Re: Local program exection in WWW browsers

Joe English (
Fri, 15 Apr 1994 10:16:13 -0700

Marc VanHeyningen <> wrote:
> Presumably we want this interpreter to be able to interact with the
> WWW client after it is running. Offhand, I can think of at least two
> new commands you would want the untrusted interpreter; one to send the
> client a URL and have it go to and display it, and one to send a MIME
> message (which may be a part of a multipart structure the program was
> enclosed in, or HTML built on the fly, or whatever) to the client to
> be displayed as though it were sent by a server.
> Unfortunately this means defining a way to tell clients to do this.
> Obviously implementing this for TkWWW will be trivial, but most
> clients don't have any provision for this kind of stuff (and those
> that do often implement it poorly.) [...]

This will be different for each platform, but for
X-based browsers the selection mechanism might be
a good approach. The XHelp protocol is a good
example of how this could work.

There are some disadvantages, though: only one
browser could be "active" at a time (the owner
of the 'WWW' selection), and it might not be easily
implementable in Tcl/Tk without interpreter extensions
(at least the last time I checked, Tk didn't support
the full X selection mechanism, only PRIMARY selections.)

--Joe English