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Method and Apparatus for URL Prefix Based Application Delegation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020597D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 119K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Craig Janssen: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Interaction with URL's via hyperlinks is the common usage of Web browser. However, hyperlink activations do not necessarily need to involve fetches of content from the network through the Web browser. Based on the address that the URL of the hyperlink refers to, responsibility for the hyperlink activation can be delegated to other applications on the client which may perform other processing besides network fetching. This delegation can be done by having individual client applications claim responsibility for various sections of the URL address space. This allows for various custom client applications to interact with different network servers, which are differentiated only by URL address, automatically through hyperlink activation using a single standard protocol.

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Method and Apparatus for URL Prefix Based Application Delegation

Craig Janssen, Michael Pearce, Yibing Song

Abstract:

Interaction with URL's via hyperlinks is the common usage of Web browser. However, hyperlink activations do not necessarily need to involve fetches of content from the network through the Web browser. Based on the address that the URL of the hyperlink refers to, responsibility for the hyperlink activation can be delegated to other applications on the client which may perform other processing besides network fetching. This delegation can be done by having individual client applications claim responsibility for various sections of the URL address space. This allows for various custom client applications to interact with different network servers, which are differentiated only by URL address, automatically through hyperlink activation using a single standard protocol.

Background:

Hyperlink activations in computing environments typically mean a standard Web Browser activation. The hyperlink activation originates from the Web Browser or some other hyperlink enabled application and the corresponding fetch of information is routed to the web browser. The web browser may choose to display the fetched data, invoke a helper mechanism ("plug-in") or perform some other type of processing. The action the browser takes is generally based upon the content type of the data fetched. This is true for the standard desktop computer interaction as well as typical small device, wireless interactions.

This situation can be rather limiting, particularly for small, phone-like devices. On these devices, the browser is typically a single window application such that each new URL retrieved pushes the previous URL down on the stack URL accesses. This makes for a jerky, less than cohesive experience for the user.

Main Ideas:

A different approach to this is having hyperlink activations routed to different applications within the computing environment based upon the address of the URL being activated.

Consequently, depending upon the application, different processing may occur which may or may not include actual network fetches and is not dependent on the content type of any fetches that do occur.

Which application is selected to be target of the hyperlink activation is determined by a registry of applications within the computing environment. Each application will enter as many URL prefixes as it wishes to claim into this registry. In the likely event of multiple matches, the longest matching prefix is selected. This has the effect of giving preference to the application with the most specific URL registration. This effect can be used to register a catch-all application that has a very general prefix in the registry. In typical situations, this would be the standard web browser.

The difference between the existing and proposed hyperlink activations can be seen in the following diagrams (Figure 1 and Figure 2):

Figu...