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Re: Adding the "links" text mode web browser to the base system

At Sat, 31 Oct 2009 22:30:38 +0000, David Holland 
<> wrote:
Subject: Re: Adding the "links" text mode web browser to the base system
> On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 01:19:52PM +0200, Alan Barrett wrote:
>  > The NetBSD base system includes HTML versions of man pages, and
>  > several other HTML files.  However, it does not include an application
>  > capable of displaying such files.
> That is why it includes text versions of those files. The HTML files
> are there as a convenience for users who have installed a browser from
> pkgsrc.

I'm pretty sure that there are at least two important documents which
are only made available in the base NetBSD distribution in HTML format.
Namely the BIND-9 Administrator Reference Manual and the NTP
Distribution Manual and Notes.

I'm not sure that the bzip2 HTML manual is literally equivalent to the
bzip2(1) manual page either.

Indeed if the HTML files included in NetBSD were truly "alternative"
files installed purely for the convenience of users who do install an
HTML browser after installing NetBSD, well then they wouldn't be
installed in their own entirely segregated sub-directory, but rather
would be integrated as optional formats for a given document.  For
example we would have both:


instead of just:


I think the separate "/html" sub-directory for HTML files is a
horrendous abuse of heir(7)'s general philosophy, regardless of whether
there's an HTML browser included in the base OS release or not.

> That is rather large for base

I don't really agree.  :-)

However with X11 support mixed in, and as a static binary (in this case
on i386), it is rather large:

10:11 [15] $ ll /usr/pkg/bin/links                    
715442 33600 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  17176166 Feb  7  2009 /usr/pkg/bin/links
10:13 [16] $ size /usr/pkg/bin/links
   text    data     bss     dec     hex filename
3022173 1810772  944540 5777485  58284d /usr/pkg/bin/links
10:13 [17] $ file /usr/pkg/bin/links
/usr/pkg/bin/links: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), 
for NetBSD 4.0, statically linked, not stripped

That said, I think links is probably a better choice than lynx, despite
any licensing differences.

                                                Greg A. Woods
                                                Planix, Inc.

<>       +1 416 218 0099

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