Web page access via e-mail & telnet

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I just found out that everyone on the mailing list can get to the web page,
either via telnet or even e-mail. I include a document below that tells how to
use these two methods to get WWW information. I tried the e-mail method to get
the home page and it worked fine. Some of the URL types, like ftp’s may be
trickier; read about how to get them. If you have forgotten the URL for the
Unicycling Home Page it is http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/.


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Article 10217 of comp.infosystems.www.misc: Path: ns.mcs.kent.edu!usenet.ins.cw-
From: rem@BTR.Com (Robert Elton Maas, author of the MaasInfo files) Newsgroups:
nfosystems.www.misc Subject: Single-FAQ: How to use WWW via e-mail and TELNET
Date: 20 Nov 1994 04:23:47 GMT Organization: BTR Communications Company Lines:
149 Message-ID: <3amj0j$2e4@openlink.openlink.com> NNTP-Posting-Host:
btr.btr.com Originator: rem@btr.btr.com Xref: ns.mcs.kent.edu
news.newusers.questions:39888 alt.internet.access.wanted:17967
alt.internet.services:36512 comp.infosystems.www.misc:10217

HowWWW.txt = How to use WWW via TELNET or E-mail, by Robert Elton Maas
<rem@BTR.Com>, last edited 1994.Nov.19 0947 PST

If your local host has a local WWW (World-Wide Web) client such as ‘mosaic’ or
‘lynx’ or ‘www’ etc, you should use it instead of the methods described below.

Table of contents:

  • Using TELNET to connect to a WWW browser
  • Getting WWW files via e-mail
  • Other, somewhat unrelated, topics

TELNET If your local host doesn’t have its own WWW client, but DOES provide
outgoing TELNET service, and your local host or terminal emulator provides VT100
compatibility, then you can use TELNET to connect to a public WWW client
(“browser”). Currently there are three that I’ve found to be working correctly
for all my purposes. Below are the connection and login procedures for each,
using Unix notation. On non-Unix systems you might need to use a slightly
different syntax or pull down a menu or click a button etc. to start TELNET and
select the host.

telnet fatty.law.cornell.edu Login: www

telnet info.funet.fi Login: www Select interface (return for back to main
menu) ? lynx

telnet www.edu.tw Login: www

After you get that far, follow instructions until you see the initial WWW
screen, which will mostly contain local information related to the default WWW
server used at that particular host, then press the ‘g’ key and type in (or
paste in if you’re on a Macintosh or other suitable computer) the URL (Uniform
Resource Locator) for the WWW frame you really want to see.

EMAIL If your local host doesn’t even have TELNET with VT100 capability, but
does have e-mail, you can obtain WWW files via e-mail as follows:

mail listproc@www0.cern.ch www <URL>

where <URL> is the URL you want to see. You’ll get back the file processed for a
scrolling terminal, with [number] just after the text associated with each link,
then at the end of the message you’ll find a list of those [number] references
together with the corresponding URL being pointed to.

But currently it doesn’t seem to work correctly for HTML files on FTP archives
(any URL starting with “ftp:” and ending with “.html”) or Gopher archives
(“gopher: … .html”), screwing up line breaks when formatting such files. Also,
all local references get trashed filename. For example, both bugs strike when I
request the HTML version of this very file you’re reading. Also, you can’t get
just part of a file this way: Requesting just a section from a file gets a very
long delay followed by a completely empty return message. Fortunately all my
files are copied to Texas where they are available via HTTP as well as FTP, so
be sure to use the HTTP URL rather than the FTP or Gopher URL when requesting
any of the HTML-format files.

mail webmail@curia.ucc.ie GO <URL>

where <URL> is the URL again. It returns the source of the HTML file, then the
UUENCODEd version of the processed image, with NO end-of-line trashing but with
no list of numbered URL references either.

For the moment, the only way by e-mail to get a correctly processed ‘display’
plus list of numbered references for it, from a HTML-format file located on an
FTP archive, seems to be to submit requests to BOTH servers, then UUDECODE just
the screen portion of webmail@curia.ucc.ie’s response and discard the rest,
edit just the list of references from the end of listproc@www0.cern.ch’s
response so that all local references to have the correct filename, and append
those two parts. But that hassle is unnecessary for my files if you just
remember to get such files from the HTTP server in Texas instead of one of the
FTP or Gopher servers.

Other topics in other files, together with URL for each (watch this space in
upcoming weeks for another pointer or two, such as how to get documentation for
BITFTP & ftpmail):

  • The master HTML-format online version of this document, which is much more
    complete than this stripped-down plain-text version, having pointers to other
    useful sources of general information about network services that are
    accessible via WWW. If you have live TELNET service, connect to any of the
    TELNET-accessible public WWW browsers listed earlier, use the ‘g’ (Go URL)
    command, and feed in this URL:
    ftp://ftp.edu.tw/documents/Internet/MaasInfo/HowWWW.html Do not feed that
    URL to the WWW-by-email service unless you want to see a trashed reply. But
    if you have a local HTML-rendering program, or you are willing to read raw
    HTML source yourself, feel free to fetch this by FTPMAIL (see MailFTP.txt for
    info) so you’ll get the source as-is without attempted conversion on the way.

  • A copy of that HTML-format complete version of this document, automatically
    copied about once a day from ftp.edu.tw (hence NOT showing any changes that
    occurred in the master version since the latest copying), and available via
    HTTP so as to avoid the line-break bug in the WWW-by-email service:
    http://pip.shsu.edu/ftp/MaasInfo/HowWWW.html Send this e-mail to get it
    properly formatted and mailed back to you: mail listproc@www0.cern.ch (No
    Subject field needed, will be ignored) www

  • The HTML-format version, but already converted for e-mailing (warning, might
    be several days out of date because I do this only once in a long while):
    ftp://ftp.edu.tw/documents/Internet/MaasInfo/HowWWW.DisRef (‘DisRef’ =
    DISplay + REFerences) Use this old pre-formatted copy ONLY if www0.cern.ch
    or pip.shsu.edu is down so you can’t get the copy on the HTTP server
    formatted on the fly for you, and you want the info right now rather than
    waiting for the down system to come back up, and you aren’t willing to read
    HTML source yourself.

  • How you can get THIS stripped-down text-only version, in case you forgot
    where this came from and you want to get the latest version, or you want to
    tell somebody else how to get it:

    • master copy, always the very latest version, but often not accessible:

mail ftpmail@NCTUCCCA.edu.tw open mode ascii get

mail listproc@www0.cern.ch source

  • more-accessible automatic ‘mirror’ copy (up to a day old):

mail ftpmail@ftp.shsu.edu open ftp.shsu.edu cd pub/MaasInfo/ get HowWWW.txt

mail listproc@www0.cern.ch source ftp://pip.SHSU.Edu/pub/MaasInfo/HowWWW.txt

  • (Also occasionally posted in full to comp.infosystems.www.misc etc.)

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Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
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| http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/