Re: programming on Windows (was RE: Any support/suggestions for a blind student)

  • From: "black ares" <matematicianu2003@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 06:28:13 +0300

think about it, why will some one want that a cli language to be as powerfull as a gui one. Every programming/scripting language has its own intend and must be so powerfull to satisfy its intend.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jamal Mazrui" <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: <arachna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 3:25 AM
Subject: Re: programming on Windows (was RE: Any support/suggestions for a blind student)

On Linux, command-line power tends to ve valued at least as much as GUI power, while on Windows, the reverse is true. Thus, Windows command-line programs tend to be less advanced than their GUI counterparts. Still, much is available from the Windows command line, including the DOS-like batch language, VBScript or JScript files run with the Windows Script Host, or the .NET-based PowerShell, which is very powerful.


On 8/27/2010 5:44 PM, arachna@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I ran across the following post in the list archives by accident when searching for something with Google and it piqued my curiousity:
  "DaShiell, Jude T. CIV NAVAIR 1490, 1, 26" wrote on 16 March 2010:
As I see it, Microsoft made two mistakes with Windows which until they're corrected the best software for those
of us with no memory of vision to program for will be Linux in its varied forms.
First, the command line interface was made into a very poorly equipped environment for software development. Second, if someone does console-based development of software within Windows to my knowledge to date no xenity equivalents yet exist for any supported software development package now running on Windows; I would love to be
corrected on this point if at all possible even if packages under active development are all that can be offered as suggestions.

Would dialog be a decent replacement for zenity on Windows? I have a how-to on building dialog for OpenWatcom here:
It's very similar to build it on mingw and msys. There are just a few less places to patches. I can put together the mingw patch if someone needs it.

By the way, did a quick search of zenity and win32 to check if someone had ported it yet and ran across this:

I've been experimenting with the idea of using dialog with bash or v8cgi to create menus that will work in or out of X Windows on FreeBSD and Linux. Since I like to program cross-platform, the menus would work on Windows just as well.

There are at least 3 versions of bash I know of for Windows. Cygwin, djgpp and msys all have one.
Here's a stand-alone package based on Cygwin:

The other tool I've been looking at for cross-platform scripting that I'm really starting to like is v8cgi:
Syntax will be more familiar to C/C++ programmers than bash is.

Since I'm not a blind user, I've been wondering just how the visually impaired use console based tools. Does the terminal emulator or some such software read the information out loud, because the programs themselves usually don't add speech capability? Read an example on the INX list where someone used tee and sent the information to espeak as well as the menu. I was wondering how hard it would be to add an option to dialog that sent the information it drew out to another program like espeak. However, if a screen reader program already exists and works fine with dialog and other software, that would be a more general purpose solution.

The other option I've been checking into is using the browser and Javascript for the programming environment, but the one thing still lacking is being able to shell out to other local programs and use the results. There are some work-arounds for this specific to browsers, but I'm waiting to find out if a more portable solution becomes available. What I'd really like is a merge of a Javascript server side language like v8cgi with the ability to create an interface like a browser can. Of course, since it could do local file access, the Internet access part should probably be shut off for security reasons. The other drawback to the browser approach is that relatively few console based or light weight browsers fully support Javascript and css standards.

Would be curious to know what's lacking in the Windows console environment for software development that's available in other environments like Linux. I use mingw and msys all the time for quick console development. I use the DOS command prompt and have customized it to a way I'm comfortable with, but other options like Console 2 are available and I believe Cygwin has a limited port of rxvt. There are a number of good compilers that work from console mode, including mingw, djgpp and OpenWatcom. There are also some decent shell script languages such as bash if batch files aren't enough. I haven't found any information on ncurses working on Windows, but you do have pdcurses. I also I read about a Windows port of vifm to Windows, so I would guess that means s-lang is available as well.

Couldn't resist discussing this topic even though the original post was from some time ago. I've been very interested in some of the subjects and would enjoy hearing other programmers viewpoints on them as well.

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