Moving w3m out of standard

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at
Mon Jun 16 15:30:01 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 9:31 AM, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at> wrote:
>  * w3m            # we need some text-based html presenter
> I'd like to formally cast doubt on this statement from the standard seed.
> This was originally added a long time ago in order to provide a text-based
> browser for use on servers, at a time when the default server installation
> was a strict subset of the desktop.  It is completely superfluous on a
> modern desktop.
> Now that this is becoming possible with the new server seed[1], I'd like to
> propose that it move to the server seed instead (or even be removed, if the
> server team doesn't feel it's appropriate).
> Note that wget, which is much smaller, simpler and more generally useful
> (e.g. in scripts) is already in standard.

Matt, et al.-

I agree 100% that w3m is completely unnecessary on a modern Ubuntu
desktop machine.  No argument there.

On a server without X, however, I think that some form of an
interactive text web browser is still useful.  I know of 3 in Ubuntu
main, (w3m, lynx, elinks).  I can't speak for the state of upstream
development of any of those.  They may be other alternatives.

But I do see a distinct difference between w3m/lynx/elinks and
wget/curl.  The latter are useful for scripting the downloading of
files/content and then acting on it.  The former are more interactive,
and allow for web searching, following links, reading pages.

We can debate whether an interactive text browser belongs in the
default server seed, or if we simply document how to install and use
it in the Server Guide.  I'd like to see an interactive web browser
remain on the server, though.


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