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Re: lynx-dev Revised patch for HTFTP.c

From: Henry Nelson
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Revised patch for HTFTP.c
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 16:59:36 +0900 (JST)

> least for some cases). If you want binary *transfer*, then it's only
> consistent to also treat it as *binary content*, i.e. not render it in
> lynx at all but provide a download prompt (or maybe call an external

This makes 100% sense to me, and is what I'd like to see.  If there is
no way for Lynx to tell what kind of file is on the server, I think it
should assume it is a binary file, should transfer it as such, and
should not attempt to render it.  It is then up to the user to have as
a "download" option or "viewer" some program like "most" which has routines
for guessing whether a file is binary or not and will render either
appropriately.  If necessary, Lynx should issue a message to the effect
that it had to transfer in binary mode and cannot safely render the file
since it had no way of knowing the content type.  (No, I don't want that

> So that change of default, in the way of understanding it that makes sense
> to me, would make some files non-renderable (user gets 'd' offer instead).
> Complaints are foreseeable.  Heck I would complain.

Why complain.  Seems to me the server is at fault for giving no indication
whatsoever what kind of file is there.  I hit return, wait half a day :) :)
over my slow link to get a file, finally get it and see a bunch of garbage.
Heck I do complain.

Seriously, though, it doesn't matter that much to me.  The real key is for
users to know that 'd' means to transfer in binary mode, so be prepared, and
hitting return means to transfer in ascii and risk having the file mangled,
although there will certainly be "something" to view.

The only alternative (nightmare) I see is to make Lynx into a file viewer.
Oh I shudder for having said that since some people on this list really
think that's a good idea.  Brrrrr [shakes his shoulders].

> or rather, he/she thinks that he/she should not have to think and do
> at all, but let lynx "do", by just rendering the file contents.  After all
> that may be the only reason why the user is using lynx and not some
> plain old Unix ftp...

You're just the best person.  Hope I'm able to meet you some day before I
kick off.


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