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Re: lynx-dev Adding script support

From: Henry Nelson
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Adding script support
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 11:09:40 +0900 (JST)

> If anyone on the list finds any way for Lynx to tackle any of the
> Javascript running rampant on the web, there are a number of testers

The inclusion of the keyword "any" is the only reason I respond.

There are basically only two ways at present to have "Lynx tackle _some_
Javascript;" both rely on manual interpretation of the Javascript by the
user.  For simple "onclick goto" kinds of things, use the e)dit command
on a downloaded page and directly "doctor up" the html by taking
appropriate link(s) out of the <script> section so that Lynx can present
it/them.  A variation on this theme is to \)view the source and use
cut-n-paste (of Windows, your terminal emulator or screen multiplexor)
to have Lynx g)oto the desired location.  For more complex scripts that
end up throwing out a number of relocations each with another chunk of
Javascript, I find it easier to to write a script that calls Lynx in
dump mode as many times as necessary to collect and feed the information
to the site as required to get to the final destination, at which time
I call Lynx interactively.

This is all very labor intensive, and only pays off for sites that you
MUST to go to.  More importantly, this strategy barely scratches the
surface and really only is a workaround for abuse of Javascript.  If the
webmaster of a particular site is a true programmer using Javascript for
"legitimate" purposes, then you're just wasting your time.  That person
will have provided a site specifically enhanced for browsers like Lynx,
or he has no intent whatsoever of offering support for "low-tech."  You
will never find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

The exclusive use of Javascripting for an educational site as mentioned
by someone on the list seems quite inappropriate.  Rather than try to
force Lynx to understand a miniscule subset of Javascript, I think your
time would be better spent explaining to the prof(s) why they should be
using CGI or some other method to achieve their goals.  It's not as if
they are a commercial site that has no idea who, and for what reason, is
accessing the site.  I seriously doubt they are getting thousands of hits
an hour, another reason for employing Javascript.


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