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7.5. Access by users with limited computing facilities

DIALogue caters for users who have limited computing facilities, or are located in countries or regions which only have very slow (eg 2,400 bps or 9,600 bps) connections to the Internet.

7.5.1. Lynx access to the web version

As explained in Chapter 4, Lynx is a full screen text-only interface to the World-Wide-Web. It does not require any graphical browsing capacity, and can therefore be used without Windows or a mouse, and is fully effective at communications speeds as low as 2,400 bps (ie 2.4 Kbps). Lynx can also be used where a user does not have any direct connection to the Internet , but does have a dial-up connection to another computer which does, in which case Lynx can be run in terminal mode.

DIALogue pages have been designed to appear legible and properly set out when read via a Lynx browser. The following page is the Lynx version of DIALogue's home page. Entry of username and password is required before it can be accessed, as in the graphical version.

Lynx version of start of DIALogue home page

All aspects of DIALogue work using a Lynx browser in much the same way as they do using a graphical browser. For example, the following Lynx screen shows the part of the DIALogue home page where Panelists are selected. The user inserts a cross in check-boxes, just as in the graphical version. There does not seem to be any loss of functionality in the Lynx version.

Lynx page showing choice of option boxes, with `INFRASTRUCTURE Panelists' chosen

7.5.2. Feasibility of `e-mail only' version

The DIALogue prototype requires access to the World-Wide-Web via either a graphical browser or, as explained above, a text-only browser such as Lynx. As explained in Chapter 3, only a small minority of the DMCs of the Bank (and a tiny percentage of the total population of the DMCs) are in countries which have no access to the Internet.

The development of any form of `e-mail only' version of the full DIALogue facilities would be technically complex and limited in utility. The DIAL Discussion List and LAW-DEV can be used by those who only have access to e-mail, if this turns out to be necessary to service some Authorised Users.

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