I think the thing that I am finding to be the most annoying these days is the alert for ‘Missing Plugin for Quicktime, please download.’ Well, go figure, I can’t – at least that I know of.
But it’s not just Quicktime files, it’s also those sites that embed video in Windows Media Player format (also something I can’t view) as well as those who embed things requiring Flash 8 (not yet available for Linux, only up to version 7). Similarly, there is no Shockwave player for Firefox on Linux. Which is just … unamusing. In fact, you can see a list here: Common Firefox Plugins to see which are not available on Linux.
I find this all particularly annoying. I love using Linux (Ubuntu) as my primary Operating System – but I am inordinately displeased with the lack of Linux support for such common plugins. I really hope this improves in the near future.
Now, what was the point of this rant? The point was actually Accessibility. Please keep in mind that your web viewers may not have a required plugin. Always keep up to date on what plugins are even available to your users. Asking them to download a plugin is presumptuous enough – asking them to download a plugin that doesn’t exist is downright ridiculous and reflects poorly on your site. If you are trying to determine a good media type to pick – choose the least common denominator. In this case, that means use RealPlayer file formats or <= Flash 7.