[clug] Browsers executing commands

Jepri jepri at webone.com.au
Sun Apr 4 16:58:11 GMT 2004

Francis James Whittle wrote:
> This is a tricky one.
> Basically, what it reads like you want to do is not part of any standard
> specified web protocol.  It is, on the other hand, possible with
> gnomevfs (and probably kio for KDE people).  A mini webserver won't help

Well, it'll help if the client is running both the browser and the 
webserver, but it isn't what I'd call an elegant solution.

> you, because you're talking client-side stuff.  It's certainly not
> possible to do this kind of thing from mozilla or any other mainstream
> web browser, excepting crappy ones like IE who can only do it by
> accident with embedded metadata and the suchlike.

Scarily enough, KDE will ask you in a dialogue to run an executable 
linked to (with a href) on your local filesystem.  That's 90% of what I 
was looking for.

Now that you mention it, I could try using the Moz API, if I were ever 
able to figure it out.

> If you can explain in more detail what you want to do and why, it might
> be possible to suggest a solution that matches our needs, or suggest an
> alternative solution (more likely).

Effectively, I would like to use HTML as a widget toolkit.  Why HTML and 
not native Gtk or Qt?  Because HTML is very friendly to script-generated 
content.  There are lots of templating systems for HTML, and none at all 
for Qt/Gtk.

The use I want to put this to is to have a script library, complete with 
descriptions and categories.  So I can browse my way through the 
categories to the script I need, read the description and then if it is 
what I want, click on the 'runme' link and have it run.

As I mention above, KDE will run a script, but without args, which means 
I would have to write a "kick-off" script for every situation.  Sigh. 
Weren't computers meant to make life easier?

> Francis
> On Sun, 2004-04-04 at 22:46, Jepri wrote:
>>I've been wanting to put together a couple of HTML pages that embed 
>>useful shell commands and other programs for me.  Ideally, I'd like to 
>>be able to activate them with a click.  Effectively, I want URIs like 
>>'<a href="shell://balsa">Mail client</a>'.
>>And before anyone mentions it, I do appreciate the problem with someone 
>>tricking me into clicking on '<a href="shell://rm -rf ~/">'.
>>Is there a partway solution?  I'm hoping to not have to embed GtkHTML or 
>>Konqueror if I can avoid it.
>>ATM I'm thinking of starting a mini-webserver and working it that way, 
>>but it seems a bit of overkill.
>>References to other similar projects would also be appreciated.

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