The web browser, not the cat. See example.
But it is a very sturdy, fast, and dependable program.
Lynx was probably the first web browser, is still actively developed, and is still the fastest [one-pass rendering has its disadvantages, but being slow is not one of them]. In fact it was browsing hyperlinked documents before anyone was writing HTML , and querying gopher servers before the HTTP protocol became popular. Much of its user interface is hypertext; even the options screen is an internally generated HTML form.
I began using Lynx, actually MacLynx, in the late 1990s. That and a shell account with my ISP were the first experiences I had with Unix-like systems [or applications built for them].
This was great. Not loading images was of course much faster over dialup, while its lack of distractions, and generally stripped-down approach to the web were also a nice change. The screen flicker might have been annoying for some, but to me that just made it a little more edgy. It was a first beta, and buggy as hell, but predictably buggy; I quickly learned how not to crash it. This was also a nice change from Netscape, which seemed to freak-out entirely at random, and occasionally took the system down with it.
Compare riding a motorcycle with driving a station wagon [one of my favourite comparisons at the time, and probably what inspired the ASCII art, above]... MacLynx would go wherever you want, fast, including through a brick wall if you're not careful.
Of course, so would a huge, gas-guzzling, station wagon, with bad brakes...
Anyway, it was a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, said ISP later got too big, too fast, and started having trouble keeping up with the increased demand for bandwidth. Customer service quickly lost its charm, tech support was soon neither technical nor very supportive, and basically, the whole outfit turned to s**t in a hurry. Having since tried Telus and Primus, I'd have to say that's pretty typical of large ISPs.
Meanwhile, MacLynx had only reached the initial beta release stage, when it was abandoned by its author. In fact it had been abandoned before I'd ever seen it. Still, I have fond memories of that beast.
It was much later that I got my grubby little paws on a PC, installed Linux [after a couple of frustrating months trying to get my head around Windows], and found that Lynx is actually a lot more at home there. :-) It's even a quite capable file manager for the console. [Note to Konqueror fans; the idea of a file manager with built-in web browser -- or in this case, a web browser with built-in file management capabilities -- is nothing new. Konqueror does a good job of it though, so no offense.]
But I will say one nice thing about Windows; Frederic L. W. Meunier's Win32 Lynx build has a lot of nice features enabled, which later kind of spoiled me on the Debian package. That's why I build it from source now. Also, the `Command Prompt' [CMD.EXE] would let you select a rectangular block of text rather than line-by-line. I'm still looking for a terminal emulator that will do that.
Sorry, that was two things.
Claudio Santambrogio's installer was also a good starting point.
Damn. That's three. Nevermind.
I've written a couple little utilities for Lynx, and one that uses it.
Standard Disclaimer applies to all scripts and script output, although I do hope they'll be useful to you. The GNU General Public License applies to most scripts, except for the ridiculously simple ones. Those I've decided to just put in the public domain.
Oh, and here's a couple of little things, too minor to deserve their own pages although they might come in handy; an image viewer script and external editor script, meant to work with or without the GUI. These two are released into the public domain.
Can be defined as Lynx's external editor.
If you prefer a graphical text editor, but want a console-based fallback just in case, here's a little script for that. It only uses the graphical one if you've got an X display to run it in.
#!/bin/sh if [ "$DISPLAY" = "" ] then nano $@ # Or vi, vim, emacs, or whatever you like. else mousepad $@ # Or leafpad, gedit, kate... fi # End
Same as above.
There are these things called captchas, perhaps you've heard of them? If you're stuck in the console and need to log in somewhere [especially a users' forum, to ask how you can fix the problem], this might help.
#!/bin/sh if [ "$DISPLAY" = "" ] then cacaview $@ # Render images as ASCII art on the console. # aview is another image-as-text rendering # program. else xli $@ > /dev/null & # Or whatever image viewer you like. fi # End
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