Many users have complained about their ISP's refusing to upgrade Lynx, despite repeated requests. The Lynx user community is concerned about members who do not have access to current versions of Lynx, which are essential to make effective use of the web since both HTML (as used in most documents) and HTTP have changed so much over the past couple of years.
This document is an attempt to outline some of the techniques one can use to plead, cajole and threaten a sysadmin into upgrading an antique version of Lynx to something like 2.7, with all the bells and whistles. If you want to see what other ISPs are offering, take a look at our report on ISPs and Lynx.
This page is inspired by, and based on *helping users get lynx upgraded gregory j. rosmaita's <email@example.com> message to Lynx-Dev and Lynx-Learners.
These are the arguments you might want to use to convince your ISP they need to upgrade Lynx.
Many blind users have quoted their ISPs using the following argument as an excuse not to upgrade:
well, according to what you've sent me, lynx 2.7 has already had a couple of bugfixes, so i'm not sure i want to upgrade to something so unstable when we've had no problems with 2.4.2
What you need to make clear to your ISP is that the nature of the web today almost makes it necessary that software be upgraded every so often. In many cases, "bugs" are nothing more than corrections made to comply with the more widely used browsers (such as Netscape), and not necessarily a result of instability in Lynx itself. If anything recent versions of Lynx are more stable than their ancestors. In fact, the 100's of Kilobytes of CHANGES files since 2.4.2 are largely documentations of "bug-fixes".
Since Lynx is freeware, the developer community has no problems with calling improvements bug-fixes. A corporation has incentives that would make them call it an 'upgrade' or 'enhancement'. Or perhaps lead them to say something as silly as "our software has no bugs that any significant number of user's want corrected". The Lynx developers are extremely responsive, and requests by the user community are considered, and more often than not find their way into Lynx as improvements, or "bug-fixes".
Still Lynx is not free of bugs (or unintended "featureisms") just like other pieces of software as complex as Lynx. In the vast number of developers and the strength of the knowledgeable user-community, Lynx has one of the most resourceful support structures around for any software.