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How to launch a local application through the browser?

Posted on 1997-10-29
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Last Modified: 2008-03-03
I have install some application onto my local hard disk and
I would like to be able to launch this application by just
clicking on the hyperlink from the html page.

eg. <a href="file://C:/win95/notepad.exe">Notepad</a> executable application.
Using this method, I have actually popup the save as dialog
asking me to save this file. But I want to launch it, so I can do some typing.

Any help will be appreciated.
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Question by:wsm
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Holger101497 earned 600 total points
ID: 1841121
YES! There is a way of doing it!
You have to use it with some care, though... Netscape only allows for one treatment of a specific filetype, so every *.exe file you click on some server will be treated the same way!

You need a little workaround here:
Netscape will only let you save an application or choose a viewer for it. Now which file can you use to "view" an application?
The easiest way is a batch file that only contains two characters: "%1" !!! (to be continued)

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by:Holger101497
ID: 1841122
After that, you go to Options | General preferences |Helpers and choose the filetype application/octet-stream with the extension *.exe. Choose "Launch application" at the bottom of the screen and enter the name of your batch-file. Netscape will pass the name of the link to the batchfile and the batch file will execute it (try it, it worked on my machine).

I think that answers your question, but once again: CAREFUL! You should definitely put some checks into your batch file. "%1" is a very nice and short batch file and maybe you would be annoyed by always having to confirm if you really want to open the application, BUT anybody who is mean could get access to your harddisk that way and could probably figure out a way to delete data!! (Links can even be "disguised" by JavaScript!!
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by:Holger101497
ID: 1841123
My answer was tested in Netscape 3 Gold under Windows NT (at university).
In Communicator, this seems to cause a problem, because it does not allow you to modify the way *.exe files are handled - maybe because of the dangers I mentioned above.

Then I changed something in Netscape 3 and all of a sudden Communicator asked me if I want to open or save exe-files (which is the perfect solution). I am not sure what it was I changed... Do you look for this as a general solution to launch applications or just for a few? One way to go (also a lot safer) is to create a batch file for Notepad exclusively and just set Communicator to execute batch-files...

I'll try to find out more about that IF you use Communicator... If you use Communicator - do you still have Netscape 3 installed?
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by:Christian_Wenz
ID: 1841124
another possibility, but more complicated, is to define a new file extension, associate a program with it (in this case: NOTEPAD) and there you go.
Sounds simple but it's nice trick (I needed it for a qiute similar task, just much mroe complicated)
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by:Holger101497
ID: 1841125
True. If you only need it for one specific program, you can do that as well... If you want a web-page to launch Notepad, Wordpad, Paintbrush, Telnet and whatever, you need quite a few extensions...
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Expert Comment

by:scottg
ID: 1841126
If your still interested, Take a look at the following URL. Its an ActiveX control that does exactly this, very flexible too.
Unfortunately it is not free though.

http://www.particle.net/IntraLaunch.  

E-Mail me for more information.  scottg@niagara.com


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Expert Comment

by:scottg
ID: 1841127
If your still interested, Take a look at the following URL. Its an ActiveX control that does exactly this, very flexible too.
Unfortunately it is not free though.

http://www.particle.net/IntraLaunch.  

E-Mail me for more information.  scottg@niagara.com


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Expert Comment

by:scottg
ID: 1841128
Sorry for the double comment add above.  Damn button - it went insane on me.
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