object element represents. The task source for this task is the DOM manipulation task source. This task being queued or actively running must delay the load event of the element's document.

  1. If the user has indicated a preference that this object element's fallback content be shown instead of the element's usual behavior, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

    For example, a user could ask for the element's fallback content to be shown because that content uses a format that the user finds more accessible.

  2. If the element has an ancestor media element, or has an ancestor object element that is not showing its fallback content, or if the element is not in a Document with a browsing context, or if the element's Document is not fully active, or if the element is still in the stack of open elements of an HTML parser or XML parser, or if the element is not being rendered, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

  3. If the classid attribute is present, and has a value that isn't the empty string, then: if the user agent can find a plugin suitable according to the value of the classid attribute, and either plugins aren't being sandboxed or that plugin can be secured, then that plugin should be used, and the value of the data attribute, if any, should be passed to the plugin. If no suitable plugin can be found, or if the plugin reports an error, jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

  4. If the data attribute is present and its value is not the empty string, then:

    1. If the type attribute is present and its value is not a type that the user agent supports, and is not a type that the user agent can find a plugin for, then the user agent may jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback) without fetching the content to examine its real type.

    2. Resolve the URL specified by the data attribute, relative to the element.

    3. If that failed, fire a simple event named error at the element, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

    4. Fetch the resulting absolute URL, from the element's browsing context scope origin if it has one.

      Fetching the resource must delay the load event of the element's document until the task that is queued by the networking task source once the resource has been fetched (defined next) has been run.

      For the purposes of the application cache networking model, this fetch operation is not for a child browsing context (though it might end up being used for one after all, as defined below).

    5. If the resource is not yet available (e.g. because the resource was not available in the cache, so that loading the resource required making a request over the network), then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback). The task that is queued by the networking task source once the resource is available must restart this algorithm from this step. Resources can load incrementally; user agents may opt to consider a resource "available" whenever enough data has been obtained to begin processing the resource.

    6. If the load failed (e.g. there was an HTTP 404 error, there was a DNS error), fire a simple event named error at the element, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

    7. Determine the resource type, as follows:

      1. Let the resource type be unknown.

      2. If the object element has a type attribute and a typemustmatch attribute, and the resource has associated Content-Type metadata, and the type specified in the resource's Content-Type metadata is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the value of the element's type attribute, then let resource type be that type and jump to the step below labeled handler.

      3. If the object element has a typemustmatch attribute, jump to the step below labeled handler.

      4. If the user agent is configured to strictly obey Content-Type headers for this resource, and the resource has associated Content-Type metadata, then let the resource type be the type specified in the resource's Content-Type metadata, and jump to the step below labeled handler.

        This can introduce a vulnerability, wherein a site is trying to embed a resource that uses a particular plugin, but the remote site overrides that and instead furnishes the user agent with a resource that triggers a different plugin with different security characteristics.

      5. If there is a type attribute present on the object element, and that attribute's value is not a type that the user agent supports, but it is a type that a plugin supports, then let the resource type be the type specified in that type attribute, and jump to the step below labeled handler.

      6. Run the approprate set of steps from the following list:

        The resource has associated Content-Type metadata
        1. Let binary be false.

        2. If the type specified in the resource's Content-Type metadata is "text/plain", and the result of applying the rules for distinguishing if a resource is text or binary to the resource is that the resource is not text/plain, then set binary to true.

        3. If the type specified in the resource's Content-Type metadata is "application/octet-stream", then set binary to true.

        4. If binary is false, then let the resource type be the type specified in the resource's Content-Type metadata, and jump to the step below labeled handler.

        5. If there is a type attribute present on the object element, and its value is not application/octet-stream, then run the following steps:

          1. If the attribute's value is a type that a plugin supports, or the attribute's value is a type that starts with "image/" that is not also an XML MIME type, then let the resource type be the type specified in that type attribute.

          2. Jump to the step below labeled handler.

        The resource does not have associated Content-Type metadata
        1. If there is a type attribute present on the object element, then let the tentative type be the type specified in that type attribute.

          Otherwise, let tentative type be the sniffed type of the resource.

        2. If tentative type is not application/octet-stream, then let resource type be tentative type and jump to the step below labeled handler.

      7. If the <path> component of the URL of the specified resource (after any redirects) matches a pattern that a plugin supports, then let resource type be the type that that plugin can handle.

        For example, a plugin might say that it can handle resources with <path> components that end with the four character string ".swf".

      It is possible for this step to finish, or for one of the substeps above to jump straight to the next step, with resource type still being unknown. In both cases, the next step will trigger fallback.

    8. Handler: Handle the content as given by the first of the following cases that matches:

      If the resource type is not a type that the user agent supports, but it is a type that a plugin supports

      If plugins are being sandboxed and the plugin that supports resource type cannot be secured, jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

      Otherwise, the user agent should use the plugin that supports resource type and pass the content of the resource to that plugin. If the plugin reports an error, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

      If the resource type is an XML MIME type, or if the resource type does not start with "image/"

      The object element must be associated with a newly created nested browsing context, if it does not already have one.

      If the URL of the given resource is not about:blank, the element's nested browsing context must then be navigated to that resource, with replacement enabled, and with the object element's document's browsing context as the source browsing context. (The data attribute of the object element doesn't get updated if the browsing context gets further navigated to other locations.)

