Talk:Line Mode Browser

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Former good article nominee Line Mode Browser was a Engineering and technology good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 16, 2010 Peer review Reviewed
November 11, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
December 28, 2010 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Former good article nominee


I nominated today this article for the Did you know. If somebody have a better hook, please add it as another alt. mabdul 11:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Date formats[edit]

The Further reading and References sections use a variety of date formats, MDY, DMY, and YMD. In my opinion, the dates should be in DMY:

  1. Because throughout the history of this article most dates in the references have been in DMY.
  2. Because some references do not give specific days -- or even months in some cases.
  3. To be consistent with the prose.

--Gyrobo (talk) 03:45, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

is already mentioned in the peer review. will correct this hopefully next week. I'm really busy these weeks! mabdul 09:55, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
That's cool, I didn't know there was a peer review.
--Gyrobo (talk) 13:36, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

GA Review - Answer[edit]

Reviewer: Malleus Fatuorum 16:21, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

My initial feeling was that this article fails 3a of the Good Article criteria, in particular because it says nothing about the numbers of users of this browser (on initial release or now), how it was received, how many times it was downloaded, and so on. Does anyone still use it today? If so, why? If not, then why is it still being distributed?

"The Line Mode Browser is now largely irrelevant since Lynx has become the most popular text-only browser." States the actual market share; Since it was the second browser it was largely used in the beginning of the web, but no web browser stats are existent. mabdul 18:25, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Then why is it still being distributed if nobody is using it? Malleus Fatuorum 18:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
As the article states in the lead: it is a test application for the libwww. mabdul 18:49, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
What the lead actually says is: "The browser is developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is used for computer terminals". "Is developed" implies that development is ongoing, and "is used for computer terminals" implies that it's still in use. Who by? For what purposes? Malleus Fatuorum 19:00, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The development was ongoing until a few months. I don't know what actual happens since no real "press release" or new development build is released. The application is for terminals and since the usage shares seems so small (also for lynx) it isn't presented in any market share reports. LMB is at least in use by the developers of libwww. mabdul 19:34, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

After looking at the article in more depth I am concerned that many of the citations do not appear to support what is being said, and so it also fails criterion 2b. I've left a few more detailed observations below, but so far as this review is concerned I think that the work required to reach GA remains considerable, and so I am closing this review as a fail.

