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BrowseX Web Browser Information

BrowseX : A Web Browser

BrowseX  is a Web Browser with support for embedded Tcl scripts. It provides a small, multi-windowed, frames capable browser with fast HTML rendering via the Tkhtml widget. Significant features of the big browsers are supported but with a much smaller footprint. Navigator 4.x is around 3-4 times larger at startup.

BrowseX  startup is fast, particularly on machines with limited memory. Animated gifs which under Netscape seem to take 30-50% of the CPU on a 450 MHz system, can consume almost no CPU in buffered mode. Yet what makes BrowseX  significant however is not simply small size and speed. Rather it is the incredible ease with which changes and enhancements can be made. Additionally, the client Web scripting language is native to the browser, and so ultra stable.. BrowseX  also provides an embedded postgres database client, and a client+server macro processor. A Pop-Mail client is in Alpha.

In this, its initial release, BrowseX  is supported on Windows and Linux, and in particular was developed on Redhat 6.x. What enables all this is Tcl: a lightweight, powerful, and reliable scripting language that has been freely availble and widely used on the internet for 10 years. Instead of crashing from unexpected conditions, a pop-up box listing the problem line of script appears. Programs can then usually continue. Even more useful is that Tcl applications can be developed standalone and moved into a web context later. This means the development cycle is lightning fast: Edit, execute, repeat. But Tcl's greatest asset would have to be the ease with which it can be learned. For most programmers, the basics can be picked up in a few hours.


Feature Summary

Following is a partial list of some of BrowseX  features:
  • HTML 3.2+ via tkhtml, with extensions (eg. Frames)
  • Support for Safe-Tcl scripts embedded within HTML pages (popups, etc).
  • A tcl-macro preprocessor for both client and server side.
  • A built in Postgres Database client available from Safe-Tcl
  • Image handling for gifs, jpeg, and png (+ disable/control Animated gifs)
  • Background images and Image maps
  • Multiple views, Frames, and Forms
  • Cookies and basic authentication
  • FTP and Local filesystem browsing
  • Downloads: Http, ftp, and Image Save-as
  • Proxy: FTP and HTTP
  • View/search/save html and plain text
  • Caching: web pages/gifs, and DNS lookups
  • Go backward/forward, and the usual Netscape style key bindings
  • Page History, and browse whole cache
  • Bookmarks (minus bookmark editor)
  • Printing to text/postscript output
  • Applications: Editor, Calculator, Database (pgaccess)
  • Mail with pop and local support: Mime and folder management
  • Preferences/configuration
  • Tcl Security Control: by domain or host
  • Quick-Search: launch searches in 1 web operation, instead of 2+.
  • SSL/TLS (minus certificate management)
  • International Language Encodings (72)

Features Not Supported

The following features are not supported:
  • CSS Style sheets
  • XML

BrowseX  TCL Extensions

The following extensions are used in BrowseX :
Tkhtml, Tix, Blt, Tktable, Img, Ezsmtp, ftplib, TLS (for SSL).

Additional Tcl references

A Tcl plugin plugin is available for Netscape and IE. Tcl is also available on the server side, a fact that Scriptics has been actively persuing. Scriptics also makes available a web server written entirely in Tcl. And there is even an apache module which provides server side Tcl. The availability of Tcl enabled web on either the client or server side means developers can write apps now and decide what runs where later. At last a true end to end web solution within in a single stable, powerful, and robust framework.

Following are some sites of interest.

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