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GUI, TUI, ... GTUI? 
Surely the fear of being labeled "old fashioned" can be a key motivator in the need to support any new technology?

Audio Reborn

Consider - for example - the former stigma long associated with "obsolete radio." --Surely "Modern TV" & video triumphed over that old, "obsolete" audio-only entertainment?

Yet rising from the stigma of being "old fashioned" entertainment, for example, allowed iPod to become the hottest product of a new millenia!

Indeed, while now surely supporting video as well, the mainstay of a global, billion-dollar, portable-player industry even presently revolves around simple, audio-only, music players.

(Got record player? -Even the collector's vinyl-market has been reborn!)

Text Reborn

In a like manner, we are seeing the beginning of a Renaissance in the use of console user-interfaces.

How can we say such a thing?

Well, long seen as being "old fashioned", the removal of textual / terminal support from Microsoft Windows - only to be resurrected in Windows 10 - underscored the trend.

Not only can one now use textual terminal emulation programs such as "curses" once again (remember "ansi.sys" or "vt100.sys"?), but a whole "next generation" of computer enthusiasts are busy writing seemingly text-only applications.

Codename: T.U.I

Surely many anticipated a probable resurgence of the Textual / Terminal User Interface (TUI) as a rising generation enjoyed the green-screen 'blinkage from the "Codename: Kids Next Door" episodes. A whimsical & enjoyable cartoons series, each episode proudly featured a TUI.

Herculean efforts over such programs as Dwarf Fortress have also been rewarded. (The author of this text-game has even been invited to contribute his source code to the Smithsonian!)


So when terminal emulation / cursor positioning was officially removed from Microsoft Windows, allot of us knew that we had to rely upon API support.

Indeed, for quite some time we have taught others how to use the Windows Console API to create much the same effect... even under Visual Basic!

Other companies - such as Citrix - stepped up to fill the void so as to support million-dollar markets.

Yet while the flavor is decidedly console, savvy software developers know that just about any drawing surface supports textual renderings. By mapping pixels to mono-spaced fonts and / or de-kerened character-cells, even Java & Qt panels can be used to create a "GUI TUI!"

Hybrid TUI's

So into the realm of the Graphical Text User Interface, or "GTUI" ... (i.e. Decidedly TUI - but so much more!) do we find ourselves, today. Spear-headed by such innovations as the SDL, yet another 20-year effort is enjoying an ever-increasing popularity in the planet's new, cross-platform, GTUI marketplace.

Turbo Vision ... for GTUI!

Yet - having seen many such trends before - allow me to note that there remains ample time for anyone to anticipate - and intercept - where the GTUI market is all heading.

Surely, for those who want to yet earn their place on Wikipedia (or perhaps on Wallstreet?), the clear and present need is to provide support for a cross-platform "WIMP" ("Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointer") user interface in the GTUI realm.

Indeed, those who feel the GTUI-WIMP need, need not work uninspired! -Not only are Turbo Vision -style UI's still moving on just-fine, but even Python 3 has cool new projects (such as picotui) to help speed us on our way!


So while I toil away to create as much training as I can for my C/C++, Java, .NET, LAMP, AWS, Hadoop, and Python students, please allow me to alert you to what I am finding to be an extremely interesting trend. Just as the death of "radio" was far, far too readily predicted, so too has the ultimate demise of the TUI, been greatly exaggerated!

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Oh... Yea... 'Lest we forget: IMO the king of the GTUI world surely must be libtcod. While somewhat of a PITA to build under C/C++ (over time, what isn't? =) wee Python devotees also may enjoin some relief there, as well.

Our Java friends might also take a look at Jexter!


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