A challenging question?

Tim Chase blinux.list at thechases.com
Fri Jan 20 03:12:03 UTC 2017

On January 19, 2017, Karen Lewellen wrote:
> Asking just in case there is a simple tool  for this process.
> I need to capture several emails from my gmail account.  It is
> critical that the e-mails appear, as they do for me, not how they
> might in standard view, i. e. with alt tags  visible for anyone.
> Lynx, links, and e-links are the browsers I wish to use for this, I
> would imagine the alt tag would be different even if I had access
> to say Firefox.

Depending on the target audience, a couple ways come to mind:

1) In lynx-the-cat, use the "p" command to print to a file.  This is
basically the same thing as doing a "lynx -dump" on a page.  In
links-the-chain and elinks, you can use "File, Save formatted
document" to get the same sort of results.

2) use your terminal emulator's copy/paste functionality to select
the content of the gmail session in lynx/links/elinks session

3) fire up GNU screen or tmux, launch Lynx inside, browse to your
email, and then use the "scrollback" functionality in screen/tmux to
copy text off the screen into a buffer, then use the screen/tmux
scrollback-paste functionality to dump it into a file.

4) use the "script" program to record the entire session with

  $ script --timing=gmail.timings gmail.script
  $ lynx https://gmail.com
  (do your thing)
  $ exit  # leaves the "script" recording session

this will give you two files "gmail.timings" and "gmail.script" which
you can then play back with

  $ scriptreplay gmail.timings gmail.script

Now on to comparing:

#1 is easiest choice with some of the best results for the use-case
you are describing.

#2 & #3 are basically a screen capture of the text that you can dump
into a text file, but don't include any coloration or playback (like
#1).  Also, these usually end up being one screen at a time with
full-screen curses applications like lynx/links/elinks, so if your
text is more than one page, it's a bit annoying to capture, save,
scroll, capture, save, repeat. But they do work for any terminal
application, not just relying on browser-specific functionality.

#4 gives an exact replay of the options, but requires a terminal that
understands it.  If you're playing back on the same terminal where
you recorded, this has no issues.  But if you're trying to share it,
there may be hurdles involved.  Also, while a quick test here
suggests that script doesn't capture passwords in certain modes, it
might if recording a lynx/links session, so I'd either only share it
with someone you trust with your gmail password, or redact the file
before sharing it.

And if you haven't had a chance to play with screen/tmux, they're
incredibly powerful and well worth the investment of time (I
personally prefer and recommend tmux, but both are substantially
similar to the end user).

As usual, my verbose replies are likely overkill, but hopefully give
you some options to explore. (grins)


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