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Old School Browsing with w3m

Not to sound like a Luddite, but sometimes the old ways are best. When it comes to Web browsers, that’s not very often, but knowing your way around a text-mode browser like w3m does come in handy from time to time. You probably won’t want to switch, but after taking a look at what you can do with w3m, you might want to add it to your toolbox.

Generally, I focus on the cutting edge goodies for the Web, but this week I spent some time with w3m after a long hiatus and thought it might be fun to take a step back and look at the old school Web. I needed to convert a page of HTML to text on the fly, and one of the best tools I’ve found for that is w3m. It’s also a pretty good, if extremely basic, Web browser if all you need to do is read pages on the Web.

Why muck with a text-mode browser? Certainly not because it’s full-featured. Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, or Opera, any other modern browser will get you more bang for the buck than w3m — though w3m’s rendering speed is pretty impressive. But w3m has a few features that you won’t find in other browsers that make it worth having around.

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