Re: launching executables through HTML files

Tony Sanders <>
Message-id: <9306200334.AA01080@austin.BSDI.COM>
Subject: Re: launching executables through HTML files 
In-Reply-To: Marc Andreessen's message of Sat, 19 Jun 93 21:50:04 CDT.
Organization: Berkeley Software Design, Inc.
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1993 22:34:46 -0500
From: Tony Sanders <>
> command: the browser would fork off this (more or less trusted)
> application which could perform verification, testing of pathnames, or
> whatever before giving the user a dialog box that would allow the
> command to actually be launched.  Would this be a widely applauded
> idea or should the browser just handle things itself (throw up the
> command in a dialog box and say, "OK buddy, yes or no?")?

I think you should be able to configure the browser as to what MIME types
it should handle and which get passed to an external program.  Something
like the following (for X applications anyway):

XMosaic*contentTranslations: \
    		#override			\n\
    text/html:	text_html()			\n\
    text/*:	text_plain()			\n\
    image/gif:	image_gif()			\n\
    image/jpg:	image_jpg()			\n\
    image/*:	exec(xv)			\n\
    video/mpg:	exec(mpeg_play -loop)		\n\
    audio/*:	exec(audio_play)		\n\
    exec/*:	verify_exec() exec(exec_handler)\n\
    */*:	unknown()

The #override means replace the translation table completely,
otherwise do a merge.

Can anyone see that having a URL "exec:..." is better than simply
groking "content-type: exec/*"?  I think using content-type is
better because the "....:" part of a URL should specify how to
retrive the data, not what to do with it.