WorldWideWeb Browsers at SLAC
SLAC 1 Dec 1993
A WorldWideWeb browser is a program that a user can execute to access
information available to WorldWideWeb (WWW).
Numerous browser programs exist. Each of these programs
perform the same basic function, but may differ dramatically in their
user interface and their ability to provide access to specialized
Browsers are generally categorized according to the type of user
interface they provide.
Line Mode Browsers
These are browsers designed to work on systems which support
(or require) line mode access. This includes terminals which support
VT100 emulation. These browsers provide minimal access to WWW
and typically do not provide the
"point and click" (GUI) interface often associated with hypertext.
Links are usually displayed as menu items. Graphics and audio files and
the display of formatted documents (e.g., Postscript) is usually
not supported by line mode browsers. Use of line mode browsers is
not encouraged unless no other browser is supported on the platform
being used or unless access is via a slow data link (i.e., dialin).
At SLAC line mode browsers are installed and maintained on the
RS6000s, SUNs, SLACVX and SLACVM. The line mode browser on SLACVM is
an old release and will not be updated. Its use is not recommended.
Questions regarding SLAC support
of the line mode browsers should be directed to
The line mode browsers are invoked by entering the command
A fullscreen browser called
offers an alternative to the line mode browser on RS6000s, SUNs, NeXTs,
and SLACVX. Lynx presents documents in an environment similar to that
of a fullscreen editor.
Lynx is the recommended non-GUI browser for these systems. Lynx is invoked
by entering the command
These are browsers which use a "point and click" interface.
SLAC users are strongly encouraged to use browsers from the
- An X-Windows browser supported on all SLAC UNIX platforms and
SLACVX. Questions regarding SLAC support of Midas should be
directed to Tony Johnson.
Midas is invoked by entering the command
- An X-Windows browser supported on all SLAC UNIX platforms.
Questions regarding SLAC support of Mosaic should be directed to
Mosaic is invoked by entering the command
Mosaic for the Macintosh
- An implementation of NCSA Mosaic for the Apple Macintosh is
available on Public Server 1. Mosaic for the Macintosh does not
presently support viewing of Postscript documents.
Questions regarding SLAC support of
MacMosaic should be directed to
- The NeXT browser was developed at CERN. Questions regarding SLAC
support of the NeXT browser should be directed to
or Renata Dart.
- An X-Windows browser supported on all SLAC UNIX platforms. Questions
regarding SLAC support of TkWWW should be directed to
TkWWW is invoked by entering the command
There are two defaults of particular interest to SLAC WWW users.
All browsers will default to the SLAC Front Page. On UNIX systems this is
controlled by the environment variable WWW_HOME. This default can be changed
by assigning to WWW_HOME the URL of an "alternative front page."
The command web is used as a synonym for browser commands on various
systems. web usually invokes the recommended browser for the platform
being used (e.g., the linemode browser on VM or VMS, Midas on systems supporting
This page evolved from an earlier one by Tony Johnson.