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Launch an application from Netscape

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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mesmith
Asked:
mesmith
1 Solution
 
viroCommented:
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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cuCommented:
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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mesmithAuthor Commented:
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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mesmithAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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mesmithAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 200
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gracieCommented:
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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mesmithAuthor Commented:
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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gracieCommented:
To me, it says that only the insecure need worry :}


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