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David Chandler's Journal of Java Web and Mobile Development

  • David M. Chandler


    Web app developer since 1994 and Google Cloud Platform Instructor now residing in Colorado. Besides tech, I enjoy landscape photography and share my work at ColoradoPhoto.gallery.

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Archive for August 26th, 2010

The ultimate file browser for maven repos and more

Posted by David Chandler on August 26, 2010

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of work with maven where I needed to verify that the correct artifacts were deployed to a maven repository. While it’s easy enough to view a maven repo in a Web browser, it’s a pain to click through all the levels, and the POMs don’t show up very nicely due to the XML content.

So, I reached way back in time in my toolbox and pulled out lynx, the text-only browser created at my alma mater the year I graduated. (Ironically enough, I was then unaware of HTTP and lamenting that all the interesting work in EE had already been done. I had even used the Internet, as my wife and I would telnet across state lines with our campus VAX accounts to chat on the VT220 terminals in our respective dorms. But I didn’t see the Web coming, and it’s most of what I’ve done for the last 18 years…).

You can quickly browse maven central, for example, using

lynx https://repo1.maven.org/maven2/

For extra speed and the ability to look at POMs in vi, pull in the HTTP repo first (POMs only for speed) with wget:

wget -r -l3 --no-parent https://repo1.maven.org/maven2/com/whatever -A.pom

Now for the really fun part. Inspired by the ability to launch Finder on the Mac with “open .”, I tried

lynx .

Sure enough, lynx has finally cured my emacs file browser envy. Use the arrow keys to navigate, “o” to set options, including vi as your editor, then “/” to search just like in vi and “e” to edit any file. If you have to edit a bunch of files in multiple directories, this definitely trumps tedious “cd” and “vi” commands, even with shell filename completion. For really hardcore users, there’s

lynx -vikeys .

Of course, all this would be unnecessary if the Mac Finder worked a little more like Windows Explorer. Or if I’d learned emacs instead of vi.

For a real blast from the past, pull up the Google home page with lynx. Even Gmail works! I love text, I really do. Although, for the record, I do much prefer GMail and GCalendar in Chrome with keyboard shortcuts on.

Posted in PC Tech | 2 Comments »

 
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