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Lynx - iameven.com

- Even Alander

Trying Lynx for the first time recently prompted me to make my web site more user accessible.

Terminal

I've only dabbled in Linux before Videxio, but has been using Ubuntu as my main OS since I started there. I knew that the command line was a killer feature, but hadn't guessed at how much I'd appreciate using it. Now I'm at a point where I find using the mouse can some times be a nuance. That doesn't mean I'm trowing it out just yet though, I still have some ways to go. And even then, I'm not sure that is a good goal in any way.

Becoming familiar with other tools has become one, though. For one thing I've started to learn Vim. The quite weird text editor with different modes where editing text is not the default mode. And browsing happens with hjkl for some reason. But it let's you keep your hand on the home row with an awesome set of keyboard bindings and shortcuts. I do doubt it'll replace Sublime Text for me any time soon, but it will replace Nano whenever I ssh into a server.

Another cool program I've heard of before, but never tested because it seemed weird, is Lynx. A browser you run in the terminal, which only renders text and ignores style sheets. Yet again, not something that will replace my main tool at the moment, Google chrome. But for doing the occasional Google search without leaving the comfort of the terminal, it actually works quite well.

Accessibility

Another neat thing with Lynx is how it let's you experience the web with limitations. Wonder why that skip to content link is at the top of so many sites? Because in Lynx you have to toggle through all the links to start selecting the links you might care about, in the actual content.

On Google.com you have to click down 12 times to get to the search field. Which is weird, since it's not really optimal. The actual highest priority for Google, it seems, is the images link that comes first, but is particularly useless on a text only browser.

Improvements on this site

I had not put in a skip to content link, because content is the first thing that is rendered here. However, getting to the navigation was somewhat tiresome, so I added a skip content button to jump directly to all my page links.

Looking at the front page in Lynx was a bit hard because the whole section of each list item is a link. I still wanted that to be the case, but decided to add some dashes to separate title from time stamp and excerpt.

The last thing I've done is gone through all my posts (again), this time to add alt text to all the images. Lynx doesn't actually render anything to tell you there should be an image, so I found it to be helpful mentioning that it is an image (or drawing) and this is what it's of.

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