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Re: lynx-dev anonymous usage of Lynx

From: Greg Barniskis
Subject: Re: lynx-dev anonymous usage of Lynx
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 98 11:07:40 -0500

Philip Webb said:

>do that many of your patrons actually use Lynx?
>certainly encouraging if they do & a reason to support anonymous problems.

we're on track to have over 40,000 lynx invocations this year. No way to 
tell how many individuals that is -- sure some individuals use it daily, 
others just once. Use counts for lynx are growing fast, as are all our 
network services.

>your catalog, books etc aren't involved in this discussion

sorry, didn't mean to sidetrack or clutter the list with trivia. You 
suggested eliminating anonymous logins and I thought I should try to 
justify a site policy of "we don't ID users unless we have to". 
Temptation to discuss user paranoia re: govt. computers redirected to 
/dev/null. ;)

>the problem is that catering for anonymous use of complex software like Lynx
>bears a large cost in scarce volunteer labor    [snip]
>how far should other people -- some of them in other countries --
>be supporting the special needs of your library patrons?

I'm well aware that all the developers are volunteers and hard pressed to 
squeeze meaningful work time into this project. How far should anyone go 
to enhance or preserve any particular feature or functionality? Only as 
far as you are passionate about it and it doesn't hurt the project, of 

If the code supporting any particular feature is creating a lot of drag 
on development in other areas, I agree that it's a candidate for 
deprecation. As such it's put to the list for discussion, people like me 
throw in their side of the story, and the developers judge how best to 

If the security model for lynx changed such that anonymous user 
environments would no longer be actively supported, then I'd just have to 
find some way to cope. You're absolutely right in saying that careful 
host configuration is a viable alternative for complex code in the 
application (and such code is never a substitute for careful host 
configuration). Some balance between the two is appropriate.

Obviously I have particular interests I'd like to see represented in a 
discussion of lynx development. Realistically, I should be offering to 
put my gray cells to work on supporting code for those feature sets 
important to me, but I fear that my rather meager familiarity with C 
would be of more hindrance than help to the rest of you. But I am working 
on those skills (and staying tuned to this list) in the hope of being 
able to offer something in the future. Until then I just have end user 
opinions to voice. Thanks for hearing me.

Greg Barniskis                   address@hidden
Network Administrator                  (608) 266-6394
Library Interchange NetworK (LINK)      fax: 266-6068
South Central Library System (SCLS)       Madison, WI

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