"Browse" Home Page

"browse" is a small program that will display an arbitrary reference (URL or file) on a Unix-like system, trying a number of different browsers (controllable by the user) until it finds one that works.

It implements the Secure BROWSER convention, a modification of Eric Raymond's BROWSER convention that's been modified so it's not a security hazard. Just set the BROWSER environment variable to select your browser(s). Indeed, "browse" can also be used as a reference implementation if you want to implement the convention yourself.

Using browse is easy, just give it "--" and a URL. Here's an example:

  $ browse -- 'http://www.dwheeler.com'

The Secure BROWSER convention is secure, while the original BROWSER convention isn't. In the original BROWSER convention, a URL of ";rm -fr /;" would increase your free disk space. The secure BROWSER convention is still simple to implement, too. The secure BROWSER convention is still being discussed by security folks; very soon I hope to have the "final" version. see the specification for details.

Here are some relevant pages:

If you find a security hole, please contact David A. Wheeler at dwheeler@dwheeler.com (no spam please). Note that originally, "browse" was named "show_url".

You can go up to see David A. Wheeler's site.