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Re: LYNX-DEV Building and using Lynx with DECNET emulation

From: Foteos Macrides
Subject: Re: LYNX-DEV Building and using Lynx with DECNET emulation
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 1997 18:16:45 -0500 (EST)

Al Gilman <address@hidden> wrote:
>  From: address@hidden (Sheldon Bishov, ZKO3-4/W6, dtn 381-0372)
>  I've been working in the group that has put out the OpenVMS Internet
>  Product Suite CD.  Lynx is one of the freeware browsers included on that
>  CD.  A customer asked about running Lynx for strictly local access in
>  viewing html file, to be run on a system with no TCP/IP package.
>Does your customer understand that vanilla "out-of-the-box" Lynx
>runs fine without a network?  You don't have to Make a special Lynx
>so long as the pages it navigates use only file: and relative
>URLs to refer to the next place to go.

        In 1992 the physicists at CERN were heavily into VAXen, and
added real DECNET support to the original (v1, a.k.a. HTTP/0.9)
libwww.  It used DECNET without TCPIP, and URLS such as:

or:     file://wfbr!/device/directory/filename

would be translated to:


It involved use of a decnet.h header which Lou didn't include in the
Lynx distribution, and which I wasn't able to track down.  The current
Lynx code does not support such communication across DECNET nodes, and
assumes linking to a TCPIP library.

        I haven't looked at those mods carefully yet, but it seems
worth restoring if the local directory listings and file fetches
can be made to work properly.  One problem is that stat() doesn't
work across DECNET nodes, and it's directly or indirectly involved
in some of the directory listing functions on VMS, so those mods may
not be doing everything that's intended in current versions of Lynx.
I retroported the v3 libwww HTDirBrw.c stat() emulations to the Lynx
HTVMSUtils.c module, but they were junk, and I never got back to
setting up VMS system calls that really work with DECNET.  As it is,
the Lynx image is much bigger on VMS than on Unix because of my Unix
emulation functions that end up inlined, so I think twice about adding
more unless they're really needed.  On the other hand, the DECNET
version would be leaving out all the TCPIP-based stuff, so that in
itself would reduce the size of the image considerably.

        If you're only doing directory listings and file handling on
the local DECNET node, and do have a TCPIP library for the link (even
though you don't intend to use it), then yes, you don't need the DECNET
support on VMS.


 Foteos Macrides            Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
 address@hidden         222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
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