IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Access for today, flexibility for tomorrow
Communicator 4.5
for Network Station
Manager V2R1
September 1, 1999
Netscape Communicator 4.5
Provides the full "Netscape Experience"
The browser suite on the IBM Network Station is a ported and
customized version of the actual Netscape product
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Browser Currency
So what's the "bottom line" for V2R1?
Communicator 4.5 supports Netscape's current levels of HTML,
JavaScript, and Java
Functionally, our product can do all current base function.
Ported from Solaris X86 codebase - not Microsoft Windows
Is 4.5 the latest version of Netscape Communicator?
No. Netscape also released versions 4.51, 4.6, 4.61, is working
on 4.7.
Later releases of Communicator are mostly bug fixes
IBM will provide fixes via PTF or updated browser.
4.51 - contains Significant security fixes
Guninski Privacy bug & Window Spoofing Bug
Cookie Monster
MIME Buffer Overflow
Security issues are addressed in NeworkStation Netscape 4.5
4.6 - 56-bit DES ciphers, G2 Player (Windows)
4.61 - Liveconnect bug in accessing Netscape Admin Server
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
What's New?
Get everything from NC Navigator 3.04, plus:
Communicator 4.5
Netscape's latest level of support for HTML, JavaScript, Java, e-mail
Full Netscape JVM compatibility, with options
Netscape Security, https, Liveconnect; but, can also use external JVM
Plug-ins and helper applications
preconfigured audio, video, streaming media and document formats
General Application launcher
Browser can be the desktop -- web pages can launch all local apps
Improved e-mail
Can be formatted in HTML, and accessed from an IMAP server
LDAP for Address Book
Allows connection to a centralized corporate address book
More translations and code pages
Use browser in more countries, and view content in more encodings
includes translations for locales {de, en, es, fr, it, nl, pt_br}
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Comparison by Release
The new product has many new capabilities
NC Navigator 3.04
- HTML "3.2"
- JavaScript 1.1
- GIF and JPEG images
e-mail and news
- SMTP and POP3
Plug-ins and helper apps
- Not supported
- External JVM 1.1.4 only
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Netscape Communicator 4.5
Navigator browser
- Dynamic HTML (DHTML)
- JavaScript 1.3 ECMA-252 compliant
- GIF, JPEG, & PNG images
Messenger e-mail and news
- NNTP, with SSL
- LDAP directory access
- HTML formatting
Plug-ins and helper apps - now supported
- PDF 1.2 (Acrobat 3 level)
- RealPlayer 5.0 (streaming audio & video)
- audio and video
au , wav, aiff, avi, mpeg, QuickTime, rtf, etc.
Java - choice of JVMs:
- external JVM 1.1.8, via Java Plug-in
- internal Netscape JVM "1.1"
-- LiveConnect
-- Netscape security model (signed applets, etc.)
Enhancements beyond "standard" Netscape
Improved Netscape JVM
Euro currency support added, JVM tuned for thin client environment
Select your JVM with Java Plugin
Netscape JVM gives access to: IIOP, IFC, LDAP, JSD
IBM JVM gives access to: JFC, javax.comm
Apply the "Switch" globally
Select IBM JVM without HTML changes using the Plugin Switch
General Application launcher
Browser can now launch any local program, including 5250 and ICA
Normally only allows 3270,Telnet, e-mail, news, Java applets to launch
Allows you to use the browser as a desktop ... or "webtop"
PDF viewer and RealPlayer 5.0
installed and preconfigured ... "ready to run"
Advanced configuration
Can be done without having to purchase Netscape Mission Control
Netscape.cfg is not encrypted, override files for customization
Create kiosks, specialized browser configurations beyond what
NSM allows
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Differences from other Netscape distributions
Netscape Composer not included
Only needed for creating HTML docs- not a normal task on a thin client
AOL Instant Messenger not included
It's a marketing "add-on" that's not really part of Communicator
No JITC for internal JVM
Makes little difference, in most cases
Customer should use the external JVM for any compute-intensive applets
No SmartUpdate
Not applicable; can't download/update our product at Netscape's site
Downloading of Plug-ins and Helper Apps
Technically possible, but NOT supported...
