Tkil tkil-sdpm at
Tue Jun 3 12:48:38 CDT 2003

>>>>> "Joel" == Joel Fentin <joel at> writes:

Joel> Is there a way to run a program in the computer from the server?

Joel> For example. Joe Sixpack has a perl script
Joel> ( in the location window of his
Joel> browser. As the perl script executes, one of it's jobs is to run
Joel> an .exe (or some other) program in Mr. Sixpack's computer.

As Bob points out, it's really poor form to allow random web sites to
execute arbitrary code on your computer -- can you say "rmdir /s c:\"
or its equivalents?

For more legitimate uses, the usual way to trigger client-side events
is in two parts:

1. The user's web browser is configured to pass data with certain MIME
   types, or file extensions, to certain executables.

2. The server is configured to dispense data with that MIME type
   and/or file extension.

This is how you can "invoke" an mp3 player on the user's machine: most
systems are set up to fire off a player when they get a file with an
.mp3 or .m3u extension, or an "audio/mpeg" content-type.

MusicMatch uses similar techniques so that we can embed a link in HTML
that, when clicked, can launch our player and have it tune into a
specific station.

Is this sufficient to do what you need?  There are always security
concerns; in this case, configuring the browser to pass all
"application/x-frob" files to an external executable means that the
external executable is responsible for authenticating the data, at the
very least, as well as applying whatever other security logic the task

There are more options if you are working in the windows world:
downloading active x components gives you much more control on the
user's computer, and the user only has to agree to it once...


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