Accessing serial port from browser window

Discussion in 'XML' started by ashish.sadanandan@gmail.com, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Hi,
    I'm not sure whether this is the right newsgroup to post this question
    in, if it isn't please accept my apologies (and I'd really appreciate
    it if you could point me to the correct one).
    I'm not very familiar with XML, XSLT etc. so this may sound totally
    outrageous but here's what I have in mind:

    The problem is creating a dynamic user interface that talks to some
    hardware that my company makes. We want to get away from C++ because
    having to compile it for every build is putting severe restrictions on
    our setup. So a new idea is to create XML sheets (using a scripting
    language that runs along with every build). All elements of the user
    interface would be described in this and then, using XSLT, transformed
    into XHTML so that a web browser can display it.
    Now, is the following part possible at all? Communication with the
    hardware is using the serial port, so there needs to be some
    underlying code handling this and interfacing with the web page. It
    needs to send data to the web page and from the page back to the
    hardware. Is there any language (that also plays nice with browsers)
    that will allow this?
    Also, another requirement is for the end user to be able to create
    pages laid out in any arbitrary manner, for instance have variables
    which are important to them be at the top (and maybe refreshing
    faster) and others in another section of the page. Can XHTML handle
    this? Or would we require Ajax?

    Again, I apologize if I've butchered the terminology and used names
    which are completely incorrect. I'm a C programmer and very much a
    novice when it comes to web pages and their associated scripting
    languages.

    Thanks for your help,
    Ashish.
    , Dec 25, 2007
    #1
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  2. Guest

    You're talking about scripting languages for browsers -- but what you
    want to do involves mucking with the user's hardware, which most
    scripting languages are explicitly designed to limit in order to
    prevent the obvious security risks.

    So the first thing you need to figure out is whether there is a
    specific browser that will permit you to do this (or permit the user
    to permit it), and design that code. That's pretty far outside the
    scope of XML, so yes, you're in the wrong discussion.

    If/when you find a way to ask a browser to do it, you can then
    consider whether you want to use XML as input into this process.
    , Dec 25, 2007
    #2
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  3. Praetorian Guest

    On Dec 24, 7:41 pm, wrote:
    > You're talking about scripting languages for browsers -- but what you
    > want to do involves mucking with the user's hardware, which most
    > scripting languages are explicitly designed to limit in order to
    > prevent the obvious security risks.
    >
    > So the first thing you need to figure out is whether there is a
    > specific browser that will permit you to do this (or permit the user
    > to permit it), and design that code. That's pretty far outside the
    > scope of XML, so yes, you're in the wrong discussion.
    >
    > If/when you find a way to ask a browser to do it, you can then
    > consider whether you want to use XML as input into this process.


    Thanks for your reply,
    You're absolutely correct about the security implications of allowing
    browser scripts to access hardware. Some digging around on Google
    showed that there are quite a few people who want to do this sort of
    thing but it's not at all straightforward. Someone suggested that
    created a browser plugin (a DLL written in C++ for instance) to do the
    talking to the serial port is a possible solution. Assuming that's
    done, is the rest of it possible?

    Thanks again,
    Ashish.
    Praetorian, Dec 25, 2007
    #3
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