Author Topic: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers  (Read 7700 times)

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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http://virtuallyfun.superglobalmegacorp.com/2014/03/11/web-rendering-proxy-update/


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(note this is a guest post from Tenox)

WRP is a HTTP proxy service that renders web pages in to GIF images associated with a clickable imagemap of the original web links. It basically allows to use historical and obsolete web browsers on the modern web.




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There are two versions. Cocoa-webkit for Mac OS X and QT-Webkit for Linux/BSD/etc. The script can be downloaded
http://www.tenox.net/out/#wrp

http://virtuallyfun.superglobalmegacorp.com/2014/03/03/surfing-modern-web-with-ancient-browsers/

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I spend a fair amount of time working with legacy operating systems. Apart from being obsolete themselves they suffer from a common problem – the web browsers are simply unusable on a present day Internet. You start by getting JavaScript error on google.com and it only gets worse once you go further. Try going to microsoft.com with IE 1.5 or qnx.com with the last version of Voyager. This just doesn’t work. With rapid progression of web standards, the situation will only be getting worse in time. Something had to be done.

Quite a while ago I’ve came across Opera rendering proxy for mobile browsers. This got me thinking. If you could render a web page on a proxy server to a simplified HTML, say 3.x. This would make a lot of web browsers happy. For some unrelated purposes I have been using webkit2png which allows to create a whole web page snapshot in a single png image. Wait… what if such image had an image map of clickable regions pointing to the original links? Maybe…

The idea was born, but was it possible to implement and would it work? Webkit2png was quite far from having all the required functionality. For various reasons Python and I will never be friends, so extending the original script was bit out of luck. Fortunately though after some additional research I have stumbled upon picidae network. To my utter surprise they actually made all or even more functionality that I wanted in their picidae.py script. All that had to be done to adapt picidae to my purpose was to save the image as a GIF image, generate a simple HTML page with imagemap, an input box and strip all the unwanted stuff. This I could survive in Python.

Webrender.py came to life. It’s a cgi-bin application that resides on a machine in the middle. It renders a gif image and spits it out to the browser together with a simple web page, containing a URL and search input boxes plus the gif and image map.

After some initial debugging and massaging out few bugs the solution worked perfectly! I could finally get the old browsers happily navigate modern websites!

Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline Syntho

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 01:04:54 AM »
This would be great for something like Classilla. I'm in OS9 right now and the forum here looks terrible in Classilla!

Offline ziggy29

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 03:11:59 AM »
I think this forum looks fine in Classilla.   Of course, if there is *any* web site which I would expect to render well in Classilla, this one is pretty much it. 

I'd actually love to see a modern build of Lynx for OS 7/8/9.  A lot of the times when I'm doing things online for these systems, I neither need nor particularlly want all the graphics bells and whistles -- just something fast that handles the text well.  The are pretty recent Lynx builds for PPC Macs running Panther or Tiger, but not for OS 9 and earlier.  The only OS 9 compatible Lynx build I can find was last maintained in 1997 and is pretty much broken by modern web coding.

Not quite sure what the implementation details are for the process described above.  Is it proxy software that we have to build and install somewhere, perhaps on a server machine somewhere, then use it as a proxy server?

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2016, 02:56:37 PM »


Not quite sure what the implementation details are for the process described above.  Is it proxy software that we have to build and install somewhere, perhaps on a server machine somewhere, then use it as a proxy server?

Yes. But it works even on System 7 browsers, Win 3.1 and 95. I think it gives the machine in the middle all the CPU task for rendering freeing the "obsolete" machine as terminal. Another way of navigating. Even a Raspberry Pi could render more "modern" things than Classilla.
Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline madalynmcworm

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 09:22:24 AM »
I've been poking around with this, and was curious if anyone has been able to use text entry boxes on it?

Offline Sheeracali

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2020, 01:28:24 AM »
Does anyone have the download link to this? Thanks

Offline purakee

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 07:46:59 PM »
I found this: http://www.brow.sh/ it seems pretty decent.
It utilizes Firefox ESR.

Offline Roman323

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2020, 08:59:53 PM »
I found this too and its not WRP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=165zBELlHWw - This guy is running Windows 2000 and some program which allows the use of Moonlight to run on older hardware for modern browsing of the internet. This then gave me an idea about OS 9 and how to bring this to OS 9. But, I know some one these forums don't want to hear it, sadly  :-\

Offline adrianrmarsh

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 11:46:35 PM »
By no means a technical response to the original post (as I have no technical expertise to offer), I just wanted to post a link to The Old Net, a way of browsing the web of the past with browsers from the past http://theoldnet.com. It works wonderfully well on Mac OS 9 browsers such as Internet Explorer 5.1.7, iCab and less well on Classila. It isn't a way to surf modern web-sites and is not a substitute for finding a solution (if one exists) for accessing the modern web using Mac OS 9, but it is a lot of fun and reminds me certainly of how useful and enjoyable surfing the web was, before the advent of all the modern 'developments' we see on web sites and pages. Simplicity and ease of use has a great deal of charm in comparison…