why should you write CLI & terminal software in 2019?

well, there are plenty of reasons, but a really good one is that desktop computing is in a state of relentless decline (backed by megacorp fiat that it be murdered ASAP) and the terminal will still be cockroaching along decades after it's impossible to use any of the GUI paradigm stuff that worked just fine in like 1998-2010.

the weird realization that a lot of software written when i was in early elementary school is more likely to be working long after i'm dead than most things built in the interim.

@brennen good points 🤔 really appreciating the aptness of "cockroaching"

@brennen current contents of brain: "That gui you like is going to come back in style"

@brennen I'd like to see DOS era TUI coming back. Compared to Linux software that's mostly command line oriented DOS software used to make a good use of ANSI graphics to make elaborate UI environments that worked fine in a terminal - with it without a mouse. Midnight Commander is one good Linux example of that.

(Also refer to EDIT.COM, QBasic, TurboVision stuff like TurboPascal and TurboC, game setup software, various terminal emulators and MOD players, etc)

@polychrome yeah, there are some very good examples in that zone. i still miss (and occasionally forget and try to invoke by accident) a DOS file pager / browser called LIST.COM, frex.

i've revisited some of that stuff under emulation in recent years, and a lot of it suffers from inconsistency (UI reinvented from scratch with every new program) or the absence of features we now take for granted (EDIT.COM / QBasic are decent editors 'til you notice the lack of an undo).

@polychrome but still, and modulo accessibility concerns, a lot of that stuff was surprisingly good.

@brennen inconsistency was *absolutely* a problem, though Linux still has some shades of that except in applications specifically written for a certain WM environment.

Still I think this is an issue that can be tackled now days better than it used to before. Imagine having a nice TUI library like TurboVision used to be, but free and with a published design standard for people to use.

If you don't have to re-implement a UI from scratch every time it helps to keep things sane.

@brennen better question is "why *wouldn't* you write CLI & terminal software in 2019" imo

@aparrish @brennen At 30 years old I just started getting into CLI stuff and I am loving it.

Also it takes up so little space on my hard drive!

Software is so bloated these days but not CLI stuff.

@brennen Also it is very time consuming building a GUI that won't get significant criticism. If you build it for the terminal people will focus on the problem you just solved and not how it looks.

@brennen on nearly any platform, if the gui is broken, a command line will often emerge. it's a failsafe for the cruft that is modern guis. even the web can revert to just plaintext and http requests if needed.

@brennen this all to say, that i agree, all this stuff will remain useful for so much longer than us.

Truely cursed: Java swing that only takes keyboard input and outputs text

@brennen Is the corporate world trying to kill desktop computing? It felt like it seven years ago but that doomsday scenario never really came to pass.

@Gyro my working theory is that that scenario came to pass 3-5 years ago and it's just taking a while for us to notice.

@brennen but I can still buy a motherboard and a CPU on my prole wages if I try hard enough, Windows is still getting fixes, many distros of desktop Linux are very nice (I've been using Antergos lately), etc..

@Gyro yeah, i exaggerate my case for dramatic effect, i guess.

still, it's been pretty striking to me lately how many features and applications i used to take for granted have been killed off or have deteriorated into unusability while i wasn't looking, and just how hard it is to do basic things outside of either a web browser or a mobile device.

@Gyro (while windows converges on full-time rental surveillanceware, it gets harder rather than easier to run linux on commonly deployed hardware, and various aspects of linux desktop systems converge on sortakinda being like windows.)



That's a fair fear, although honestly as far as I can tell it has literally never been easier to install Linux on arbitrary hardware. Hell, there's an entire class of laptops now that it's far easier to install standard Linux on than Windows on!

Plus, we're a few years out now from finally having general availability of *fully* open stacks, where the firmware potentially isn't even proprietary, with RISC-V.

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