w3 / texi / w3-faq.txi

\input texinfo
@c -*-texinfo-*-
@c Copyright (C) 1997 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
@dircategory FAQs
@dircategory GNU Emacs Lisp
* Emacs/W3 FAQ: (w3-faq).          FAQ for Emacs/W3 World Wide Web browser.
@end direntry

@node Top, Installation FAQ, (dir), (dir)
@section Frequently Asked Questions

This is the Emacs/W3 Frequently Asked Questions list.

* Installation FAQ::      Installation of Emacs/W3.
* Runtime FAQ::           Running Emacs/W3.
* Arcana::                Obscure, but cool.
* Customization FAQ::     Customizing Emacs/W3.
@end menu

@node Installation FAQ, Runtime FAQ, Top, Top
@subsection Installation

@itemize @bullet
Q1.1  What is the latest version of Emacs/W3?

The latest version is v4.0pre.46.

Q1.2  Where do I get Emacs/W3?

Any of the following locations:

@itemize @minus
@end itemize

Q1.3  Which version of Emacs do I need?

At least GNU Emacs 19.34, or XEmacs 19.14 is recommended.  GNU Emacs
19.28 has been known to work, but highlighting will not work due to
differences in how faces are handled in newer Emacs versions.

Q1.4  I get './configure: sh internal 2K buffer overflow' when configuring.

On some systems (notably HP-UX 9.x), the standard /bin/sh is not quite
up to snuff.  You should use bash to run configure if you possibly can,
ie: bash ./configure [standard-arguments]

If anyone has ideas about how I could fix my autoconf sources, please
contact @url{}.

Q1.5  How can I build Emacs/W3 under Windows 95 or Windows NT?

Q1.6  How can I build Emacs/W3 under VMS?

Q1.7  I still want to use Emacs 19, are there any special problems?

Since Emacs 19.x does not include a suitably `new' version of the custom
and widget libraries, you will need to install them yourself.  Please
see @url{} for more information
on installing.  After this, you will need to re-run your configure
script, including the --with-custom=/path/to/custom/library/directory.

@end itemize

@node Runtime FAQ, Arcana, Installation FAQ, Top
@subsection Runtime

@itemize @bullet
Q2.1  The options menu is ugly under Emacs 19

In Emacs 19, Emacs/W3 uses the 'easymenu' package to define menus.
Unfortunately, this package does not show the current state of a boolean
menu entry, it just shows as 'Toggle xxxx'.

This feature-lack will be fixed in Emacs 19.35 or Emacs 20.1 when they
are released.

Q2.2  Animated GIFs cause XEmacs 19.14 or 20.0 to crash.

There was a bug in the GIF decoding routines in XEmacs 19.14 and 20.0 -
please update to XEmacs 19.15 or 20.1 respectively.

Q2.3  I get an error when starting up about custom-declare-group

This usually means you compiled Emacs/W3 in an emacs that could not find
the 'custom' package (or found an old version), but you are running it
in an emacs that finds the new one.  This is usually the case if you
have a recent version of GNUS installed in a non-standard place.

Make sure that you can load the custom library when compiling emacs.
Set the environment variable WIDGETDIR to where your custom library
lives (ie: ~/lisp/gnus/lisp), or rerun configure with the
'--with-custom=/full/path/to/custom/lisp/' command line argument and
then remake with a 'make clean all'.

Q2.4  It is incredibly slow under OS/2

This appears to be a problem with how fonts are looked up.  Thanks to for this analysis.

In OS/2, the font name default to forms like

"-*-Courier-medium-r-normal--*-100-*-*-m-*-cp850" ......
@end example

In these two cases, font detection fails because this does not match

To solve this, set the default font as

Q2.5  How do I make emacs scroll the window horizontally when moving?

