Links (web browser)
||It has been suggested that ELinks be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2012.|
Screenshot of a graphical Links
|Stable release||2.7 (June 26, 2012[±])|
|Preview release||none (n/a) [±]|
|Operating system||Mac OS X, OS/2, Unix-like, Windows|
Links is an open source text and graphic web browser with a pull-down menu system. It renders complex pages, has partial HTML 4.0 support (including tables and frames and support for multiple character sets such as UTF-8), supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling.
It is oriented toward visual users who want to retain many typical elements of graphical user interfaces (pop up windows, menus etc.) in a text-only environment. The focus on intuitive usability makes it suitable as a web browser for low-end terminals in libraries, Internet cafes etc.
ELinks ("Experimental/Enhanced Links") is a fork of Links led by Petr Baudiš. It is based on Links 0.9. It has a more open development and incorporates patches from other Links versions (such as additional extension scripting in Lua) and from Internet users.
Hacked Links 
Hacked Links is another version of the Links browser which has merged some of Elinks' features into Links 2.
Andrey Mirtchovski has ported it to Plan 9. It is considered a good browser on that operating system, though some users have complained about its inability to cut and paste with the Plan 9 snarf buffer.
Linkx is a new fork of links2 that bring some of the features of links-hacked (tabs support, ...)
Graphics stack 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
The graphics stack has several peculiarities unusual for a web browser. The fonts displayed by Links are not derived from the system, but compiled into the binary as grayscale bitmaps in PNG format. This allows the browser to be a single executable file independent of the system libraries, however it increases the size of the executable to about 5 MB.[dubious ]
The fonts are anti-aliased without hinting and for small line pitch an artificial sharpening is employed to increase legibility. Subpixel sampling further increases legibility on LCD displays. This allowed Links to have anti-aliased fonts at a time when anti-aliased font libraries were uncommon.
All graphical elements (images and text) are first converted from given gamma space (according to known or assumed gamma information in PNG, JPEG etc.) through known user gamma setting into a 48 bits per pixel photometrically linear space where they are resampled with bilinear resampling to the target size, possibly taking aspect ratio correction into account. Then the data are passed through high-performance restartable dithering engine which is used regardless of monitor bit depth, i. e. also for 24 bits per pixel colour. This Floyd–Steinberg dithering engine takes into account the gamma characteristics of the monitor and uses 768 KiB of dithering tables to avoid time expensive calculations. A technique similar to self-modifying code, function templates, is used to maximize the speed of the dithering engine without using assembler optimization, which is non-portable.
Images which are scaled down also use subpixel sampling on LCD to increase level of detail.
The reason for this high quality processing is: provide proper realistic up/downsampling of images, and photorealistic display regardless of the monitor gamma, without colour fringing caused by 8-bit gamma correction built into the X server. It also increases the perceived colour depth over 24 bits per pixel.
Despite the amount of digital image processing that has to be internally done, Links is one of the fastest graphical web browsers.
Links has graphics driver for X Server, Linux framebuffer, svgalib, OS/2 PMShell and AtheOS GUI. This allows it to run in graphics mode even on platforms which don't have X Server because of lack of implementation or limited resources.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Links web browsers|
- Links home page
- Legan, Dallas (September 2001), Text-Mode Web Browsers for OS/2, The Southern California OS/2 User Group, retrieved August 16, 2010
- "ChangeLog", Hacked Links Project, October 28, 2003, retrieved July 9, 2012
- "Home / links2", PSPRadio (SourceForge), retrieved July 9, 2012
- Revol, Francois (May 3, 2008), BeOS port patch, retrieved July 9, 2012
- Official Links homepage
- Twibright Labs Links
- ELinks Home Page
- Links Hacked Web Page
- Links for Mac OS X on PowerPC and Intel
- PSP Port
- Linkx fork