Distributed stupidity

I recently decided I would put my Zune tag on my Live Spaces page. I used the HTML Sandbox gadget to place the HTML on the page. In IE, all is good. In Opera, it wouldn’t show up.

First thing I checked was my Allow Plug-ins settings for the site. I leave it off by default because Flash is just too overused by ads anymore. It was off, so I turned it on. Still nothing.

Then I started looking at the HTML source of the page. The HTML sandbox uses an IFRAME. Hmmm. So I right click the place for my Zune tag and choose Frame>Open in new tab. Its address is not spaces.live.com, it’s start.com. I don’t have anything in Opera saying it’s ok to have plug-ins for start.com. So I add the entry for start.com and allow plug-ins. Now my tag shows up.

Because everything is so distributed anymore, it takes a lot of investigative work to discover why things don’t work. It’s no wonder that so many people can’t run in a more protected mode – like in my case, disabling all plug-ins by default – because to have any decent usability, you have to have so much technical understanding about how to troubleshoot isolated issues.

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