Moving w3m out of standard

Steve Beattie sbeattie at
Tue Jun 17 04:38:41 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 03:31:46PM +0100, Matt Zimmerman 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.

I have no opinion as to where in the seeds w3m exists, so long as I can
apt-get install it somehow on my apparently archaic desktop, where it
is not superfluous at all.

But do note that wget, curl et al serve slightly different purposes
than w3m, lynx, elinks et al in that the latter do interpretation and
presentation of html, not merely just pulling it from the network. For
example, I use a text based email client and I use "w3m --dump" in my
mailcap entry[0] to handle html email, so that I can read and respond to
the processed output, not the raw html. It's particularly effective for
handling html email that contains tables in it, especially if you need
to address in your reply to said email specific elements within tables
and wish to comment inline.

And that's not even mentioning w3m-img, which lets it display graphical
elements within an X terminal just peachy.

(I picked w3m a couple of years ago because it handled tables and other
formatted html layouts the best of it, lynx, and elinks. But which one
does this best may have changed.)

[0] Sorry, Kees. I don't even run it wrapped in an apparmor profile,
    though I know w3m has had a few security issues in the past.

Steve Beattie
<sbeattie at>
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