About a week ago K. Mandla wrote a post on his blog about textual web browsers. It sparked some inspiration in me to see what it was like to view a few webpages in the terminal.

Past Experience:

Back in 2007 I began working with Linux for the first time. It was not Linux in the way most of us perceive it. It was a handheld device designed to emulate all kinds of antique and not so antique gaming systems. Including the NES and the Super NES which were among the best. Along with the development of these emulators came a varying degree of custom applications and ports. One of them being “links”. The device never had networking but I could edit an offline wiki if I wanted to. Sadly it didn’t have a keyboard either.

Back To The Present:

First I installed links on my computer. Simple task with Apt-get

sudo apt-get install links

This installed Links, now all I needed to do was learn a simple syntax

links url for example:

links freedupthoughts.wordpress.com

With this simple code my blog loaded into the terminal, and began to realize how useful and more productive this could be. But before you can understand why it is more productive for me you have to understand a bit about the way I gather information from a webpage. I scan webpages for words of interest, generally headers. When I reach a section of interest I began to actually read it. This is why reading a page in the terminal is so much more interesting. It is all textual information that I can scan though quickly and efficiently. It also eliminates distractions like advertisements from the viewing experience. There is a downside to this though, Images aren’t loaded into the pages, so if there is any graphics that I want to view on the page I won’t see them.

Practical Applications:

I can see many ways to apply a textual browser. One is light weight operating systems. Crunchbang Linux uses IceWeasel(Firefox) which accesses a rather large amount of memory at any given time. And it would look great in the dark UI crunchbang sports. Though it could be an easy way of gaining so geek credit with your friends.

What browser do you use and what reasons do you like it, and what browser do you like but can’t use beyond specialized tasks? I use Chromium because it is simple and fast. I like links because of the aforementioned information, but it doesn’t load images which can be a huge part of the internet experience.

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I am the founding editor of the Freed Up Thoughts blog. Between studying and class, I write about the latest tech news and trends. I am an avid user of technology and attempt to integrate it into every facet of my life.