In XEmacs, you should simply put something like this in your .emacs

   (add-hook 'w3-mode-hook '(lambda () (auto-show-mode 1)))
@end example

Under Emacs 19, there are a variety of different packages that provide
this functionality.  The one I have seen used the most is 'hscroll.el',
from @url{} - to turn
it on, add this to your .emacs file:

   (autoload 'turn-on-hscroll "hscroll" nil t)
   (add-hook 'w3-mode-hook 'turn-on-hscroll)
@end example

Q2.6  I like being warned about invalid HTML on my own pages, but how
      can I make Emacs/W3 stop telling me almost everything on the Web
      is invalid?

Snide answer: Make everyone start writing valid HTML pages. :)

Real answer: You can use the file preparation hook, which is run before
any parsing is done.  Something like this should work.

(defun my-w3-file-prepare-hook ()
  (make-local-variable 'w3-debug-html)
  (setq w3-debug-html
      (if (or (string= (url-type url-current-object) "file")
              (string-match ".*\\.some\\.domain\\.name"
                            (or (url-host url-current-object) "")))
(add-hook 'w3-file-prepare-hook 'my-w3-file-prepare-hook)
@end example
This will turn on stylistic warnings for any local HTML files or files
loaded from the `*' domain.

Q2.7  I get an error restarting Emacs after using the preferences menu
      in Emacs/W3:
      @samp{Symbol's function definition is void: custom-set-variables}

Typically this happens if you are running GNU Emacs 19.  Because the
custom libraries are not bundled with Emacs, you need to make sure that
you load it from within your .emacs file.   Place the following line
before any of the calls to @code{custom-set-variables}:

(require 'custom)
@end example

Q2.8  When using Emacs 20.x, a \201 character appears in the buffer
      before every character above ASCII 127?

You should install the LEIM package and put the following lines in your
.emacs file:

(set-language-environment 'Latin-1)
(standard-display-european t 'iso-latin-1)
@end example

LEIM packages for Emacs 20.x are located at
@url{}, filename is
@file{leim-XX.Y.tar.gz}, where XX.Y matches the Emacs version you are
currently running.

Q2.9  All my FTP directory listings show up as HTML!  I HATE THAT!

This will happen if you are going through a web-based proxy server.  To
use the normal ftp support that Emacs provides, you will need to set up
the no-proxy section of your proxy services to not include @b{any} ftp
traffic  @xref{Proxy Gateways, , Proxy Gateways, w3, Emacs/W3 User's
Manual}.  You must then also configure Ange-FTP or EFS to know about
your specific proxy setup.

After all this pain and anguish, you will see your FTP directories in
dired as the gods intended.

Q2.10 Why can't I choose an option in an HTML form using the minibuffer
      instead of the #%!@@ing 'widget choose' buffer?

This is in the hands of the @b{widget} library.  Thankfully, there is a
way to change this behaviour.  Set the variable
@code{widget-menu-minibuffer-flag} to @code{t} in your @file{~/.emacs}
file, and you will get the expected behaviour.

@end itemize

@node Arcana, Customization FAQ, Runtime FAQ, Top
@subsection Arcana

@itemize @bullet
Q3.2  How do i get Shift-Tab to go backwards on a text terminal or XTerm?

aka: I hate the new text widgets, I can't go through the links with n and b
     I can go forward using TAB but how do i go backward on a terminal? 

Thanks to Greg Stark <> for this incredibly thorough
answer.  I have verified that this works on my Linux laptop.

Not all terminals can distinguish between a shifted tab and an unshifted
tab at all. Tab is indicated on a text terminal by a control-i. There is
no such thing as capital control characters, so if the terminal is going
to indicate a shift-tab somehow it has to be completely differently. The
most appropriate thing to use is probably "backtab" which on old text
terminals was sometimes a separate key and Emacs is already set up to
recognize automatically if it exists.

Making "backtab" work involves several steps. First you have to make
sure your console generates some character sequence to indicate the key
you want to generate a "backtab". Then you have to configure termcap or
terminfo to recognize that key sequence. Then you may have to make your
programs do useful things when they get a "backtab", Emacs for example
will recognize it automatically but except for the Widget and W3
commands nothing is ever bound it it.

