Text only web

I increasingly rely on Lynx to surf the web. Lynx is a text web browser, no graphic, just text. I also uses Readability, a Firefox extension that removes all the useless junk around content. But I might stop using it soon. Lynx seems to be better in most cases.

Because Lynx is just text: I see the work I care about, the work of the writer. When I read an article, the only thing I care about is the article. Not the stupid logo, not the obnoxious ads, not the ridiculous “web-design” that gets in my way.

Because I use Lynx: I don’t have to endure the obnoxious design choice made by people who don’t have a clue. I don’t need to suffer debilitating typographical choices: The number 1 usability problem in 2005 was unreadable fonts. This is still true in 2010. And it will get worst, because HTML 5 allows morons to use custom fonts in their already ugly pages.

Because lynx just displays text, most of these problems are solved. No pictures, no tables, and no CSS. Lynx uses the terminal font, it’s always the font I’ve chosen. This isn’t perfect, monospaced fonts aren’t ideal to read prose. But at least I can read it.

Using Lynx has nice side effect: It’s harder to surf with it. With Firefox I tend to open pages in a new tab every time I see something that might be interesting. Because there's no tab with Lynx, I don’t do that. I stay focussed on the subject at hand.