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TechNote #: 111 Last modified:5/02/05

Security warning when using MathPlayer with Internet Explorer 6 and Windows XP Service Pack 2


The information in this document applies to:

MathPlayer 2.0 and later

Windows XP Professional and
XP Home Service Pack 2
Internet Explorer 6


Issue

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes many new security enhancements. Some affect Internet Explorer (IE) browser behavior. These changes can result in security warnings on pages being run from local hard disks or CD's that contain MathML equations displayed by our MathPlayer plug-in.

This is typically evident when viewing a page containing MathML. You may receive the following message, usually in the form of a pop-down (the new Information Bar) below the URL address field:

"To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this file from showing active content that could access your computer. Click here for options..."

For more information about Internet Explorer's information bar, read the Microsoft article, Description of the Internet Explorer Information Bar in Windows XP SP2


Reason

Windows XP Service Pack 2 introduces more stringent security on pages being run from local hard disks or CD's. Depending on Internet Explorer's security settings, MathPlayer 2.0b can be prevented from running on pages containing MathML content. To learn more, read the Microsoft article, Introduction to URL Security Zones.


Solution

There are two basic approaches for overcoming the restrictions put forth by Windows XP Service Pack 2. One focuses on the viewer of web content and the other addresses this from the perspective of the web author.

  • Viewing web pages from the local hard disk or CD's
    If the frequency of viewing these types of pages is minimal, it may be reasonable to simply click through the security warning, allowing the content to be displayed. However for those who expect a greater frequency, and where it is feasible, there is an Internet Explorer Security setting that allows you to run pages containing MathML content with lowered restrictions.
    • Check Tools|Internet Options|Advanced
    • Check Allow active content to run in files on My Computer
    • Check Allow active content to run from CDs on My Computer
       
  • For web authors
    For web authors creating pages that invoke MathPlayer to render pages containing MathML, particularly for those whose pages will be distributed on disk for local viewing, "Mark of the Web" is a way of adding a comment into a web page that prevents Internet Explorer from blocking active content. For more detailed information, please view the Microsoft article, Mark of the Web.