XML and HTML browsers

Peter Murray-Rust Peter at ursus.demon.co.uk
Sat May 3 23:40:54 BST 1997

I would like to re-use *existing* browser functionality rather
than continuing to extend the *generic* aspects of a browser in JUMBO.
I'm interested in exploring the general question of how a specialist
Java application interacts with a Java-enabled HTML browser.  I'm not an
expert here, but clearly Javascript is a potential solution.  (I hacked a
bit, and can't yet say I feel happy with the process - but perhaps that's 
because I haven't got the feel that JavaScript is going to continue to be
around and usable in a standard form.)  Anyway...

At present I can define my requirements quite simply:

I have a chunk of XML that I can transform into HTML and I want to show
it in the browser.  However, the browser must:
	- add hotspots to hyperlinks where appropriate
	- send me back a message/callback when a link is activated
	- allow me to:
		use paint(Graphics g) to a specific area of its screen
			(allowing for scrolling) OR:
		let me supply it with an IMG for that area
	- manage the multiplicity of windows (NEW, REPLACE, etc)
	- allow mouse events within 'my' graphics area and return them to me
	- allow me to post menus of some sort and return events
(There is probably stuff I have forgotten...)

There is also the question of spawning an XML helper application when the
*browser* encounters a text/xml file (which might turn out to have
DOCTYPE CML in it and so require a more specific helper).  Also, if
I have an XML-LINK to a *.html file (rather than an XML file) then can I
instruct the browser to display that and keep the XML application for
further action.

	This is not surprisingly a bit rambling - any light would be valuable.


Peter Murray-Rust, domestic net connection
Virtual School of Molecular Sciences

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