Python 2.0 quick reference...

Simon Brunning SBrunning at
Mon May 21 04:29:23 EDT 2001

> From:	kamikaze at [SMTP:kamikaze at]
> >[Simon Brunning]
> >> I'm not familiar with Lynx. Which is consultant-speak for 'I've never
> >> heard of it'. Could someone point me at it? (I did a quick google, but
> >> most of the links point at some obscure browser.)
>   This just makes me laugh...  "Use Lynx to get a text version of your
> web page."  "All I can find is some text-based web browser..."
Well, if (a) you knew that Lynx is a text browser, and (b) you knew that
Andrew was asking for a text version of the QR, then yes, it would be a bit

But I knew neither of these things - Andrew suggested that I run the QR
through Lynx to replace the cheatsheet. Now, I don't have that file in my
distribution. Given that it was missing from the Windows installation
suggested to me that it might be a *nix file format of some kind - a man
page or some such.

My cursory research into Lynx told me that it is a browser - it was not
immediately obvious that this was the Lynx that Andrew suggested.
>   You're blond, aren't you, Simon?
Bald actually. But if you are suggesting that I'm stupid, then I'll admit to
that one.
> > Bingo.  Lynx is an obscure text-only browser, hence Andrew's suggestion
> to
>   "Obscure" may not be the right word, given that it's the oldest
> browser still in use, and about 1% of the users who hit my site use it
> (at ~28000 hits/month, that's probably a tolerable sample size),
> according to my logs.  It's also the primary browser for the blind, and
> for Unix users who can't be bothered to waste time waiting for X and
> Netscape to start up.  Lynx starts in a fraction of a second (0.012s
> according to time).  Very useful.
Well, *I'd* call 1% fairly obscure. Which doesn't mean bad - Python is
obscure as compared with VB, say, and I'm sure that we can all agree...

Your point about the blind is well made.
>   I've encountered people who are hostile to it before (sometimes VERY
> hostile, verging on religious jihad, as though the existence of a text
> browser is somehow causing them direct physical harm), but this is the
> first time I've seen someone who allegedly uses computers regularly who
> didn't know what it was.
I ain't hostile - just ignorant. And yes, I had *heard* of it - I just knew
nothing about it. I'll bear it in mind in future.

I reckon that if you took a poll of people who 'use computers regularly',
most if them would never have heard of *Linux*, let alone Lynx.
>   Why, you're right, that's MUCH easier than installing a simple program
> like Lynx (it's a standard part of almost all Linux installations -
> Linux wins again in the ease-of-use and most-programs-readily-available
> departments) and typing `lynx --dump url >url.txt` (or browsing with
> lynx and "printing" to a text file, if you don't believe in automating
> things).
As I admitted elsewhere in this thread, I'm a Microsoft
victim^h^h^h^h^h^huser. Is Lynx available for Windows?

If not, then there is rather more than a simple install involved, isn't

Linux is certainly on my 'absolutely must learn' list, but it's not at the
top yet...
>   And making people who suggest good tools do all the work with those
> tools for others, why that's just common sense.  Wouldn't want to make
> anyone learn new things, or encourage anyone to share information like
> that, now would we?
Andrew was suggesting that another file format should be supported - he
wasn't *just* suggesting a tool, he was suggesting a job and a tool to do it
with! 'You want it, you make it' isn't really that unreasonable.

Ah well. What's happened to lately? It's been like walking on
eggshells recently.

Simon Brunning
TriSystems Ltd.
sbrunning at

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