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Re: [Lynx-dev] how to maximize client area???

From: Chuck Martin
Subject: Re: [Lynx-dev] how to maximize client area???
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:32:00 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

This one was also supposed to go to the list, so I'm rereplying.

On Sun, Jan 30, 2005 at 02:50:37PM -0500, address@hidden wrote:
> so, no-one will be preventing you from setting it for yourself.
> don't try to impose it on others who don't need it.

Lynx is a web browser.  The defaults should be those that help those
of us who use it as a web browser.  Any other uses are the exception.
Those exceptions can generally be accomodated by a little scripting
using sed/awk/perl/shell/whatever-other-tools-you-may-find-useful.

> > For one thing, without those spaces,
> > it's impossible to tell the difference between an H2 header
> > and a single line paragraph, which makes it very difficult
> > to scan through the headers in a web page when searching for something
> > or when trying to get a rough idea of a web page's content.
> why don't you use a GUI browser for such things ?

Because I prefer Lynx.  Some of my reasons for preferring Lynx have
already been stated by others who share my preference.  Others are
my own reasons, which I won't go into at the moment.

> i use Lynx mainly to send news articles to people via e-mail,
> when the indentation is a big pain, taking space unnecessarily
> or requiring a lot of editing to remove it.

As I stated above, this can be easily done with many readily available
tools.  Lynx can't accomodate every specialized use someone may come
up with, and shouldn't try.  It's a web browser.  Specialized uses can
be easily scripted to suit your preferences.

> otherwise, i use it to read local help files,
> where what is important is the text, not the variations in headers.

I find local help files much easier to use when I can see where the
headers are.  It helps me to find the section where the answer to my
question is most likely to be found, which makes more efficient use of
my time.

> surely, anyone outside the poorest parts of the World today
> has access to Firefox, Konqueror & other graphical browsers,
> which display WWW pages as their authors intend them to be seen.

This is one of my pet peeves.  HTML was intended as a mark-up language,
not a document layout language.  Web page authors should be providing
information, and let the end user decide what format is the most useful
to him/her.  I want to see the information the way it is most useful to
me, not in the way the author intended it to be seen.  We all work in
different ways.

> Lynx still has important uses, but in limited contexts.

Not so limited.  As others have pointed out, some of us use Lynx as our
primary web browser.

> > In fact, if you look through the src/DefaultStyle.c file
> > at the number of spaces in the various structures,
> > you'll find that information very useful in understanding web pages.
> i'm not the slightest interested in "understanding web pages".

I, for one, like to understand what I'm looking at/reading.

> i use Lynx for a couple of practical everyday purposes,
> where the actual text is important & structure largely irrelevant.

If structure really is irrelevant, then the current defaults should be
no problem, right?  :)

> sorry if i'm being a bit harsh -- it's not personal (smile) -- ,

Although it may sound that way, my points should not be taken personal,
either.  Even the one about my pet peeve.  It isn't you.  It's the way
the vast majority of web page authors misunderstand the purpose of HTML,
and try to make it do something it was never designed to do, which can
only be done by abuse of elements such as TABLEs and superfluous graphics
such as spacer.gif (a common "invisible" graphic used to position things).
Commercial web page authors are the worst offenders.  If they must try
to create a layout for their pages, it should be done with CSS, not HTML,
and they need to understood that some people may choose to ignore their
chosen style, or may be unable to use it.  It should never be assumed that
everyone will see your page in the same way, or that they even want to,
or are able to.

> but i really am irritated by the narrow-minded attitude of some replies.
> what's needed is a choice in  lynx.cfg  & the Options menu,
> when i can suppress the indentation & you can set it how you want.

That's a possibility, but is it necessary?  Will it serve everyone's needs?
Will it serve every specialized purpose that people are using Lynx for?
Or would most of these specialized purposes be better served by custom
scripting.  You may want everything flush left for your purposes, but
someone else may need something different for their specialized purposes.
Will an option to remove all spaces at the beginnings of lines (one of
the easiest things to script) suit everyone's specialized needs?


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