Lynx (web browser)

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Lynx is a text-based web browser for use on cursor-addressable character cell terminals[2] and is very configurable.[3]

Contents

Usage

Browsing in Lynx consists of highlighting the chosen link using cursor keys, or having all links on a page numbered and entering the chosen link's number. Current versions support SSL[3] and many HTML features. Tables are formatted using spaces, while frames are identified by name and can be explored as if they were separate pages. Lynx cannot inherently display various types of non-text content on the web, such as images and video,[2] but it can launch external programs to handle it, such as an image viewer or a video player.

Because of its text-to-speech–friendly interface,[4] Lynx was once popular with visually impaired users, but better screen readers have reduced the appeal of this application.[4] Lynx is also used to check for usability of websites in older browsers. It is still included in a number of Unix products and Linux distributions,[5] and is particularly useful for reading documentation or downloading files[6] when only a text-based environment is available. It is also useful for accessing websites from a remotely connected system in which no graphical display is available.[6] Despite its text-only nature and age, it can still be used to effectively browse much of the modern web, including performing interactive tasks such as editing Wikipedia. The speed benefits of text-only browsing are most apparent when using low bandwidth internet connections, or older computer hardware that may be slow to render image-heavy content.

Privacy

Because Lynx does not support graphics, web bugs that track user information are not fetched, and emails can be read without the privacy concerns of graphic web browsers[7]—though many webmail services today disable images in emails by default, and most graphic web browsers allow images to be disabled as well.[citation needed]

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