A preliminary release of Vita Nuova's Inferno Plug-in for Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows is available
for free download.
Inferno applications to be embedded in a web page and executed within
the browser window.
Go straight to the sample programs.
What is it for?
Apart from its uses in embedded systems, Inferno provides facilities
for developing distributed applications which can be run on a wide
range of platforms including Linux, Solaris, Plan 9 and Windows.
Instead of end users having to install the whole Inferno system, this
plug-in enables any Windows user to run an Inferno application by
means of a one-off download of less than 1 Mb. Inferno binaries are
both compact and platform-independent and can easily be downloaded
The Plug-in is covered by the Inferno Binary and Limited Source Licence. This licence places no restrictions on how you distribute any software
which you develop yourself: you can make such software freely available, or you can sell it
What Language is Used to Write Applications?
Inferno applications are written in Limbo, a simple, modular, C-like
language which (unlike some object-oriented languages) is
exceptionally easy to read and understand. Limbo has advanced
built-in facilities for string handling, list manipulation and
interprocess communication and synchronization.
Some browser plug-ins are notoriously insecure, allowing a rogue
application to adversely affect the host PC by installing viruses or
other undesirable software. In order to keep the Inferno plug-in
secure, in this first version some restrictions are imposed on an Inferno
application running as a plug-in. These are:
Vita Nuova is working on ways of removing these restrictions
whilst maintaining security, and a further announcement will follow
- No network
connections can be made
- There is no access to local disk files.
You can download the IE Plug-in now, or alternatively the first time you view a web page
which requires the Plug-in, you will be asked if you wish to download it. The Plug-in is around 700Kb in size and may take a few minutes
to download if you have a slow link.
A number of sample plug-in applications are provided, complete with all source code,
and a full Introduction to the Inferno Plug-in is also available, including information on
writing your own plug-in applications.
If you write an interesting program which is suitable for use as a
plug-in sample, send it to us and we will include it on our web
site. As usual, authors of accepted contributions will receive a free
Known Issues with Internet Explorer 5
There are a few minor issues with text windows in IE 5:
- Carriage Return characters appear in text windows.
- Pressing the Backspace key in a text window is equivalent to clicking on the browser's Back button. A workaround is to use Control-Shift-H instead.
Similarly, use Control-Shift-D for end-of-file.
Will Inferno Plug-ins be Available for Other Browsers?
We are intending to make a similar plug-in available for Netscape under Windows and Linux.
If you find any problems or have any other comments on the IE Plug-in, please email