When you invoke netscape on some systems such as ours, you
do not actually run the binary directly.
/usr/local/bin/netscape, which is on most user's PATH,
is actually just a symbolic link to /usr/local/netscape/netscape,
which in turn is just a shell script, a front end to the binary:
The purpose of front ends such as this are:
These advantages offset the slight penalty that applications start
a bit slower.
- Set parameters or configure the program so that it is not necessary
for individual users to do this. You can send many e-mail messages
but some users will still not have followed your instructions and
others will have inserted the wrong things. It gets worse if you
discover your initial instructions need revision. ;-)
So that users do not need to change their PATH every time software
is installed or upgraded.
Also parallel version can be run; the new version
can be installed and tested while the old version is still being used.
To switch over to the new version, just change a link
or change the version number in the front end.
Last update: 2001 January 11