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lynx-dev Escaping URLs on the command line?

From: Walter Ian Kaye
Subject: lynx-dev Escaping URLs on the command line?
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 00:50:01 -0700

For the program I'm writing (to make Lynx the default browser in OS X), I need to escape URLs when I pass them to Lynx on the command line.

I need to know how much escaping is necessary -- too much might make an escape character look like a literal to Lynx, and too little will fail in the shell. And "the shell" may be a problem too; do different shells (bash, tcsh, ksh) use different sets of "interpretable" characters? Is it possible to have an escaping routine that will work with any shell? What list of characters should I escape, and is backslash-escaping sufficient (a singlequote may appear in a URL, according to RFC 2396)?

Has anyone worked this out already?

 wrestling with OS X's "sticky" MSIE default (see thread at

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