  • Why does the lead start off "A Line Mode Browser"? Line Mode Browser its name, not its type.
    •  Done, you were correct. mabdul 17:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "The browser is very portable". This doesn't sit easily with the statement in the History section that the developer failed to convert the source code to ANSI C, which would seem to limit its portability.
    • it IS portable. It is something different to port the existing application to another system than to port the same application to a "complete different programming language" (ansi c and C are nearly the same programming language, the ansi c is an official standard and has minor differences). I'm trying to rewrite this to explain it better... mabdul 17:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
      • My point was that if it wasn't converted to ANSI C, as the article seems to be suggesting, then that would very clearly limit its portability. Malleus Fatuorum 18:05, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "The browser is very portable and could be ported to any operating system.[8][9]" Neither of the citations given support that statement, and the second assertion is absurd in any case. The most that could be said is that it could be ported to any operating system for which an ANSI C compiler is available.
    • from the second (9) source: "The other was the ‘line-mode’ browser, which was easy to install and run on any platform but limited in power and user-friendliness" - that is the same sentence as mine.
      • That's not quite saying the same thing as you are though. You're talking about porting acrosss platforms, whereas the citation is talking about running across platforms. I can (and do) run MS Word on my Ubuntu laptop using the Codeweaver emulator; MS Word can be run on Ubuntu, but it hasn't been ported to Ubuntu. Malleus Fatuorum 18:18, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
        • Running an application in an emulator isn't ehm fair. "which was easy to install and run on any platform" that indicates: it is not easy to install! and it doesn't run on any platform: in your case you let run windows or the winAPIs (wine) and that is not natively... And I doubt that 1993 emultors existed. mabdul 12:53, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
          • I'm afraid that you are wrong on every count. Malleus Fatuorum 16:21, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
    • "Technical student Nicola Pellow wrote a simple browser which could be used on many different computers, [...]" From the first (8) source is really weak, but it is correct. mabdul 17:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • The lead is too short to adequately summarise the article.
  • "The development started in November 1990[1][13]". Only the second of those citations supports that statement. What's the purpose of the first one?
  • I do think the reference is correct since this changelog states "Before Feb 91" - that 'boots' the second referece. mabdul 17:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
    • "Before Feb 91" is very far from saying "November 1990". It could be October 1989, September 1990, ... it tells me nothing. The citation explicitly stating November 1990 has no need of "bootstrapping". Malleus Fatuorum 18:10, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
      •  Done I removed the reference. mabdul 19:37, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • The Agora world wide web email browser was based on the Line Mode Browser." The citation given doesn't seem to mention Agora so far as I can see.
I'm really confused. under the first headline: "Email based browsers" is only one web browser: Agora "Based on the line-mode browser. If you cannot have full access to the Internet. (beta)" mabdul 17:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "Robert Cailliau tried to update the browser code's programming language from C to ANSI C, which is more powerful". In what sense is ANSI C more powerful, as opposed to (potentially) more portable?
    • see above. mabdul 18:08, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
      • There is no sense in which ANSI C is more powerful than C, and in fact a plausible argument could be made that it's less powerful. Its advantage is its cross-plarform portability. Malleus Fatuorum 18:18, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "... but Cailliau could not get the application compiled". Why not? Did he not have access to an ANSI C compiler?
as stated in the interview given in the reference: "With the other Internet hackers. It was written in pure, flat C. Not ANSI C, mind you. The C it was written in was sort of compilable by any old C compiler on any old machine. The idea was that it had to be accessible to everyone, everywhere, even on an IBM PC — AT or lower. At one point I tried to put some order in and redevelop the documentation and some of the code. I started putting in some indentations so I could at least read the code, but unfortunately that was ANSI C, so it didn't compile. So I was "ordered" to put it back in its old state. I said okay, that's how you want it? I will stop coding. I just can't read this stuff."
Is it ok if I say that his skill weren't powerful?
To your annotation above: I do think you were right. mabdul 18:08, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "The general availability of the World Wide Web in 1991 increased interest in the project at CERN and other laboratories (i.e. the DESY)." That doesn't make sense. Should it be "e.g., the DESY"? I think it's stretching credibility to claim that the WWW was "generally available" in 1991.
    •  Done again you were correct. mabdul 19:43, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "The Line Mode Browser is now largely irrelevant ...". Again, why the, as LMB is its name? You wouldn't say "the Internet Explorer".
I would but only because my English skills aren't professional and I'm learning it by writing WP articles ^^ mabdul 17:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
One minor point: you also wouldn't say "the Internet Explorer browser". The fact that the word "browser" is part of "Line Mode Browser" does make it seem on first glance that "Line Mode" is more an adjective; i.e., the line-mode (adj.) browser (noun).
--Gyrobo (talk) 22:05, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
On the contary, it's perfectly reasonable to talk about the "Internet Explorer browser". I'd agree that "Line Mode Browser browser" does look rather ugly though, but I didn't pick the name. I'd suggest that after introducing the full name the abbreviation LMB should be used from that point onwards instead. Malleus Fatuorum 22:35, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
A lot of the sources refer to "the line mode browser". The construction may be strange, but I think WP:COMMONNAME yields to what people actually call it in common usage, not what is grammatically correct.
--Gyrobo (talk) 02:37, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
"That's as maybe, but "the line mode browser" is not the same as "the Line Mode Browser". I've tried to be helpful here, but if you and Mabdul feel that the GA review was in any way unfair then I would encourage you to initiate a review. Malleus Fatuorum 03:38, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with just about everything you've pointed out in your review, so I really don't see a reason to re-review. But I've seen "the line mode browser", "the Line Mode Browser", "the line-mode browser", and all manner of similar constructions in the sources. I think it's just a matter of making the wording as close to common usage as possible, and if adding "the" in a few instances does that, it's a forgivable sin that I'm comfortable with. I think it's a bikeshed issue.
--Gyrobo (talk) 04:50, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
That's your choice of course. I've tried to help by doing the GA review and by responding to questions here. Perhaps another GA reviewer will take a different view, who knows. Malleus Fatuorum 04:57, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
If you feel another review would benefit the article, then either Mabdul or myself will list it at GAR. Personally, I think the issues raised here are minor and that the review should have been put on hold for one or two days rather than failed – though on your user page, you show this review with a little question mark icon, so I'm a little confused about where this review currently stands. Is it technically failed while nominally on hold?
--Gyrobo (talk) 15:44, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I am not offering an opinion on whether or not you should initiate a GAR, or what another reviewer may think, I am simply drawing your attention to that alternative. Yes, the GA review was failed, as the article history on this talk page clearly shows. Malleus Fatuorum 16:19, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I am not a language expert but I have edited thousands of small articles written by the good people of India. I have tried to think of a good way to explain when to use the but I can't. One simple explanation however is that the is used when referring to one of multiple things. That is why the Line Mode Browser is correct, because it is a specific browser among (now) many browsers. Sam Tomato (talk) 05:33, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "It does not properly collapse excess whitespace in the HTML code, and has no support for tables or frames." The citation given doesn't appear to mention LMB that I can see.
Again confused at "CERN Line-Mode Browser" there is a really long paragraph... mabdul 17:36, 12 November 2010 (UTC)


