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Re: Simple use of libwww?

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 13:51:29 -0500
Message-Id: <9602261851.AA15985@www20>
To: holmberg@frame.com
Cc: www-talk@w3.org
holmberg@frame.com writes:
> I have a basic question concerning the fundamental nature
> of the library.

When you say the Library, I assume that you mean the 4.0 version available from
W3C at


> It seems to me, from what I've read so far--and I admit
> I haven't read everything yet--that what libwww is, is a
> core of a browser, and that while very modular, there are
> some things that are inextricable.  That is, it doesn't
> just fetch URL's for you, it also wants to parse your
> document, know what's in it and model all its links in
> its own tree.  It also seems to assume HTML for documents.

It is a frame work where you can _register_ all the functionality you want. 
Actually it doesn't really want to do anything at all unless you say so ;-) 
The reason for doing this is that it can be used on all kind of applications - 
not only clients, but also robots and servers. 
> In my case, I am not building a browser, I am adding
> URL support to an existing application whose main purpose
> is not to browse the web.  The files I wish to retrieve
> are often not HTML, but files of binary format that I
> can not parse (and so can't tell the library what the
> links are).  All I really want is to give it a URL and
> have it put a document in a file for me, and tell me where
> it is.  No parsing, no anchors, no history, no caching,
> no HTML, no threads, no interruption.

There are some basic examples in the library distribution or online from


that does exactly that. They are also described in the user's guide at



Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, <frystyk@w3.org>
World-Wide Web Consortium, MIT/LCS NE43-356
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, USA
Received on Monday, 26 February 1996 13:51:35 UTC

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