Step 1 On An XTerm: XTerm obeys standard X Toolkit translations which
you can use to specify what character sequence Shift-Tab generates. The
following X Resources will cause Shift-Tab and Meta-Shift-Tab to
generate reasonable character sequences. You can either put this in your
.Xresources or .Xdefaults file, or you can put it in
/usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/XTerm to make it a site-wide default. (On
Debian systems you should put it in /etc/X11/Xresources, not the
app-defaults files):

XTerm*VT100.translations: #override \
   ~Meta Shift<Key>Tab: string(\033[Z) \n\
    Meta Shift<Key>Tab: string(\033\033[Z) \n
@end example

I recommend these sequences, they are based on what seems to be a more
or less standard sequence ^[[Z for backtab.

Step 1 On Rxvt: By default Rxvt sends ^[[Z for Shift-Tab.  However, if
Shift-Tab generates another keysym, like for example in XFree86 3.2
where it's bound to ISO_Left_Tab then Rxvt will just ignore it. You
would need to defeat this feature to make rxvt work again by doing
something like:

xmodmap -e 'keysym Tab = Tab'
@end example

or adding that command to some global X configuration file (On Debian
systems adding ``Keysym Tab = Tab'' to /etc/X11/Xmodmap or ~/.Xmodmap is

Step 1 On A Linux Virtual Console: on a Linux virtual console you can
configure what character sequences are generated by which keys using the
loadkeys command. Many systems are set up to run loadkeys automatically on
startup with some keymap file. On Debian systems this is true, the keymap file
is specified in /etc/kbd/config and usually lives in the
/usr/lib/kbd/keytables directory. You want to put something like the following
in your keytable file:

keycode  15 = Tab   F91
	alt     keycode  15 = Meta_Tab        
	shift   alt     keycode  15 = F92
@end example

where keycode 15 is Tab on my keyboard (and probably any keyboard). This
defines Tab and Alt-Tab normally, and also defines Shift-Tab to be F91
and Shift-Alt-Tab to be F92.

Then put something like this:

# backtab and M-backtab
string F91 = "\033[Z"
string F92 = "\033\033[Z"
@end example

later in the file. This defines what character sequence F91 (Shift-Tab)
and F92 (Alt-Shift-Tab) should generate. I recommend these sequences,
they are based on what seems to be a more or less standard sequence ^[[Z
for backtab.

Step 2 On A Termcap System:

The termcap capability is kB, i'm not familiar with termcap tools, i think you
just need to add it to the /etc/termcap file for the terminal you're concerned
with as kB=\E[Z.

Step 2 On A Terminfo System:

The terminfo capability is kcbt (the long name is key_btab). You want to
run infocmp to generate an edittable copy of the terminal info. Add the
capability, then use tic to compile that information. Something like

infocmp $TERM > info
emacs info & # add kcbt=\E[Z, to the file
tic info

If you do this as root it should add the new definition to the system
wide terminfo database. If you do it as a normal user it should create a
~/.terminfo database with a local terminfo info definition for that

Step 3 On Emacs:

The standard terminal initialization should recognize the backtab
capability automatically. To test it try C-h c Shift-Tab and see what it
calls the key.  To bind commands to it just use [backtab] in
local-set-key or global-set-key as in:

(local-set-key [backtab] 'hippie-expand)
(global-set-key [backtab] 'hippie-expand)
@end example

In the interest of maintaining a single consistent set of key bindings
between X and tty emacsen you may want to make equivalent X keystroke
generate "backtab" as well, you can do this by doing this:

(define-key function-key-map [S-tab] [backtab])
(define-key function-key-map [iso-lefttab] [backtab])

To make S-tab or whatever keystroke you made generate backtab on a
terminal be recognized as backtab under X11 as well. You can check how
Emacs recognizes this keystroke currently by doing C-h c <keystroke>.

@end itemize

@node Customization FAQ,  , Arcana, Top
@subsection Customization
@itemize @bullet
@end itemize

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