BULauncher 1.0.1d - by Carl W. Bell
Copyright © 1998-1999 Baylor University

Note: If you got here using a web search engine, you can find the program here.

Disclaimer: Although BULauncher seems to work fine, it is still in development and may contain bugs. It is distributed "as is". Use at your own risk. So there.

BULauncher is a Netscape plugin that launches Macintosh applications. To use it, install the plug-in in your Netscape (Navigator, Communicator, whateverator) plug-ins folder and restart Netscape. It should also work with versions of Miscrosoft Internet Explorer that support Netscape plug-ins.

Why would someone want this? We are looking into setting up kiosks in our library on Macs that aren't running the Finder. Some (most?) of the services that are to be accessed are web-based, but some still use applications, e.g., "Current Contents".

There are actually two different versions of BULauncher: BULauncher (Standalone) and BULauncher (Kiosk). The "Standalone" version will launch applications itself. The "Kiosk" version uses a separate utility (Kiosk) to launch the applications. Kiosk is a Finder "replacement" currently in development at Baylor. When Kiosk is ready for release, it will appear in the Applications section of my stuff page. Unlike the Standalone version, Kiosk will only allow launch an application if it is in its "permitted applications" list. The Kiosk version will also mount an AppleShare volume if specified in the web page. Although you should be able to install both plug-ins in your Netscape plug-ins folder and choose which one to use in Netscapes "Applications" preferences topic, Netscape doesn't seem to handle this well. Install just one of the plugins (probably the Standalone version).

To use BULauncher on a web page, you need the following EMBED tag...

<EMBED
   TYPE="application/x-bulauncher" the MIME type that tells Netscape to use the BULauncher plugin
   PLUGINSPAGE="URL" web page where BULauncher can be found
   HEIGHT="20" the height of the button
   WIDTH="100" the width
   BUTTONTITLE="The Title" the title displayed if no icon
   FONT="fontname" the font if different from the default (Chicago/Charcoal)
   FONTSIZE="10" the font size if different from the default (12)
   FONTFACE="1" the font face if not plain. uses the Mac qd constants, sorry...
   USEICON="TRUE" use the application's icon if available
   SIGNATURE="ttxt" the application's 4 character signature
   PATH="the:path" the full path to the application
   DOCUMENT="the:path" the full path to the a document to be opened by the application
   DOCREQUIRED="TRUE" don't launch app if document doesn't exist
   APPLESHARE="volume:server@zone" Appleshare volume to mount when launching app
   ASREQUIRED="TRUE" don't launch app if AppleShare can't be mounted
   AUTHENTICATE="TRUE" add if Kiosk should authenticate the user first - not implemented
   CANGUEST="TRUE" add if Kiosk should allow "guest" accounts - not implemented
   DEBUG; use debugger to display error/info messages. (Can crash if debugger not installed)
>


Examples

Below are some examples that demonstrate the plug-in. If you don't have the plug-in, you should see "broken" plug-in blocks. Download and install it, restart Netscape, and the reload this page. View the source of this page to see the EMBED tags used.

Here are some icon buttons. If you don't have the application, you should see the (possibly clipped) title.

Clicking this button should launch SimpleText.
Clicking this button should launch BBEdit. This one has debugging enabled (use the source, Luke) so if there is a problem, it may drop into the debugger. If you aren't running a debugger, it may crash.
Clicking this button should launch LDapper.
Clicking this button should launch SimpleText. It will also attempt to mount an AppleShare volume which will probably fail if you are not on Baylor's network.
Clicking this button should launch SimpleText. It will also attempt to mount an AppleShare volume which will probably fail if you are not on Baylor's network. Unlike above, this one requires the AppleShare to mount or it won't launch the application.

Here are some non-icon buttons.

This should launch SimpleText if it's located in "Macintosh HD:Apple Extras:SimpleText".
Clicking this button should launch SimpleText and open the document "Macintosh HD:Apple Extras:Mac OS Read Me Files:About Mac OS 8" if it exists.
Different font, etc.


Notes:

Release Notes:

1.0.2d (not yet available)

1.0.1d 5-Feb-99

1.0d 20-Nov-98

If you have any questions, comments, (constructive) criticism, or bug reports please let me know. You can contact me at the address(es) below.

-cb

Carl_Bell@baylor.edu
Carl Bell's Web Page
Stuff I've Written

Snail Mail:

Carl W. Bell
Academic and Research Computing Services
Baylor University Electronic Library
One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798
Phone:
(254) 710-4065
Baylor's Fine Print:

This software, data and/or documentation contain trade secrets and confidential information which are proprietary to Baylor University. Their use or disclosure in whole or in part without the express written permission of Baylor University is prohibited.

This software, data and/or documentation are also unpublished works protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. If these works become published, the following notice shall apply:

Copyright © 1998-1999 Baylor University
All Rights Reserved
The name of Baylor University may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission. THIS SOFTWARE, DATA AND/OR DOCUMENTATION ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

When permission has been granted to make copies of this software, data and/or documentation, the above notices must be retained on all copies.

Permission is hereby granted for non-commercial use and distribution of BULauncher.