Your opinions?

David Poehlman poehlman1 at
Sun Nov 30 12:32:15 EST 2003

so, ui auomation is going to save us all?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Janina Sajka" <janina at>
To: "Speakup is a screen review system for Linux." <speakup at>
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 6:14 AM
Subject: Re: Your opinions?

I agree with Geoff. In fact, not only do I think console apps won't go
away, I'm quite sure that the competition from the northwest corner of
the U.S. is going to help make the command line sexy again in its next
major release, currently named Longhorn (or was that Leghorn?)! Yes, my
friends, I have it on very good authority that Microsoft is "bringing
back the command line." I put that in quotes because it is a quotation,
and because it's a strange statement--as if CLI ever really went away.
But then Microsoft people tend to see the universe only in their own

I'll even go one better. It's going to become easier to create different
interfaces to the same underlying application. Much of the
standardization activity currently underway in groups like FSG and the
W3C is about facilitating middle layers to make it easier to repurpose
interfaces for different devices. We can already see some of the early
efforts in this direction with apps like charva and the textual
interface to GNOME whose name I'm forgetting at the moment.

Geoff Shang writes:
> From: Geoff Shang <gshang at>
> Hi:
> I don't think we really have much to worry about.  Yes, console-mode aps
> tend to lag a little, particularly in some areas (can anyone say audio
> editing?), but a lot of people who write applications prefer to use the
> text console and, as long as that continues to be the case, applications
> will continue to be written for it.  The big difference between the
> DOS/Windows comparison and the console/X comparison under Linux, is the
> fact that in LInux, it really is just a matter of a different interface.
> With windows, DOS had fairly severe limits which were difficult to
> overcome.  It also had no fascility for multitasking (many would say that
> Windows doesn't either, but it at least looks as if it does).  It's also
> not easy to use the same or similar code for both.  In Linux, the
> underlying code can be the same, you just slap a new interface on it.
> People who do this often write their functionality into libs, which makes
> it completely UI independent.
> I think the main problem with web browsers in particular is that most of
> them have their origins bak in the days when the web was simple and
> client-side processing wasn't even thought of.  I think if anyone was to
> write a text-mode web browser these days, they'd do it in such a way that
> it would incorporate a document object model and allow for client-side
> applications such as scripting and applets.  The UI is more an indicator
> the age of some of these aps than anything else.  I first saw lynx in 1994
> and it was version 2.3 then.  And I know PIne was at 3.89 in 1994, so it's
> not exactly new either.
> Geoff.
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Janina Sajka
Email: janina at
Phone: (202) 408-8175

Director, Technology Research and Development
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Chair, Accessibility Work Group
Free Standards Group

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