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Re: lynx-dev [PATCH] remove extension to EXTERNAL command, extend CERN r

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: lynx-dev [PATCH] remove extension to EXTERNAL command, extend CERN rules support for mailto: URLs
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 17:00:15 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000, Vlad Harchev wrote:

>   I already told you that quoting every special character with backslash in
> the URL will work very reliably (I even think it will be the most reliable way
> beside reimplementing systenm()).

We already have HTQuoteParameter() for UNIX shells, why do you think a
different implementation that quotes in a different way (and probably
produces less readable strings) but otherwise has the same purpose
(pass a string to a shell command) is desirable?

> It's safe to switch to this approach right
> now, since (I guess) lynx{prog,exec} are mostly used on normal URLs

It's never "safe to switch" based on "I guess" and "mostly"!

It appears you want to redefine what the [rest] in lynxexec:[rest] means.
Before: [rest] is a string that is passed to system() as-is.  (Well, except
        for some processing of the string that lynx does, like space collapsing,
        '%20'-decoding, '//', '/'-at-end munging...)
After: [rest] is a string in which some characters are further escaped or
       quoted, so lynx has to do some de-quoting before invoking the command;
Or (After version 2): [rest] is a string to which lynx will apply further
       quoting of some characters before invoking the command.

Either way, you are redefining the meaning, so you are breaking some people's
existing links.  Lynxexec URLs were never meant to be created on the fly by
transforming some other URLs to them.  You can't just redefine their meaning
because that would be convenient for that purpose (an afterthought).

>   But from the other POV, all special characters can be used only in mailto:
> URLs,

I don't understand what you are trying to say here.

> and since it looks like we (may be me) are going to implement special
> support from mailto: URLs,

Still undefined what "special support from mailto: URLs" means and when
it is supposed to apply.

> there won't be need for using lynx{prog,exec} with
> them, so there is no actual need for all this quoting stuff and for allowing
> mailto: to be handled by CERN rules. 
> But anyway, the '*' in "Map blah lynx{prog,exec}://foo *" could be 
> substituted 
> with quoting special characters applied - this is not difficult, or another 
> behaviour to be introduced, say asterisk inside single quotes '*', that will 
> mean "matching URL part, with shell special characters escaped") ). This will
> allow reliable use of mailto: URLs in cern rules too.

Yes, that is where such a change would belong, not in the interpretation
of lynxexec URLs themselves.  Currently the * means just literal replacement.
You can't just change that either; you'd have to invent some new kind of
syntax or something like a "MapAndEscape" rule.


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