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Re: What are you using? TUI or GUI browser?

On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 7:58 AM, Roderick A. Anderson
<..hidden..> wrote:
> I was wondering how many are using a non-GUI browser: lynx, links, elinks?
> And if you are why?
I have generally found text-based browsers relatively useless with
LedgerSMB.  I am going to say why and that this isn't a problem with
the concept but with the fact that current text-based browsers make
this unnecessarily painful.

The general case for a text-based browser is that a keystroke-driven
interface is often faster and leads to higher productivity than a
point-and-click system where you have a lot of repetitive data entry.
This is because keystrokes provide more information faster to the
computer than pointing and clicking does.  So in theory, a point of
sale environment for a retail store would be more efficient with a
keyboard-driven interface (what we'd expect from a text-based browser)
than with a point-and-click interface from a GUI.  Unfortunately....
in practice it doesn't really work out because every text-based
browser makes this all more work than it needs to be.

The problems come in two forms but they both boil down to the fact
that web browsers are not generally designed for web applications, but
rather for browsing hypertext documents.  So when you are running
Lynx, you can navigate around using the arrow keys.  The commands make
a great deal of sense when you see Lynx as essentially an extended
pager program.  In other words it is a text viewer with some
functionally added for hyperlinks  and things like HTML forms added as
a complete afterthought.  Elinks takes this further adding some
support for Javascript, frames, and the like, and even a bit of a
point and click interface.  However in general, these are poor
interfaces still for entering data.

The two main forms of problems are:
1)  Accessing inputs (including submit buttons) take extra key strokes and
2)  keys do different things than expected.

So in general, I think you get more mileage using Firefox, or Chrome.
Most other GUI browsers should work (IE requires 8.0 or higher).
These however provide better keystroke-driven interfaces than the
text-based browsers, meaning that there really is no case to be made
for using a text-based browser at present.

TBH, I actually think we should drop all efforts to support text-based
browsers at present simply because because they are inefficient even
where one would expect them to shine.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers