Standard Internet-Aware Objects

As a benefit to control developers, Microsoft will supply Internet-aware picture, sound, and video objects that will make dealing with these data formats in the Internet environment a non-issue for many controls. The existing picture object, for example, makes a control's manipulation of a bitmap, metafile, or icon nearly effortless. The additional objects described here aim to do the same for their respective data types, where all standard objects will support the ability to retrieve large data BLOBs in an asynchronous manner.

A function called OleLoadPicturePath became available in the final version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. OleLoadPicturePath takes a moniker and a bind context (which the control retrieves from the IBindHost interface) and takes care of the details of downloading the picture. In return, OleLoadPicturePath provides an IPicture interface pointer that is identical to the standard picture object that already exists. The control can simply call IPicture::Render to draw the image.

The exact specifications for other picture object enhancements and other standard objects are not available at this time. The design may be done along the lines of a "data type" architecture so that new objects supporting other data types can be added in the same manner. In addition, the architecture might support plug-in "player" objects that extend the usable formats for each data type object. For example, a standard picture object would probably support formats such as BMP, DIB, Metafile, Icon, GIF, and JPEG natively. Individual "players" could then be plugged into this picture object for supporting other formats, such as TIFF, PCX, or other proprietary formats. As each player would be a COM object in itself, controls could take advantage of any "code download" technology for these players.