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CGI question

I have Microsoft excel plugins. Then It is possible to view Excel files in browser.
But I want to excel files to be viewed in browser or to
be launched by ,for instance, EXCEL which is registerd in netscape(options->helpers) in netscape menu, Selectivley.
Is it possible ? or if it is not possble
Is a way to launch a specific application in client?
Sorry, I am not sure which topic area is fitted to above quetion, CGI or javascript.
Thaks in advance.  
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molla051997
Asked:
molla051997
1 Solution
 
mkornellCommented:
No, CGI is the right area.

When you send the file to the client, you don't have control over what happens to it when it gets there.  What you can do is tell the client what kind of file it is, by using the "Content-type" HTTP header.  For example, HTML files use a header of "Content-type: text/html".  GIF files use a header of "Content-type: image/gif" and Word files use a header of "Content-type: application/msword".

You can have a CGI script set this header explicitly when serving a request, or you can configure your web server to map file extensions to headers (typically, this is set in the mime.types configuration file).

However, it is totally up to the client as to what to do with the file when it gets it.  It looks at the Content-type header (or, in IE's case, the file extension) and figures out what kind of file it is.  Then, its configuration (via options->helpers or otherwise) tells it what application to send the file to.

Netscape calls that its helper list.  IE actually uses the system-wide file type configuration.  For example, I use IE, and I've got my system configured to open .txt files with WordPad.  Whenever I get a .txt file through IE, WordPad gets openend and my selection is displayed.

The web server doesn't have any control over what I do with the text file.  It sends me the file, tells me it is a text file, and I do with it what I please.  The server cannot tell me to open it with (say...) Notepad.

I don't know it that will let you do what you want.  If you configure your web server to send the right Content-type header for a file, the client can be configured to do something with the file.  But the client configuration is under control of the client, not the server.

HTH,
--mark;
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