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LYNX-DEV Re: your mail

From: David Woolley
Subject: LYNX-DEV Re: your mail
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 23:53:39 +0100 (BST)

> Ever since I am unable to activate
> (execute) the current link
> using <return> or right arrow.

If this is true for all links, this is a problem for your ISP, as the
only plausible explanation would be a corrupt installation of Lynx.

> This is especially for the web based email
> services like hotmail,,
> during the send command.

If what you are really saying is that you can't submit forms, you should
be aware that you can only submit with enter for single field forms or
by using a submit button.  It is conceivable that some people have started
constructing forms without submit buttons, because the major GUI browsers
use tab for end of field, so return is free for an anonymous submit button.

One thing that could cause selective failures is poor connectivity to the
internet.  Lynx will timeout requests.  It will flash a message when this
happens, but it is easy to miss.  Static pages can (and should in your case)
be cached by the ISP, but forms must be submitted to the USA.

The only real counter to poor connectivity is to connect at times when
the international links are likely to be lightly loaded, and preferably
when the US internal traffic is light.  In the UK that tends to mean
around breakfast time.  (if there is a traceroute command available, you
should probably try to work out the route your traffic takes, as it could
be quite significant as to whether it takes a Pacific or Atlantic route.

> Both my ISP provider nor the
> web-based free email providers are
> unable to solve the bug.

Normally, on the limited information you've provided, I would have said
you didn't have a proveable case against Lynx.  However, I've noticed
that, in circumstances where packet loss is probable, Lynx will often
hang after sending the HTTP request.  Note this is not a case of ignoring
return or right arrow, but of failing to complete the interaction with
the remote site.  This is Lynx 2-7, with bug fixes to March 4th on Linux
kernel 2.0.30, with ppp 2.2.0f and 2.3.0.  (When I say hang, I don't mean
that it stalls completely, only that it fails to make any progress until
aborted by control-G (or presumably, z).)  There seems to be some quite
tricky and rather system dependent code in HTTCP.c which could well be
faulty on some operating systems.  This problem is associated with packet
loss and/or long round trip delays, so avoiding overloaded links is the
only action you can take directly.

(I wasn't sure whether the problem was server side on client side, and in
any case, I hope to find time to attack the packet loss problem.)

Some background information might also be useful, as using US based
web servers for email doesn't seem to be the best way of getting email
connectivity from somewhere which is unlikely to have good connections
to the USA and where phone calls are expensive.  In particular, if your
main requirements are for email, a shell account is unlikely to be the
best solution.

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