It seems like this effort has cooled off, but the article still needs work. One pet peave is saying it "can be ported to any operating system" is meaningless to anyone in the field. Like the NASA folks say "anything can fly with enough thrust". Given enough time and money, any program can be ported to any operating system. (Sadly, with NASA, the "money" part of the equation also applies there.) The lead needs to be reformulated to be mostly in the past tense - this was a notable effort in its day but is of historic interest now. So by lead guidelines, we need to put it into context right away. W Nowicki (talk) 00:28, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

There seem other issues with the article. For example, the link to Priam Corporation is the disk drive company that went bakrupt in 1989, so probably not the right one. And browsing the source code, it does indeed seem to have been converted into ANSI C in 1991, but last version seems circa 1999, just the library changed since then so saying 2006 is misleading. Anyway this is of historic importance, and nice to see the source is still around, so we can reconstruct the history a bit. W Nowicki (talk) 03:29, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

In context, it's reasonably clear that it means any system with even a half-way decent C-compiler, protocol stack, and "glass tty" interface. And PRIAM was presumably the name of a computer used at CERN... AnonMoos (talk) 05:34, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes! At least it is clear to us, but the trick is getting it into more encyclopedic language that is still accessible to a more typical reader. The key point is that even half a dozen platforms was more than the NeXT-only implementation. The goal was wide availability rather than a fancy graphical interface. And as per your second point: some research indeed gives it as a French acronym for "PRojet Interdivisionnaire d'Assistance aux Microprocesseurs" which had a Vax-11/785 used for developing a portable software collection supporting "both microprocessors", the MC6809 and M68000. The development macine had domain name So no evidence this was related to the American disk maker. I will try some work on it. W Nowicki (talk) 19:34, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I will happily follow the changes since I expanded the article. ;) mabdul 19:51, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually I am editing right now so give me a day or so please. Thanks. W Nowicki (talk) 20:21, 26 July 2011 (UTC) OK I spent some time on it. I know it is somewhat a matter of style, but I find it more readable if citations are usualy at the end of sentences in the body. The lead and infobox should ten be just a summary of that info, so only potentially disputed claims (such as being the second browser ever writen) would need a citation in lead or infobox. I started along these lines and did some other rework like putting quotes in (I hope) more context. Probably deserves a bit more work, but hope this is the wright direction. W Nowicki (talk) 23:20, 26 July 2011 (UTC)


Sorry, but going to a country and publishing WORLD wide are different (August>August). A newsgroup with lots of nationalities, even lacking a respectful Esperanto standard.

Such valuable as[edit]

Both my Hotmail account or SLAC reference display nothing. Besides online books, also pub/WWW/bin/XXX/www? Is W3"C" headquarted in Tokyo? Are taxes a regional exclusivity?


One of the references is "Frequently asked questions – What were the first browsers?". Tim Berners-Lee lists Viola as the second browser then says that telnetting into was the second browser, a text-based browser, called the "line mode" browser. He is not clear about whether Viola and the "line mode" browser are the same. Or is he saying that telnet is the "line mode" browser"?

Regardless, the fact that he lists Viola is significant. If Viola is the same as the "line mode" browser then he seems to favor the name Viola and apparently considers the "line mode" browser to be unofficial. I hope someone can clarify things and revise the Wikipedia appropriately. Sam Tomato (talk) 05:27, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

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