Re: Forms support in clients

Niels P. Mayer (npm@eit.COM)
Mon, 26 Sep 1994 13:41:15 -0700

From: (Nick Arnett)
> At 12:03 AM 9/26/94 -0700, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> >Another, more complete
> >solution is something like WINTERP, a LISP-ish language with integrated
> >user interface capabilities.
> As people mention alternatives like this, I'd appreciate pointers to
> background info on them.

WINTERP -- the OSF/Motif Widget INTERPreter -- is available via anonymous
ftp from /contrib/devel_tools/winterp-2.XX.tar.gz (where XX=03
currently). You can also get a slightly older version (2.00) from the X
Consortium's X11r6 distribution. WINTERP is free software available under
the standard X Consortium non-restrictive copyright.

WINTERP home page:
WINTERP introductory blurb:

In the past, we've demonstrated that WINTERP can be used for supporting
"smart" forms-based interfaces in an e-mail based groupware system called
STRUDEL. STRUDEL is "distributed" system, meaning that forms interpretation
and processing happens entirely on the "client side" since there is no
centralized server...

Allan Shepherd, Niels Mayer, and Allan Kuchinsky. STRUDEL: An
Extensible Electronic Conversation Toolkit. In David Marca and
Geoffrey Bock, editors, GROUPWARE: Software for Computer-Supported
Cooperative Work, IEEE Computer Society Press, 1992, pp. 505-518.
(originally, in proceedings Conference on Computer-Supported
Cooperative Work, Los Angeles, October 1990, pp. 93-104.)

Another example of WINTERP useage is EIT's HTML Multimedia Authoring

Jay Glicksman, Glenn Kramer, and Niels Mayer. "Internet Publishing
via the World Wide Web". In proceedings Groupware '94,
August 1994. San Jose, CA.

An on-line version of the above paper is available via the World-Wide-Web:
Also available, slides of Jay Glicksman and Niels Mayer's presentation,
including some newer snapshots of the authoring environment:
A more legible snapshot of our graphical URL browser is available in


I've been thinking about embedding WINTERP into Mosaic such that you can
have real user interfaces in place of Mosaic forms and hairy CGI scripts;
furthermore, you could use WINTERP's graphics/animation widget to create
dynamic, animated interfaces, "smart" image mapping, etc.

Embedding WINTERP in Mosaic is pretty easy, since they're both just Motif
programs sharing the same Xt event loop. Slightly harder, but still pretty
easy is getting WINTERP-generated widgetry to display in-line. The hardest
part is security. Obviously, to make something like this useable, you want
to either make the UI "applet" language safe and secure (a la safe-TCL), or
make use of secure HTTP to authenticate any "applet" programs running on
the client side.

Unfortunately, I don't have much time to work on stuff like that since I'm
spending my full 110% trying to get the aforementioned WWW authoring
environment to beta....

However, I'd be happy to give people pointers on embedding WINTERP into
Mosaic, since I don't have time to do it myself.

= Niels Mayer ..... .... =
= Multimedia Engineering Collaboration Environment (MM authoring for WWW) =
= Enterprise Integration Technologies, 800 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA =