Re: Local program exection in WWW browsers

Marc VanHeyningen <>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 07:35:22 --100
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From: Marc VanHeyningen <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Local program exection in WWW browsers
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Organization: Computer Science Dept, Indiana University
Organization: Computer Science Dept, Indiana University
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>We're looking to use Safe-Tcl/Tk scripts in the sense of a
>displayable document type, like HTML, or Postscript for
>the WWW client we're building.
>Safe-Tcl/Tk was originally conceived to support active email.
>We'll be adding functionality to allow scripts controlled
>access to user's files as well as remote servers.
>We'll likely be distributing a Safe wish including our
>extensions which could be used as an external viewer by
>other WWW browsers.

This sounds like a reasonable approach, and I'm glad to see it
happening.  It seems like this is only half of what is needed, though.
Presumably we want this interpreter to be able to interact with the
WWW client after it is running.  Offhand, I can think of at least two
new commands you would want the untrusted interpreter; one to send the
client a URL and have it go to and display it, and one to send a MIME
message (which may be a part of a multipart structure the program was
enclosed in, or HTML built on the fly, or whatever) to the client to
be displayed as though it were sent by a server.

Unfortunately this means defining a way to tell clients to do this.
Obviously implementing this for TkWWW will be trivial, but most
clients don't have any provision for this kind of stuff (and those
that do often implement it poorly.)  Either that or embed the
interpreters in the client itself, which is unlikely to happen soon.

>There is a mailing list (

Is it archived somewhere?

- Marc
Marc VanHeyningen  MIME, RIPEM & HTTP spoken here