Re: launching executables through HTML files (Marc Andreessen)
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 93 18:27:22 -0500
From: (Marc Andreessen)
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: launching executables through HTML files 
In-reply-to: <9306200334.AA01080@austin.BSDI.COM>
References: <9306200334.AA01080@austin.BSDI.COM>
X-Md4-Signature: 9cdb9b7ce78789eb2891f0c783c53244
Tony Sanders writes:
> 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.

The reason I've held off doing that in general, believe it or not, is
because I'm not sure what method to use.  I'd rather not invent a new
method.  I may use mailcaps (RFC 1343).  ?

> 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.

Except that one thing you're never going to do (at least, that I'm
never going to want to let you do :-) is to actually retrieve
executables over the net.  If you look at it from the point of view
that the access method of a URL describes the process to be used to
fetch data, then you could say that could be (a) a network protocol or
(b) a local executable, without violating the metaphor.

I dunno... I still don't like the idea of firing off arbitrary
executables on the client side, so I'm not gonna strenuously argue
either way.

I take it by your use of the exec/* content type that the command to
be executed would be in the data part of the message element and not
in the subtype field of the content type, though, right?