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Re: lynx-dev latest status on java script support?

From: Martin McCormick
Subject: Re: lynx-dev latest status on java script support?
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 16:56:02 -0600

        I tried the version of netrik that is current and it
demonstrates that a number of sites that are presently totally
inaccessible under lynx could be used under a browser with
javascript support.

        We have a bunch of web sites right here where I work that
are built with Lotus Domino and do absolutely nothing except
raise one's blood pressure if they are accessed under lynx.  One
site presents a pair of links and when you select one, you get a
set of links that are all relative URL's and onclick
monstrosities.  When you tab through them, the highlight moves
along but when you select one of the links, the highlight snaps
back to the left-most link and that's all that site does under

        Under netrik, the set of links I just described fully
display all be it with vociferous complaints about the syntax of
the html, but one can read the page.  In fact, the links in that
page appear to work.

        As a person who is blind, I so much want to be able to
stick with UNIX to access as much of the web as I can, but it is
getting harder by the day due to all the JS-run sites.

        As for complaining, forget it.  The folks out there are
happily cranking their Microsoft systems and saying that they
read somewhere that JAWS which runs only on Windows and costs up
to $1500 solves all the worlds problems so just give up and start
shoveling money.  The game is over.

        What I actually think is that limited javascript support
won't cure all ills, but it will certainly open up a large number
of sites to the kind of access we used to have 5 or 6 years ago.

        The netrik application is so new that it is basically a
concept more than a working tool, but if that tool had all the
neat features that lynx has and could also handle the relative
links and fake the mouse clicks, we'd have something truly

        This isn't a gripe at anybody.  I am only stating that it
is worth trying to get a text browser that does javascript and
allows one to complete forms and download files if at all
possible.  These are the actions that probably mean the most in
day-to-day work and play.  There will still be plenty of things
that don't work, but we must take it one problem at a time.  Make
the links work.  Then try to render readable text on most pages,
then worry about more exotic tasks like what to do with binaries,

        I feel kind of bad because I do like to write programs in
C and experiment a bit, but I am not sure I have the knowledge to
hit the ground running in this particular area.  

        If there are any problems that lend themselves to a more
or less modular solution, I am certainly willing to pitch in and

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK 
OSU Center for Computing and Information Services Network Operations Group

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