Cello Beta v.8 Released (longish)

Thomas R. Bruce (tom@fatty.law.cornell.edu)
Fri, 5 Nov 1993 13:22:40 -0500 (EST)


Cello Beta Version .8 is hereby released. You can obtain it
from ftp.law.cornell.edu, directory /pub/LII/Cello.

A note on the version numbers; Distinct version discontinued
Beta version r8 is the successor to Winsock version r6, and to
the Distinct version beta 7. There will be no continuation of
the Distinct version; Cello is now exclusively Winsock-based.
The files and messages on ftp.law.cornell.edu have been
appropriately adjusted.

Besides, we thought it was time to make it a beta.

PLEASE NOTE that documentation in the online help system still
incorporates the installation instructions for the Distinct
version, a problem which will be attacked next (this is
getting us a lot of mail).

What it is:
Cello is a multipurpose Internet browser which permits you to
access information from many sources in many formats.
Technically, it's a WorldWideWeb client application. This
means that you can use Cello to access data from WorldWideWeb,
Gopher, FTP, and CSO/ph/qi servers, as well as X.500 directory
servers, WAIS servers, HYTELNET, TechInfo, and others through external
gateways. You can also use Cello and the WWW-HTML hypertext
markup standard to build local hypertext systems on LANS, on
single machines, and so on. Cello also permits the
postprocessing of any file for which you've set up an
association in the Windows File Manager -- for example, if you
download an uncompressed Microsoft Word file from an FTP site,
and the appropriate association exists in File Manager, Cello
will run MS-Word on it for you. This same capability is used
to view graphics and listen to sound files you get from the Net.

Cello runs atop a WINSOCK network layer. We recommend the use
of Peter Tattam's Trumpet Winsock, available from
ftp.utas.edu.au, if you don't have a Winsock already.

Repaired in this release:

-- FTP timeouts adjusted to reflect reality for those on slow

-- Lagging-dot in DNS names is now removed by Cello, and won't
interfere with those Winsocks which don't understand it.

-- Several very minor bugs involving display.

Not yet repaired/enhanced:

--Numerous user-requested enhancements to FTP handling, including
non-anonymous login and the ability to get short ("ls" not
"ls -l") listings for servers whose long listings don't make

--Printing bugs. In particular, inlined images don't print
yet. Some minor bugs with font sizes and whatnot were repaired
in the current release, but the whole thing needs a good

Added/enhanced in this version:

-- Inline image support.

Cello supports inlining of .GIF, .XBM (X bitmap), .BMP, and
.PCX images. The latter should be particularly useful to
information providers who wish to serve local files only or who
have a PC-based graphics library. Autofetching of graphics can
be turned off by menu choice, and dithering may be substituted
for quantizing in the case of 24-bit images, which ought to
speed up rendition quite a bit.

There are still a few glitches having to do with color. Cello
resolves palette differences between images by loading a
scaled, representative 256-color palette and essentially
insisting that everyone adhere to it. Most of the time this
provides fairly accurate color rendition, but experimentation
shows that some shades don't do well. The subtle oranges used
in some of the O'Reilly GNN icons seem to suffer badly, for
instance. The future alternative to this scheme will be to
mutually-resolve all images onscreen at any particular moment,
but that won't be in place for a couple of weeks yet, and is
likely to slow performance in any case. Art-book publishers
will probably want to wait.

-- DDE server support.

You can invoke Cello from other applications which support the
DDE execute command. Here's how you'd do it with an MS-Word

ChanNum = DDEInitiate("Cello", "URL")
DDEExecute(ChanNum, "http://www.law.cornell.edu")
End Sub

As you can see, the DDE service name is "Cello", the topic is
"URL", and the data sent in the execute command is a URL.

Needless (perhaps) to say, OLE support and DDE client support
are planned in the near future.

-- TN3270 via external application.

Cello now supports TN3270 via an external application, a
feature which was prompted by the appearance of a
freely-distributed TN3270 for Windows (see
comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc for announcements and location).
Cello expects the same #h and #p parameters used in the
"Use your own Telnet client" menu choice.

-- Locatable style and bookmark files

By popular request of long-suffering network administrators,
there are now options in the CELLO.INI file to set the location
for style and bookmark files. These are also menu-accessible.


-- Bookmark-dump-to-file feature.

There is now a button in the Bookmark dialog which will dump
your entire bookmark list to an HTML file for subsequent
editing into whatever you like, possibly an alternate home page.

Coming attractions:

The sheer volume of user mail has convinced me that it's
probably time to have an online help system which reflects some
small corner of reality (grin). Documentation will be fixed
before anything else.

OLE, FTP enhancements, and DDE client features will follow.

Have fun with it.


|  Thomas R. Bruce                           trb2@cornell.edu |
|  Research Associate                                         |
|  Cornell Law School                     Voice: 607-255-1221 |
|  Myron Taylor Hall                        FAX: 607-255-7193 |
|  Ithaca, NY 14853                                           |