Plugins are platform-specific; if attempted use NetBSD, or maybe Linux
Postscript printing only
You can use a server-based print converter to print on other types
Customization scheme is different from V1R3
manual configurations by editing pref.dft file will not work, not migrated
New mechanism using JavaScript, now documented by Netscape
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Specific differences with Windows
Set of plugins available is smaller
Shockwave Flash (*.swf) not supported
Real G2 Plugins not supported (*.rpm, *.ssm, *.vnd x-pn-realaudio)
Unix Behavior
Location Field Name completion not supported
Some Internet Keywords may not be supported
although some are
Tabbing through long form does not auto-advance the page
must page down to access
No Increase Font/Decrease Font View Menu Items
user must change size in
Shortcuts are different
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Configuration in V2R1
Netscape can be configured via:
remote "auto-config"
netscape.cfg is not encrypted
MCD may be used, but save as *.jsc
auto-config set in netscape.cfg
same format as netscape.cfg above
prefs - config("autoadmin.global_config_url", <URL>);
- config("autoadmin.refresh_interval",<time_sec>);
overrides.js - the customer configurable file
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Configuration with NSM
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Configuration with NSM2
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Configuration hierarchy
NSM loads registry
pref loader reads registry
browser startup
0 - netscape app-defaults
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
"config" server
Configuration Syntax Summary
config files may contain javascript functions/statements
config("name","value") - locked by default, not user accessible
defaultPref("name","value") - set the value but do not lock from
lockPref("name","value") - set the value and lock the
unlockPref("name") - release the lock
getPref("name") - get the value for the preference
only string values must be quoted
prefs using the config() verb are Enterprise Customization
autoadmin.*, roaming access - li.*, toolbar, startup URL
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Install & NLVs
Two versions of Netscape available
netscape-export - 40 bit in Product C08
netscape-us - 128 bit in Product C07
/usr/local/netscape/netscape symbolically linked to 'proper' version
no 'coexistence' of 128 and 40 bit products as "netscape"
can be "manually" set on server if desired along with user
application on desktop
Info messages - about, plugins, splash in
Netscape 'ad' file in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/<lo_RE>/app-defaults/
Bookmark & Nethelp files containing MRI are linked at install
ONLY the Servers' primarily locale available for NetHelp and
'shell' program to ensure only 1 copy of Netscape is running
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Migration from V1R3 to V2R1
Configuration will NOT be migrated
Configuration mechanisms are NOT compatible between Nav3
and Nav4
Directory buttons will NOT be migrated - no equivalent
mail will be migrated
from <userid>/nav/mail/* (V1R3) to <userid>/nsmail/*
cookies will be migrated
from <userid>/nav/cookies (V1R3) to
User must EXPLICITY import
bookmark.html (V1R3) which is moved to v1r3_bm.html
address_book.html (V1R3) which is moved to v1r3_ab.html
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Plug-Ins and Helper Apps
New support should satisfy most customers
PDF Viewer
Ported from xPDF
helper app
Equivalent to Adobe Acrobat 3.0
PDF version 1.2
A clone of Adobe Acrobat
Down level:
Adobe has released Acrobat 4.0,
supporting PDF version 1.3
Replace with Linux version of Adobe product if
necessary (manual steps)
Plays streaming audio and video
Down level:
current product is RealPlayer G2
Not available on PowerPC machines
No plug-in version
Somewhat equivalent to
Apple QuickTime 2
A clone of Apple QuickTime
Down level:
current QuickTime is version 4
Should be OK in most cases
RealPlayer 5.0 (R5)
Ported from
helper app
NC Player
Ported from XAnim
helper app
Plays a wide variety of
non-streaming audio and video
(au, wav, aiff, QuickTime, etc.)
