Moving w3m out of standard

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Tue Jun 17 09:24:01 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 09:38:41PM -0700, Steve Beattie wrote:
> 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.

The seed lists determine which packages are included in the 'main'
component, from which the official CDs and other end products are built.
They don't affect which packages are available for download, and I'm
certainly not suggesting that w3m should be removed from Ubuntu.

> 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.

I use both regularly and understand the difference; again, no one will
prevent you from using w3m regardless of its seed status. :-)

 - mdz

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