Program Links in WWW

Tim Berners-Lee (timbl)
Thu, 21 May 92 14:21:41 GMT+0200

> I would like to know, whether anybody has extended WWW such, that it is possible
> to start arbitrary programs by hitting a button in a WWW browser.
> Hyberbole has this feature and it could also make WWW much more mighty.
> Included is a short discussion with Pei Y. Wei on this issue. >
> By the way, many thanks to Tim Berners-Lee in general, to Pei Y. Wei for his

> wonderful violaWWW browser and to all people involved in the WWW project.
> Arnold

Very good question. The problem is that of programming language. You need
something really powerful, but at the same time ubiquitous. Remember a facet of the
web is universal readership. There is no universal interptreted programming
language. But there are some close tries. (lisp, sh). You also need something
which can run in a very safe mode, to prevent virus attacks.

Ideally, the language should include object-oriented inheritance, a basically
functional nature, and a clean syntax. It should be interpretable and compilable.
At least one public domain. A pre-compiled standard binary form would be cool too.
It isn't here yet.

In reality, what we would be able to offer you real soon now with document format
negotiation is the ability to return a document in some language for execution,
with the option of being able to provide it in several languages, the language
being a "data format" which can be negotiated between client and server at
run-time. For, for example, one could provide it in viola script and/or in /bin/sh
which would cover most ofthe unix world.

Tim BL