On 18/01/12 14:44, Ryan Kaldari wrote:
I'm curious what the current demographic/usage
cases for text browsers
are. I'm not asking this to undercut the argument, but as a developer
hoping to improve the Wikipedia experience for as many users as
possible. It's my understanding that blind users no longer use text
browsers, but instead use screen readers with regular browsers (based
on my one conversation with a blind Wikimedian). Who are the people
using text browsers and why? What is the current text browsing
experience like on Wikipedia? Do we serve the mobile version to text
browsers or the regular version of the site? Is Lynx still the most
popular text browser?
Sorry for my ignorance on this subject.
Most of our bug reports about text browser support come from Jidanni,
who has his own special reasons for using a text browser, as you can
see in his reply.
We have had a few other people complain about text browser issues over
the years. One such user told me that s/he used a text browser via SSH
to a personal server, as a workaround for corporate network access
policies denying access to the outside web.
Probably these two users are roughly representative of text browser
users in general:
* A group who use a text browser as a strange personal choice
* A group who use a text browser out of temporary technical necessity
(ancient/broken hardware, restricted network access, etc.)
Certainly such users are extremely rare, neither w3m nor Lynx appear
on the long list of User-Agent headers at
So it follows that they make up less than 0.02% of requests.
-- Tim Starling