Author Topic: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers  (Read 17666 times)

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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


Quote
(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…

Offline PowerFinnrich

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2020, 10:35:08 AM »
This is an incredibly nice thing!!
I installed WRP on my laptop and am currently using discord (yes, really)
in the classilla browser. It's not perfect, but it works.
Of course I'd rather use Discord with a stand-alone-browser on OS 9,
but we all know that it's very unlikely to ever happen...
Browsing this forum with my PowerMacintosh 9600/350 with OS 9.2.2!

Offline macarone

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2020, 05:26:54 AM »
This is an incredibly nice thing!!
I installed WRP on my laptop and am currently using discord (yes, really)
in the classilla browser. It's not perfect, but it works.

Could you post the file or a working link to it, as well as installation instructions?
I was not able to find these. Thanks!

Offline PowerFinnrich

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2020, 10:24:01 AM »
Hi,

I had some problems with the installation, too.
But this is what you have to do:
1. Download the WRP application.
2. Download Google Chrome/Chromium.
3. Put the WRP application into the same folder as chrome.exe/.app/...
4. Run WRP.
5. Startup your Macintosh and open Classilla.
6. Open the url (ip adress of your pc/pi + :8080),
for example: 123.456.789:8080
7. Have fun with WRP and Classilla!
Browsing this forum with my PowerMacintosh 9600/350 with OS 9.2.2!

Offline macarone

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2020, 04:14:54 AM »

I had some problems with the installation, too.

7. Have fun with WRP and Classilla!

Thanks for your post. I hope it helps somebody else, even if it was useless to me.

Offline PowerFinnrich

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2021, 11:00:14 AM »
Hello,

I found this new thing called "browservice".
Although I could not test it because I do not have a Raspberry Pi or the time to handle this more difficult setup,
it looks pretty awesome and much more useful than the WRP.

Here is a video of browservice used with Mac OS 9:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO3wl6VnDqk

And the github page of this project:
https://github.com/ttalvitie/browservice
Browsing this forum with my PowerMacintosh 9600/350 with OS 9.2.2!

Offline ovalking

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 11:56:22 AM »
I'm confused by this thread.

Some of the links quoted don't work, but I found a WRP ReadMe which says "This machine should be pretty modern, high spec and Google Chrome / Chromium Browser is required to be preinstalled."

So it appears to be useless for my classic Macs, despite practically every OS getting a mention in this thread!

Offline PowerFinnrich

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2021, 05:21:09 AM »
So it appears to be useless for my classic Macs
Well WRP etc. are proxys through which you can get your old macs back to modern internet pages again. If you only have classic Macintoshes and no more modern machine, of course you cannot use it (because you have to install it on a modern day computer). Of course a standalone-thing for classic mac would be better, but that seems to be impossible, so I do not really understand what the problem is.
Browsing this forum with my PowerMacintosh 9600/350 with OS 9.2.2!

Offline ovalking

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2021, 12:14:53 AM »
Thanks - I think I get it now!

Is there a publicly accessible WRP server somewhere we can point to?

Otherwise it still seems useless - if you've got a modern machine to run this s/w, you might as well use that to view the web page surely...


Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2021, 06:06:18 AM »
https://github.com/tenox7/wrp

Quote
Usage

    Download a WRP binary and run it on a machine that will become your WRP gateway/server. This machine should be pretty modern, high spec and Google Chrome / Chromium Browser is required to be preinstalled.
    Point your legacy browser to http://address:port of WRP server. Do not set or use it as a "proxy server".
    Type a search string or a http/https URL and click Go.
    Adjust your screen Width/Height/**Scale/Colors to fit in your old browser.
    Scroll web page by clicking on the in-image scroll bar.
    Do not use client browser history-back, instead use Bk button in the app.
    To send keystrokes, fill K input box and press Go. There also are buttons for backspace, enter and arrow keys.
    You can set height H to 0 to render pages in to a single tall image without the vertical scrollbar and use client scrolling. However this should not be used with old and low spec clients. Such tall images will be very large and take long time to process, especially for GIFs.
    Prefer PNG over GIF if your browser supports it. PNG is much faster, whereas GIF requires a lot of additional processing on both client and server.
Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline Roman323

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2021, 02:46:06 AM »
Hello,

I found this new thing called "browservice".
Although I could not test it because I do not have a Raspberry Pi or the time to handle this more difficult setup,
it looks pretty awesome and much more useful than the WRP.

Here is a video of browservice used with Mac OS 9:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO3wl6VnDqk

And the github page of this project:
https://github.com/ttalvitie/browservice

This is nice ! How do I use this in OS 9 Classila ?

Offline Roman323

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Re: Web Rendering Proxy+Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2021, 11:59:39 PM »
UPDATE: Setup already Browservice and my 2012 MacBook Pro running Ubuntu 20.04 is the host which is providing OS 9's classila and all other browsers access via Browservice. It was easy to set up. Sound will be coming soon. Its not super quick, but its quick enough to browse the modern web. It even allows Youtube to be played, albeit via the server which is translating and sending the pictures and rendering to the browser in a way it understands.

Will post some pics soon.

 


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