Java Plug-In 1.1
Ported from Sun
Allows Java applets to be
executed by external JVM
instead of internal
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
No LiveConnect
No Netscape security model
(Netscape Certificate Mgmt & Loader policy)
General Application Loading
Select set of preconfigured applications
emulators - X-5250://%h , X-3270://%h, X-nsterm://%h
ICA - X-ICA://%h?<opt>, X-ICAMgr://%h?<opt>
java - X-java, X-appletviewer
Adding new applications in overrides.js
lockPref( "applications.X-<appid>", "/usr/bin/<cmd> %h %o");
lockPref( "applications.X-<appid>.active", "true");
enable other apps predefined in netscape.cfg by making active
in overrides.js
String parameters to Command
%o options
%p port
%h host
%u username
for examples take a look at netscape.cfg
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Helper app/plug-in setup
add prefs in overrides.js
mime.%s.mimetype - String following "Mime Type"
mime.%s.extension - File extensions supporting; ex. jpg, jpeg
mime.%s.load_action - action to take with specified MIME type
1 - ask the user where to save the file
2 - launch the application associated w/ MIME type (default)
3 - ask the user what action to take
4 - handle the MIME type as a plug-in
mime.%s.x_appname - Command to execute
create a JavaScript function to handle multiple MIME types
check netscape.cfg for an example
Java applications may be used as the Command to execute
allows extensibility w/o a platform specific development
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Java Considerations
Netscape JVM has been improved
reduced real memory utilization
performance improvements
better scalable font support
euro support
expanding heap used by Netscape JVM
enabling RMI callbacks
set pref (netscape.security.PriviledgeManager.enablePrivilege,
prefs for signed.applets.*
local_classes_have_30_powers- simulate Netscape 3.2 security
low_security_for_local_classes - simulate Netscape 3.2 security
simulate_signatures_on_system_classes - bypasses sig check
verbose_security_exceptions - added info on security exceptions
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Debugging Java and Using the
Start Netscape from Advanced Diagnostic window to avoid
run_netscape for debugging
args to Netscape JVM in $NETSCAPE_JAVA_ARGS
If started from the command line, use
-java_args to specify arguments such as -verbose, -verbosegc to the
Java Debug Console - Communicator->Tools->Java Console
d dump applet context state to window
f finalize objects on finalization queue
g garbage collect
h,? help message
m print current memory use to console
s dump memory summary to file "memory.out"
t dump thread info to file "memory.out"
x dump memory to file "memory.out"
X dump detailed memory to file "memory.out"
0-9 set applet debug level
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Where are the jar files?
Accessing classes with the <ARCHIVE> tag
Classloader Security bypassed when on CLASSPATH
security exceptions may occur if accessed via AppletClassLoader
However, should be FASTER
iiop10.jar ifc11.jar
So, putting it together, running in the Netscape JVM
<APPLET archive="/usrlocal/java/J118/classes/lib/swingall.jar"
code="myClassUsingSwing.class" width=288 height=288
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
JavaScript Considerations
Debug specific statements with the javascript: location
Setting up the JavaScript console
In the users' prefs.js add:
user_pref("javascript.console.open_on_error", true)
turn off with - user_pref("javascript.classic.error_alerts", true)
JavaScript debugger under http://developer.netscape.com
online manual
May be related to JavaScript level
can test whether the code is ECMA compliant by selecting
JavaScript 1.2
<SCRIPT language="JavaScript1.2">
ex. (a=b) now assignment rather than equivalency
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
Useful URLs
http://devedge.netscape.com - Netscape's Developer Site
under http://developer.netscape.com
Netscape's JavaScript Developer Central
JavaScript 1.3 & ECMA detail
Internet Foundation Classes (IFC)
LDAP 1.0 Users Guide
CORBA/IIOP Developer Central
4.51 Release Notes (replace 4.6 for 4.5 in URL for 4.61 Rel. Notes)
IBM Network Station Family of Thin Clients
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