Chapter 25. Using the Web


  • Surfing with Lynx

  • Exploring with cURL

  • Client/Server programming in zsh

Often when you think of shell script programming the last thing you think of is the Internet. The command line world often seems foreign to the fancy, graphical world of the Internet. There are, however, several different utilities you can easily use in your shell scripts to gain access to data content on the Web, as well as on other network devices. This chapter walks you through three popular methods for getting your shell scripts to interact with the network world.

The Lynx Program

Almost as old as the Internet itself, the Lynx program was created in 1992 by students at the University of Kansas as a text-based browser. Since it's text-based, the Lynx program allows you to browse Web sites directly from a terminal session, replacing the fancy graphics on Web pages with HTML text tags. This allows you to surf the Internet from just about any type of Linux terminal. A sample Lynx screen is shown in Figure 25-1.

Lynx uses the standard keyboard keys to navigate around the Web page. Links appear as highlighted text within the Web page. Using the right arrow key allows you to follow a link to the next Web page.

You may be wondering how you can use a graphical text program in your shell scripts. The Lynx program also provides a feature that allows you to dump the text contents of a Web page to STDOUT. This feature is great for mining for data contained within a Web page. This section ...

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