How did people here learn GUIs

Martin McCormick martin.m at
Sun Jul 31 17:06:48 UTC 2016

	The real problem is that chaos has been burned in to the
Windows environment in that there is no standard output device
which you must use to make your program work. This is much
different from the Unix operating system in which the only way to
insure that your program works across different platforms is to
use the standard output device. When you do, everything from a
raspberry PI to a main frame knows what to do when the program
prints something to the screen.

	The chaos of no standard output device infects programs
that started out in Windows and have been ported over to
unix-like systems. A good example is a popular video player
called Kodi. It's useful when converting one video format into
another so that it will play on more different devices.

	It is the recommended player for use with a line of
server devices that are meant to play cable or off-the-air TV
signals on one's home network.

	I can tell you for a fact that these devices are very
accessible when one is using a Mac or Linux device to control the
devices such as ask them to scan your cable or antenna feed for
signals. The output is a somewhat cryptic listing of the various
channels, their signal strength and quality and a short ID
containing the service name such as CNN or the call letters of a
TV station in the aria.

	When you try, however, to watch one of the channels live,
it's a no go right now. If you call up Kodi, the only button on
the GUI screen that works is the "Close" button which is quite

	Another line which says, "Kodi Entertainment Center"
shows on the screen but one can not get anything else to happen
as there are no more buttons at all. 

	One has to be able to tell Kody various control options
and there is simply nothing else to select.

	I am not yet sure what is wrong but it's a poster child
for the mark that Windows chaos has left on the software world.

	I can tell you that if Kodi gets fixed, cable TV and
modern digital reception will all become accessible from a
command and control standpoint because pieces of the puzzle
already fit together nicely.

	As for getting a back door in to Windows functionality by
using bash or any other shell/terminal, the lack of a predictable
output method for a Windows application is the same old issue
that has become the "standard" of Windows applications.

	One positive thing I can say is that these cross-platform
issues may bring us full circle in computing in which all
operating systems will be forced to have and even require that
there be a standards-based mechanism for getting data in to and
out of applications. 

	Several years ago, very smart but not very far-sighted
people said that the GUI was everything one ever needed and it
does simplify mundane tasks for many people but I remember a
quote from a television series on human language in which someone
said, "Draw me a picture that says that it is not raining."

	In unix, we know it is possible to have the best of both
worlds. Most of the wizardry of such programs as JAWS and
Window-Eyes is invested in trying to tease output redirection out
of a system that seems to do it's best to confound this process.


Janina Sajka <janina at> writes:
> One might hope for this, but I suspect there's a builtin problem with
> Windows screen readers. Are any of them any good with text output in the
> terminal? I haven't tried recently myself, but I don't see as there's
> been any reason for them to get any better this way.
> Decades ago we had pretty powerful screen readers for DOS, and we
> certainly have a very powerful screen reader on Linux consoles in
> Speakup. But, without something similarly capable, I don't see how cli
> based apps are going to attract blind users on Windows. Sad, actually.
> Janina

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list