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By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Old Question Revisited: Java Curses Support

From Wilson Yeung on Fri, 20 Aug 1999

Hello James,

I don't mean to be too critical -- afterall, I realize that you must be faced with many emails and deadlines when writing your articles for The Answer Guy.

Still, I thought I should point out that you didn't help Spencer T. Kittelson when he asked for a "Java equiv. of a C curses library". You pointed him to Java terminal emulation applications like JXTerm or SCO's Tarantella. If he was asking for a java telnet program, I'm sure JXTerm would have been a good answer. Unfortunately, he wasn't (I think the use of the words "curses library" gives it away here).

(!) That's an old one. I remember that I searched around quite a bit on the net for the suggestions that I did give him. SCO's Tarantella is closed source, of course. I remember that part of what I was looking for was an open source Java terminal emulator (on the silly idea that this might be built over a curses-like library).
Come to think of it, how hard would it be to port ncurses to Java? Of course you have to get Java to provide a terminal interface (which is why I started with the suggestions that related to that).

(?) In actual fact, he was asking for a framework/library for developing terminal applications in the Java Programming Language. In other words, he wanted to be able to write in Java something like PINE or "top" or irc-ii, but without Swing or AWT and relying solely on a user having only terminal capabilities.


(!) Oh! That is a different interpretation of the question.
Using Java to write curses mode programs? Well, that would be nice --- but I don't think it will gain any attention. I'd think that C and Python and PERL have that space pretty solidly sewn up.
Python seems to have pretty decent curses support, and it has many of the same OO features and dynamic protections that Java promises. Meanwhile text-mode/curses support seems so far away from Java's core focus that it seems like an unlikely avenue for future development.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 45 September 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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