Re: launching executables through HTML files

George Phillips (
20 Jun 93 21:35 -0700

There was some talk of this on comp.infosystems.www. I think
executable data in a document is a different issue from execution
of local programs. For code in a document you not only have to
trust the server but you have to agree on what code is -- pretty
difficult across UNIX boxes, never mind throwing MS-DOS, VMS and
MacOS on top of that. Given the compatibility and trust problems,
you probably wouldn't accept code from anything but a local server
who could just as well point you to an NFS file.

The best suggestion for local program execution was to extend the
file: scheme. If the URL points to an executable file and that
file is in your access control list, then it is executed and the
output format is know from the .suffix. In addition, arguments
can be passed to the executable with a magic delimiter ('%/' was

So, if you get "file:/usr/local/rn.html%/news/comp/sources/misc",
it will run "/usr/local/rn.html /news/comp/sources/misc". Assuming,
say, that "/usr/local" is in your "WWWPATH" environment variable.

I'm already using my own version of local program executing URLs
for a newsreader with history and some other stuff. I'd love to
see this stuff made official so I can distribute these.