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Web CD for software distribution

Posted on 2004-04-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-09
I want to create a web-based CD with a collection of freeware.  However, installing
from any HTML based interface is always a problem because of the "install or save to
disk" option or with gecko browsers, "save to disk" only.  This breaks the users
state somewhat.

Is it possible to get a javascript link/button to launch an executable directly from
a webpage?

I ask because I install stuff from the web seamlessly all the time, whether it's a
required component install that allows that web page to be fully utilized (the
security warning with the "always trust this company") or Windows Update type
install's that downloads the application to a temp file and then launches it.  

Even the Netscape/Mozilla browsers have a web installer called XPI, but it's
meant only for configuring the browser with skins and what not.

So, what options are their that could operate from the client side that would make
any browser a adequate interface for browsing and installing utilities?
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Question by:Marketing_Insists
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5 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:brgivens
ID: 10755366
You can't launch an executable from Javascript.

The components which display the "always trust this company" security warnings are called ActiveX controls.  You can create an ActiveX control with Visual Basic or C++ and other languages.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Marketing_Insists
ID: 10768045
Ah yes, good ol' active X.  So can a HTML form button launch  such an ActiveX control?
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
brgivens earned 1000 total points
ID: 10768289
sure, just code the onclick event of the button

<script>
function launchActiveX() {
  var o = new ActiveXObject("myActiveX");
  ...
}
</script>

<input type=button onclick="launchActiveX();">
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Author Comment

by:Marketing_Insists
ID: 10792495
thanks
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:brgivens
ID: 10792512
You're welcome.  Thanks for the points! :)
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