[icedtea-web] RFC: allow alternate means of finding browsers

Dr Andrew John Hughes ahughes at redhat.com
Wed Dec 22 15:29:40 PST 2010

On 17:15 Wed 22 Dec     , Omair Majid wrote:
> On 12/22/2010 03:42 PM, Dr Andrew John Hughes wrote:
> > On 15:32 Wed 22 Dec     , Omair Majid wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> The attached patch allows netx to use a browser based on the BROWSER env
> >> variable or using xdg-open, as opposed to relying on user-supplied
> >> browser command.
> >>
> >> A new configuration option deployment.browser.source is used to
> >> determine where to find the browser. If it is set to "PATH" (the
> >> default), the configuration option deployment.browser.path is used. If
> >> deployment.browser.source is set to "ENV" then the $BROWSER environment
> >> variable is used. If deployment.browser.source is set to "XDG" then the
> >> program xdg-open is used to launch the browser.
> >>
> >
> > I would make XDG the default so it works like other applications on the system
> > (which I presume use either this or $BROWSER) if deployment.browser.path is not set.
> > Then NetX automatically picks up the system browser rather than prompting.
> >
> Ah, great idea! Should I keep support for using $BROWSER or remove that 
> too in favour of xdg-open?

Please keep it.  I don't see how it does any harm.

You might also want to consider the scenario that xdg-open is not available
and fall back to $BROWSER then prompting if that is also empty.

> > Shouldn't we do some basic sanity checks on the contents of getEnv? (And path too
> > if we don't already)
> >
> We should, and we dont do it for path either. Actually netx refers to 
> path as 'command' and that's how it deals with it too - it simply execs 
> "command url" to open the url. This allows a user to use a program name 
> (like firefox) instead of the entire path to it. So checking for 
> file/path existence makes this common case fail:
> BROWSER=chromium-browser javaws foo.jnlp
> (and similar for path). I dont see any simple way to check if the 
> command is valid - short of actually running the command. Do you have 
> any other sanity checks in mind?

On *ix systems, you could run 'which command' and then execute the result of that
instead.  How well that works depends if we want to allow options to be specified
to the binary.

I would at least check for things like \r and \n which would suggest something fishy to me.
It doesn't immediately seem a huge issue as the netx binary is not privileged.

> Thanks,
> Omair

Andrew :)

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