Enhanced for Lynx!
What's the point of this "Enhanced for Lynx" business?


Well, very simply, we're concerned about the current trend in Web page design to add tons and tons of flashy useless features, only to end up with a page that's totally unreadable for people using text-only browsers.

We at the CommunityNet want our community information to be available to everyone - not just to people rich enough to buy $3000 computers so they can see fancy graphics or animation or load Java applets that slow their computer to a crawl or whatever. Yes, it's fun advancing the state of the art with this spiffy stuff, but if you're actually trying to get information out to people sometimes these things can be counter-productive.

Many CommunityNet users are accessing our system with old home computers hauled out of the basement. Or they're using a free public-access terminal at one of the Lower Mainland's public libraries or another public access site. And all these people are using Lynx, a text-only browser used by the VCN.

So we design all our pages to be equally legible with text-only browsers (eg: Lynx) and fancier graphical browsers. That way everybody wins!

[ The Enhanced for Lynx graphic removed following a note from the legal department of US software manufacturer Microsoft, Inc. ]

We've nothing against flashy tricks - and we do support a few of them on our opening pages. But we were very careful to make sure that none of those special effects detract at all from the legibility of the page when viewed with text-only browsers. Flash is great fun, but it becomes a problem the moment it starts interfering with content! (unless you're doing advertising, in which case flash is everything, of course)

We've also put together some guidelines for designing pages for both graphical and text-only browsers, in case you're interested. We believe it's possible to design great pages that look really good with graphical browsers and can be read by people using older text-only browsers, and we encourage everyone to make the effort to do the same! Thanks for reading this diatribe, and enjoy our system!


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