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Re: [Lynx-dev] can Lynx be used today ?

From: Walter Ian Kaye
Subject: Re: [Lynx-dev] can Lynx be used today ?
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 01:55:44 -0700

At 11:02p -0700 08/01/2004, Doug Kaufman didst inscribe upon an electronic papyrus:

I use lynx as my preferred browser, and only use a graphical browser
when I need pictorial information or when javascript needs to be used.
There are a few sites that are very unfriendly to lynx, but the vast
majority of sites that I go to work fine with it. Occasionally you need
to look at the source to see where links really are.

Ditto to what Doug said; exactly the same here. I even set up Lynx as my default browser on Mac OS X, and have used it on several occasions for ecommerce sites (such as for registering software).

At 07:12a +0100 08/02/2004, David Woolley didst inscribe upon an electronic papyrus:

 > Can a text-based web browser like Lynx really be used in 2004 with web
 > sites powered by Javascript, XML, ASP and the like ?  A local freenet that

I never understood "powered by"; what's wrong with "using".  ASP is
a server side technology and therefore irrelevant to the question.

Well except that about 30% of ASP sites fail with some kind of VB datatype error (which is strange since HTTP is sending text...). CFM sites always work though, so clearly Microsoft creates braindead server software.

As Internet Explorer doesn't support XML well and certainly doesn't
support XHTML (you have to serve it as HTML and rely on its HTML error
recovery to tolerate the syntax changes necessary for it to be XML)
I would say XML is unlikely to be an issue for several years, and is
mainly a look good on CVs issue.

:D  I use XML server side. (XML database + HTML template) + Perl = HTML page.
XML is great as a hierarchical data source; I don't use it for much else.

 > Lynx be updated or something to make it run current websites ?  I remember
 > a few years ago some websites had a 'text only' link so you could see
 > their site in a text-only mode.  I wish more did this.

I would say that the prevalence of text only (or low graphics) links is
increasing.  Maybe it is just that the number of new company web sites is
increasing; it is generally only the long established sites that are aware
of their legal obligations, and apart from a few, mainly academics, and
long established amateurs, it is legal obligations that result in
text only sites.

And I've noticed an increase in the number of clueful Web geeks on the newsgroup c.i.w.a.h (I think that's the one); very refreshing and heartening to see. Section 508 is fun to throw at people too, along with the usual references to sight-impaired people and search engine 'bots. Google has a tips page which is also good to reference when trying to show people the error of their ways.

Generally what the web authors may claim to be progress is really regression
to the state of the world before HTML.

I once came up with a good definition of "progress" on some eBay user forum; something about slower + less compatible + some-third-thing-I-forget. It was funny; if only I'd saved a copy to disk. Well you know what I mean. :-)
Oh i think the 3rd thing was something like "less intuitive". :-D

In my view, support for de facto browser object models would be a major
rewrite and one would be better off using Gecko as a starting point.

I'm still waiting for Mac browsers to give me a DOM that's accessible via AppleScript without any trace of JavaScript. I may be waiting a long time...


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