      If the URL of the given resource is about:blank, then, instead, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event named load at the object element. No load event is fired at the about:blank document itself.

      The object element represents the nested browsing context.

      If the name attribute is present, the browsing context name must be set to the value of this attribute; otherwise, the browsing context name must be set to the empty string.

      In certain situations, e.g. if the resource was fetched from an application cache but it is an HTML file with a manifest attribute that points to a different application cache manifest, the navigation of the browsing context will be restarted so as to load the resource afresh from the network or a different application cache. Even if the resource is then found to have a different type, it is still used as part of a nested browsing context: only the navigate algorithm is restarted, not this object algorithm.

      If the resource type starts with "image/", and support for images has not been disabled

      Apply the image sniffing rules to determine the type of the image.

      The object element represents the specified image. The image is not a nested browsing context.

      If the image cannot be rendered, e.g. because it is malformed or in an unsupported format, jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

      Otherwise

      The given resource type is not supported. Jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

      If the previous step ended with the resource type being unknown, this is the case that is triggered.

    9. The element's contents are not part of what the object element represents.

    10. Once the resource is completely loaded, queue a task to fire a simple event named load at the element.

      The task source for this task is the DOM manipulation task source.

  5. If the data attribute is absent but the type attribute is present, and the user agent can find a plugin suitable according to the value of the type attribute, and either plugins aren't being sandboxed or the plugin can be secured, then that plugin should be used. If these conditions cannot be met, or if the plugin reports an error, jump to the next step (fallback).

  6. (Fallback.) The object element represents the element's children, ignoring any leading param element children. This is the element's fallback content. If the element has an instantiated plugin, then unload it.

When the algorithm above instantiates a plugin, the user agent should pass to the plugin used the names and values of all the attributes on the element, in the order they were added to the element, with the attributes added by the parser being ordered in source order, followed by a parameter named "PARAM" whose value is null, followed by all the names and values of parameters given by param elements that are children of the object element, in tree order. If the plugin supports a scriptable interface, the HTMLObjectElement object representing the element should expose that interface. The object element represents the plugin. The plugin is not a nested browsing context.

Plugins are considered sandboxed for the purpose of an object element if the sandboxed plugins browsing context flag is set on the object element's Document's active sandboxing flag set.

Due to the algorithm above, the contents of object elements act as fallback content, used only when referenced resources can't be shown (e.g. because it returned a 404 error). This allows multiple object elements to be nested inside each other, targeting multiple user agents with different capabilities, with the user agent picking the first one it supports.

Whenever the name attribute is set, if the object element has a nested browsing context, its name must be changed to the new value. If the attribute is removed, if the object element has a browsing context, the browsing context name must be set to the empty string.

The usemap attribute, if present while the object element represents an image, can indicate that the object has an associated image map. The attribute must be ignored if the object element doesn't represent an image.

The form attribute is used to explicitly associate the object element with its form owner.

Constraint validation: object elements are always barred from constraint validation.

The object element supports dimension attributes.

The IDL attributes data, type and name each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name. The typeMustMatch IDL attribute must reflect the typemustmatch content attribute. The useMap IDL attribute must reflect the usemap content attribute.

The contentDocument IDL attribute must return the Document object of the active document of the object element's nested browsing context, if it has one; otherwise, it must return null.

The contentWindow IDL attribute must return the WindowProxy object of the object element's nested browsing context, if it has one; otherwise, it must return null.

The willValidate, validity, and validationMessage attributes, and the checkValidity() and setCustomValidity() methods, are part of the constraint validation API. The form IDL attribute is part of the element's forms API.

All object elements have a legacy caller operation. If the object element has an instantiated plugin that supports a scriptable interface that defines a legacy caller operation, then that must be the behavior of the object's legacy caller operation. Otherwise, the object's legacy caller operation must be to throw a NotSupportedError exception.

In the following example, a Java applet is embedded in a page using the object element. (Generally speaking, it is better to avoid using applets like these and instead use native JavaScript and HTML to provide the functionality, since that way the application will work on all Web browsers without requiring a third-party plugin. Many devices, especially embedded devices, do not support third-party technologies like Java.)

<figure>
 <object type="application/x-java-applet">
  <param name="code" value="MyJavaClass">
  <p>You do not have Java available, or it is disabled.</p>
 </object>
 <figcaption>My Java Clock</figcaption>
</figure>

In this example, an HTML page is embedded in another using the object element.

<figure>
 <object data="clock.html"></object>
 <figcaption>My HTML Clock</figcaption>
</figure>

The following example shows how a plugin can be used in HTML (in this case the Flash plugin, to show a video file). Fallback is provided for users who do not have Flash enabled, in this case using the video element to show the video for those using user agents that support video, and finally providing a link to the video for those who have neither Flash nor a video-capable browser.

<p>Look at my video:
 <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash">
  <param name=movie value="http://video.example.com/library/watch.swf">
  <param name=allowfullscreen value=true>
  <param name=flashvars value="http://video.example.com/vids/315981">
  <video controls src="http://video.example.com/vids/315981">
   <a href="http://video.example.com/vids/315981">View video</a>.
  </video>
 </object>
</p>