Python browser plugins?

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Mon Oct 28 22:01:46 CET 2002


Hi all,
I've just been reading the "status of Java in Debian" web pages
at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-java-faq/index.html
and I'm beginning to realize that Java, and especially "Java2", is
not merely confusing, but actually evil. ;-)

It would appear for example, that there is NO end-to-end free
software way to create Java applets for the web with anything
approaching a useful graphical interface.  It seems Java1 is feasible,
(perhaps in a loader?).

It doesn't have to be free-software on all platforms, of course -- many of 
the target browsers are non-free, and I'm perfectly happy for people to 
*choose* to run our code on non-free interpreters/compilers. The point is, it 
must be feasible to do it Free (e.g. Linux/ Mozilla/ Kaffe/ Jikes/ Python/ 
gcc).

So, let's say I jettison Java.  Can I create WYSIWYG editors for
textual and graphical content as automatically installable
browser plugins in python?  Certainly there are existing applications
(such as Sketch), to be used as a basis.  Clearly this would have to
work on general browsers, but especially including Mozilla 1.x on
Linux/Unix, Netscape 4.x (?) and 6.x, IE 5.5 on Windows and Mac,
etc.

The attraction of Java applets was the ability to make this process
highly transparent to the user.  Are there any tricks to do this with
Python (or C if necessary)?  What if the user doesn't have python
itself installed?  Some of my users will be savvy Linux/free-software
enthusiasts, and some will be young or new users on borrowed
MS Windows systems. I need to be able to accomodate both to
a degree.

So really I'm asking about how I can deploy a python client application
to a user's machine using browser-supported automatic installation
mechanisms (Java provides a "signed applet" way to do this, and if using
a Java1 loader can work, that's okay, since Java1 is apparently Freed
at least by Kaffe/Jikes).  Can it be done?  Is there a how-to or something
I can read about it?  What should I "ask Google", if I wanted to explore this 
approach?

Thanks for any suggestions,
Terry

--
Terry Hancock ( hancock at anansispaceworks.com )
Anansi Spaceworks  http://www.anansispaceworks.com




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