Monday, March 29, 2004

The Amaya Browser

Amaya is the W3C's Web editor, which supports HTML+CSS and XML applications such as XHTML, MathML and SVG. It's also a good (and free) testbed for your web pages: if they appear correctly in Amaya, they are probably valid HTML or XHTML. (Of course, you can always run your web pages through the HTML validator and the CSS validator to be sure.

There are some binary packages for Amaya, but the best way to get the thing built is from the source. Here's how: In the following I use an account called local which I've created on this machine. It's home directory is /home/local, and it has only ordinary user priviledges. Otherwise, it's set up much like /usr/local. That is, there are subdirectories /home/local/src, /home/local/bin, /home/local/man, etc. I use this account to install things that don't need to be installed as root, but should be accessible to any user with access to this machine. Of course, that means that /home/local/bin has to be in your path. OK, here we go. Assume you're logged in as local, and have downloaded the amay source code, amaya-src-8.3.tgz, into the directory /home/local/src:

  1. $ cd /home/local/src
  2. $ tar xvzf amaya-src.8.3.tgz This extracts the files for the gzipped tarball. Two sub directories are created, Amaya and redland. The later isn't needed for the default installation of Amaya, and I haven't tried figuring out what it does.
  3. $ cd Amaya The following departs somewhat from the instructions contained in Amaya.readme, but things still work:
  4. $ mkdir obj Creates a directory where all the work will be done.
  5. $ cd obj Go to your fine new directory and start the configuration process:
  6. $ ../configure --prefix=/home/local Sets up the makefile which will control execution, and tells it build the files under the /home/local tree. This will eventually create a directory /home/local/Amaya where everything is stored. There will be a soft link to /home/local/bin/amaya to launch the browser.
  7. make Wait awhile. If everything compiles normally you can do
  8. $ ./bin/amaya This should run the browser. If it does, exit and do
  9. $ make install Which puts Amaya in its proper place.
  10. Exit the local account and open a shell under your user account. Assuming /home/local/bin was in your path,
  11. $ amaya will open up Amaya. From there you can surf or edit HTML files.

That's it. If the ../configure script did its job correctly, Amaya will run with all the capabilities allowed by your computer.