Tim Berners-Lee (
Wed, 9 Dec 92 10:26:54 +0100

Date: Wed, 9 Dec 92 10:26:54 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-Id: <>
To: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: Lynx
Cc:, (Lou Montulli)

Lynx looks very nice -- but is it WWW?  From the comments about the syntax
it doesn't seem to be HTML.  It has Gopher access built in, but there is no  
access from to the web.

These guys have done some good work on hooking into existing services.
The emphasis seems to be on building in extra bits and peices (rexec, hytelnet,  
etc) into the browser rather than making gateways.  In the long run I think  
this approach will get too heavy on browsers. For hytelnet, for example, a
gateway is more efficient than building stuff very specific to one information  
providing application into the browsers.

The screen management is neat. I wonder whether we could persuade them to make  
it W3 compatible?  (And their data with it?)  The user interface is quick and  
simple.  I missed "home" and "back", "next" and "previous" commands of the www  
line mode interface: one has always to go through the history page. But that  
keeps it simpler. I was glad I had more than 24 lines 9and the program  
recognised the fact) when the history list started to grow.

(Anyone want to make an W3 gateway for hytelnet?)

I am sure they could parse HTML with very little effort, and join the WWW club.
The existing text at KUfacts would all fit into the <PRE> format I think.
Their <! -user=libcat> would be www's
<a href=rlogin://> I assume.   (This is not very general  
of course as not all systems support rlogin).

	Tim BL

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Wed, 9 Dec 92 00:47:35 -0800
From: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: forwarded message from Lou Montulli



------- Start of forwarded message -------
From: (Lou Montulli)
To: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: RE: Text based hypertext engine for UNIX (SCO)
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 92 11:43:04 CST


>    Try looking at Lynx, developed at the University of Kansas.
>    It has a superior curses interface to WWW for curser addressable
>    terminals and can link together your existing resourses is ways
>    WWW can't.  You can telnet to and login as
>    'kufacts' for a demo of the system.  It is available for 

>    anonymous ftp from in the lynx directory
>    as lynx.tar-Z.  It curently runs on almost any UNIX system with
>    a curses package.        


> Fascinating... it looks really nice.  In what ways can it ``link
> together your existing resourses'' that WWW can't?

> Marc

Lynx can rexec programs running on remote hosts, can start inetd applications
on remote hosts and perform transparent rlogins.  For instance, say you
have a library database system that is already in place.  You simply
add a link such as <! -user=libcat> and Lynx
would log the user into as user libcat to use the library
system.  In our system you can see an example of an rexeced program
by selecting "Organizations Events and Activities" and then selecting
"Events at KU".  A database program is evoked on our stat1 system, 

(you can see this by typing a '=' before evoking events) the program
querys the user, and the database and then returns data to Lynx.

Lynx can also perform telnet and tn3270 functions, but everyone has those
so why bother talking about them.  Although one nice feature about Lynx
is that it can read the hytelnet database, check out hytelnet under
the Internet Toolbox menu.

- -- 

  *           T H E   U N I V E R S I T Y   O F   K A N S A S              *
  *      Lou  MONTULLI @ Ukanvax.bitnet                Nothing difficult,  *
  *                           is ever easy!    *
  *  UNIX,            ACS Computing Services *
  *   have more fun!           Lawrence, KS 66044  *
------- End of forwarded message -------