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 file types.

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 Bebo White. The line mode browsers are invoked by entering the command

        www

Fullscreen Browsers

A fullscreen browser called Lynx 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
        lynx

GUI Browsers

These are browsers which use a "point and click" interface. SLAC users are strongly encouraged to use browsers from the following list:
Midas
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
        midaswww
NCSA Mosaic
An X-Windows browser supported on all SLAC UNIX platforms. Questions regarding SLAC support of Mosaic should be directed to Bebo White. Mosaic is invoked by entering the command
        xmosaic
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 Bebo White.
NeXT
The NeXT browser was developed at CERN. Questions regarding SLAC support of the NeXT browser should be directed to Dennis Wisinski or Renata Dart.
TkWWW
An X-Windows browser supported on all SLAC UNIX platforms. Questions regarding SLAC support of TkWWW should be directed to Paul Rensing. TkWWW is invoked by entering the command
	
        tkWWW

Defaults

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 X-Windows).


This page evolved from an earlier one by Tony Johnson.

Bebo