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Re: standard text browser necessary ?

Dominique Devriese <dominique.devriese@student.kuleuven.ac.be> said:

> Hi,
> Maybe the question should be asked whether there really should be *a*
> text browser with standard priority.  Will most users need this ?  I
> know a lot of debian desktop users who don't use it at all, and people
> who want it, can still install it manually.

Any software could be installed manually.

IMO, Having or not having a default text browser should not depends
whether many or few users will, in the end, really use it. The point
is about what someone in front of a standard debian installation
should be expecting. 

Personally, when I'm using a system I did not installed myself, I
expect a text web browser to be available. Not really because I enjoy
text mode browsing, but because it always works over ssh (and without
consuming much bandwidth), because it always works with or without X.

Also, assuming that it is always possible to install a missing package
is not necessarily a good thing. Think about the following case:
   - you have in front of you one server, with debian a no X server
   - you have no debian cd, but you have internet access, behind a
   - the firewall prevents you to access parts of the net, including
   usual debian apt-get repository - you need to find a workaround on
   the web
   - if there is no text web browser at all, what will you use? Will
   you code perl web browser? Will you find your way with wget?
In this case, you have no browser and no way to install one
easily. Annoying. You may think this example is a bit extreme, but I'm
sure we can find more realistic cases (apt-get installation broken, 
debian mirror + main ftp offline...).

It does not cost much to have a text browser installed (especially
since you talk about people that got an X server installed with a
desktop environment) while it can be really helpful in some desperate
case. For that, I think that any good OS should provide a text
browser, even if it is largely unused.

Mathieu Roy

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