The button in the caption of Figure 1 (xtex or HTML version) is the entry point to the interactive reproduction of the article's result. The button in the traditional xtex version of this paper will issue a makefile command that in return invokes an xtpanel Cole and Nichols (1992) graphical user interface. The GUI offers the four standard commands of SEP's reproducible research: to view, burn, build, and clean the document.
In the HTML version of the paper, the reader can execute these standard commands by pressing buttons beneath the figure. To enable Netscape to issue certain commands (make invocations of the targets view, burn, build, and clean), we introduced a sepshell scripy and added an application mime type to the mailcap file. These sepshell programs issue the corresponding GNU-make commands on the local browser client. We code the absolute path of a document into a figure's HTML representation. The HTML figure buttons use this absolute pathname to connect to the document's corresponding makefile. In practice, this mechanism limits interactive HTML versions of reproducible documents to SEP's local machines, unless a reader downloads and installs the SEP environment on his own computer or runs it from a CD-ROM.
In addition to the traditional buttons that relate to the reproduction of a document's results, latex2html adds an edit and reset button. The edit button displays a document's makefile for editing. Other files can be opened and changed with the editor. If the document is maintained under RCS version control (you can find more about RCS at any GNU software site, e.g. <http://www.delorie.com/gnu/>), then the restore button will reset all files to the original state. This feature might be useful for teaching courses, but as a default we plan to disable the edit and restore button to avoid accidental changes of the underlying software.
A simple nobutton definition in the paper.tex file will result in a straightforward HTML or xtex document without any interactive buttons.