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versions of emacs/w3

Its funny how people's mileage can differ in this area. Personally, I
have no choice but to use w3m because I cannot get w3 to function at
all from work - it just refuses to cooperate witht he authenticated
proxy server at work - I spent some time trying to work around this,
but as w3m works fine, I gave up as it was difficult to justify the

I do use w3 at home from time to time, but have had problems with the
most recent Debian packaged versions. However, with the exception of
some errors working with forms, w3m is far more reliable and much
faster than w3 and most of the time, the errors with submitting forms
can be ignored as it still seems to work fine. Again, as Raman points
out, everyone's mileage may differ.

Personally, I'd prefer to use w3 as I prefer it from a philosophical
perspective and as it allows easier integration with xslt etc and
theoretically, should be more easily customized. However, my
experience has been that it more often fails than w3m when accessing
the same content and I just keep running into too many little bugs
which make its use too frustrating. 

I actually looked at the w3 code sometime back and had some
discussions with people on fixing some known bugs (patches were
submitted months ago for some problems, but they don't ever seem to
have made it into the CVS version). I wa thinking about trying to
contribute to w3, but work commitments are just too high at present,
plus, unfortunately, there seems to be very little interest in
maintenance of w3, especially since w3m and the emacs interface for
it was released.

Personally, I suspect that unless there is a ground swell in support
for maintaining w3, its unlikely to survive. The problem is that the
web browser world moves so quickly and there are already good (for
sighted users) alternatives available, like firefox and opera, it is
likely to be difficult to find the people necessary to support the
maintenance of an emacs lisp based browser. I think this is why w3m
has become so popular - its fast, it only requires the maintenance of
the emacs interface and there seems to be people willing to do that.  
Of course, the question still remains open as to whether w3m is the
best text browser available and to what extent other text browsers
like links (with an i) or lynx (with a y) may be better. 

To some extent, web acessibility is still probably one of the main
challenges to blind and VI users, not just on Linux, but on all OS
platforms. Many of the windows commercial screen readers are doing a
pretty good job, but again, it all seems to suffer from the rapid pace
of change and the problems with keeping up to pseed. 

My suggestion for Peter is to use both browsers, w3 and w3m, since
neither seem to be sufficient on their own. The lack of bookmark
support in w3 is almost annoying enough to make it unusable (I've
never understood why this support was lost as w3 certainly use to
support bookmarks). 


T. V. Raman writes:
 > I use emacs/w3 from the w3 CVS repos -- see below.
 > I dont use w3m because it's way too broken and only works
 > rudimentarily at best.
 > CVS: :ext:anoncvs@savannah.gnu.org:/cvsroot/w3
 > You'll need to get w3 and url from the same repos.
 > Note that Emacs 22 (CVS ) has a version of the url package in it,
 > but that is broken -- breaks with site redirects. W3 is what it
 > is, and from what I have found by looking into it, is too hard to
 > fix where broken, but your mileage might vary. 
 > I use it primarily on cleaned up HTML via XSL --- as for ssl
 > certs, you might need to set ssl-progran-name to point at a shell
 > script like the one attached below; this helps W3 avoid choking
 > on stderr output from openssl
 > #!/bin/sh
 > #redirect stderr so emacs doesn't barf on opensll
 > exec 2>/dev/null
 > exec openssl "$@"
 > >>>>> "Peter" == Peter Rayner <peter.rayner@cea.fr> writes:
 >     Peter> I'm not even sure whether there's still a mailing list
 >     Peter> for emacs/w3, my old address for it certainly didn't
 >     Peter> work.  I'm having trouble with openssl certificates
 >     Peter> and a few other things but I'm more generally curious
 >     Peter> to know what versions of the emacs/w3 browser people
 >     Peter> are using.  I know quite a few emacspeak users have
 >     Peter> migrated to using w3m but I'm specifically asking
 >     Peter> those who still use emacs/w3.  For information, I'm
 >     Peter> using: WWW p4.0pre.47, URL Exp on emacspeak-22.0 and
 >     Peter> emacs 21.3.  Before I start hacking to fix my set-up
 >     Peter> I'd like to know I'm starting from a reasonable point
 >     Peter> thanks in advance Peter
 >     Peter> 
 >     Peter> 
 >     Peter> 
 >     Peter> -- Peter Rayner LSCE - CEA de Saclay Orme des
 >     Peter> Merisiers, 91191 Gif/Yvette work: +33 (1) 69 08 88 11;
 >     Peter> mobile: +33 (6) 75 46 56 52; fax: +33 (1) 69 08 77 16
 >     Peter> mail-to: peter.rayner@cea.fr
 >     Peter> 
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 > -- 
 > Best Regards,
 > --raman
 > Email:  raman@users.sf.net
 > WWW:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/
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