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Launch an application from Netscape

Posted on 1997-06-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I am working on an information system based on HTML pages using Netscape as a frontend.  I would like to be able to launch an application to plot data from a link.  The obvious way to do this is to make the application a helper; however, I need to pass some command line arguments to the application. Thus far I have not been able to determine if this is possible.

I want everything to run on the client side, so no cgi solutions will work.

If using a plug-in is the answer I would like to know an easy way to turn my application into a plugin, e.g. a plug-in skeleton that I can pop my application into.

Any ideas?

Note:  cu made a pertinent comment about adding argument parameters to the commandline in the MIME configurations file.  The question remains, how does one pass arguments to the application?  What kind of HTML tag would one use for the arguments?  Would something like

      <a href="file.myext  arg1 arg2">

where myext is registered in the MIME configuration file work?
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Question by:mesmith
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Expert Comment

by:viro
ID: 1854275
You must tell to your 'clients' to put on 'mime types section' a type (ex:*.mesmith) and the application that will run when this extension appears.
Then, the browser will launch the application every times this extension appears.

Hope it help!
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Expert Comment

by:cu
ID: 1854276
In Netscape 4, go thru Edit, Preferences, Applications. Find the wanted file type, click Edit and write applications name, some paramater placeholders (%1, %2 etc.) and command line arguments.
Everytime you click that filetype, Netscape will ask you "Shall I open it or save to disk", you have to choose "open it". If the program supports OLE/ActiveX, then Netscape can open the application inplace, i.e. within the main browser window.
This solution should work in NS3 as well.
Good luck...
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Author Comment

by:mesmith
ID: 1854277
The question is how do I pass arguments to the application.  The comment made by cu appears to be more to the point.
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Author Comment

by:mesmith
ID: 1854278
Edited text of question
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Author Comment

by:mesmith
ID: 1854279
Adjusted points to 200
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Accepted Solution

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gracie earned 800 total points
ID: 1854280
Allowing Netscape to run applications on the client side would be a major securtiy breach.  So, yes, a plug-in would be one way to go, though it would be a major undertaking.  

However, you could use a java applet that is actually on your server, but is downloaded to the client machine to execute.  The variables could be passed as paramiters.


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Author Comment

by:mesmith
ID: 1854281
You win the jackpot gracie.  I came to the conclusion that a plugin was the only solution and bit the bullet and did it.  I am fairly pleased with the results; however, as you point out, I will need to be very careful with security.  Actually, I intend for the entire archival system to reside on cdrom with no access to a web server or the user's machine being necessary.  I only want to use Netscape as a user interface.

An interesting thing I learned along the way.  Microsoft explorer allows applications to run on the client side very easily and simply.  What does that say about security?
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Expert Comment

by:gracie
ID: 1854282
To me, it says that only the insecure need worry :}


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