Re: Third-party browser enhancements?

David C. Martin (
Fri, 2 Sep 1994 04:36:26 +0200



Researchers at the U. of California have created software for embedding
interactive program objects within hypermedia documents. Previously,
object linking and embedding (OLE) has been employed on single machines or
local area networks using MS Windows -TM-. This UC software is the
first instance where program objects have been embedded in documents
over an open and distributed hypermedia environment such as the
World Wide Web on the Internet.
The researchers' first application, already ported to an X Window
environment, enhances NCSA Mosaic -TM- -a client program for the WWW- so
that the user can interactively control the display of a 3D medical image
-generated from a gigabyte-sized data set- on a window within a Mosaic
document. The user can rotate the object at will, zoom in or out, do
oblique sectioning, highlight hidden parts, alter the color mapping and
image contrast, all under real-time control. These capabilities represent
a substantial improvement over current image display applications in
Mosaic, which are limited to display of static images and non-interactive
playback modes.
It is anticipated that many additional applications which require
advanced real-time large-scale data processing could be developed from
this technology. Numerous commercial opportunities for software sales -to
both clients and servers- and database subscription services could arise
from products based on the UC embedded program objects. Such applications
might include:

- internet accesible on-line databases, software libraries, and software
demos which involve large-scale data processing
- 'smart' documents for personal forms, financial or consumer
transactions, credit reports, confidential communications, etc.
- virtual reality applications
- real-time high-level information exchanges, such as multiuser CAD
- multi-users 'groupware' programs

Inquiries to.. Martha Luehrmann
UC Office of Technology Transfer
Reference: UC Case 94-108
Nick Arnett writes:

At 7:14 AM 9/1/94 +0200, Ryan Grant wrote:

I think accessability is a valid concern, but NCSA has not donated the
Mosaic code to the public domain. I'm not going to argue how involved
you have a right to be just because it's partially federally funded.
I will say that managing bugs in donated code is not appealing, and this
is a consideration. There may be other ways to get involved, including
developing applet programs (via interprocess communication), and
demonstrating your ideas without needing to build them into a browser.

Can you provide some clear indication of where you are headed in this
regard? There would seem to be several potential strategies for
integrating third-party executables -- PPC, as you mention, client CGI
(CCI) or some sort of plug-in scheme.


Nick Arnett "We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity."
Verity Inc. -- Pogo (Walt Kelly)