Re: browser enhancement suggestion

Rick Troth (
Wed, 29 Mar 1995 17:24:03 +0500

>It occurred to me that a more general solution to all this would be if
>browsers implemented a cron-style auto-fetch functionality - where I could
>say "fetch this URL every day at 3pm and let me know if it changes".

Good idea, Brian. And good responses ... "yeah, what he said".

I wrote a not-fully-featured line-mode tool to help with
stuff like this. I say, cron it. Signal the browser? Maybe.
Obviously you'd *have* to signal the browser sometime ... somehow ...
in some cases. But it makes sense (for now) to have an agent that
builds, say, HTML of "things that have changed".

>Fenn home page *when*it's*changed*, and if it gets a 302 Redirect it'll
>change the URL without even telling me.

That's a nice touch. Yes, that helps. Suggests that I
should add redirection info as an optional second stream from 'webcat'.
That is, you get the body of the file from its stdout and "meta info"
from file descriptor 2 or 3. (not sure if I want to mix programmatic
non-error information with human readable error messages)

>So in this case, instead of storing people's section preferences in a
>huge database on the server side, as we would be doing, the person would
>define their own preferences directly in their browser, ...

I like Hakon's stong wording about being presently bound
to the mouse. A browser that implements all this function should have
a CLI way to fiddle with the settings at least, if not a CLI way of
doing just about everything. I don't use a web browser as my desktop
interface. Instead, I typically invoke the browser quite like the
browser invokes 'xv'. So I want to take input from non-human sources
to merge into my preferences.

> Brian

Rick Troth <>, Houston, Texas, USA