Re: Local program execution in WWW browsers

Bert Bos <>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 15:05:12 --100
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From: Bert Bos <>
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Subject: Re: Local program execution in WWW browsers
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Chris Lilley wrote (reformatted a bit, BB):

 |Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund wrote:
 |[ about mosaic applets]
 |I see nothing in this that is especially NCSA Mosaic specific,
 |although the tome of it suggests that the author is thinking
 |exclusively in terms of NCSA Mosaic for X.
 |Could I sugest that the few remaining places where X resources and
 |so on are mentioned be revised ( alternatives are given anyway) so
 |it applies to all versions of Mosaic; and further that it be made a
 |general interface so that an applet written to the spec will also
 |work with other conforming browsers on whatever platform?
 |I feel this would then become a very valuable proposal which I
 |suspect would be supported by browser implementors as it would
 |reduce the burden on them from feature requests.

A valuable suggestion, but an ambitious one. When I think of
interprocess communication I cannot help but think in terms of Unix
concepts (or X). To abstract away from that and still come up with
something that works efficiently everywhere will be difficult.

Nevertheless, I am going to give it a try (I was going to, anyway),
based on the idea of a protocol that alternates commands and
responses, of variable length up to a certain maximum, and with room
for later adding new commands that won't break older versions.

It's probably too early to attempt a universal solution, but if there
is interest, I'd be happy to occasionally report on my progress.

So, who suggests the first batch of things that a `WWW control center'
and an accessory would want to exchange?

                    / _   Bert Bos <>   |
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