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Re: web inherits UNIX console?

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 04:23:01PM -0500, David Young wrote:
 > Here is the way that I currently envision the interaction: you
 > load a login page in your browser. [...]

Modulo buzzword compliance, what you've described is an X terminal
used in conjunction with some new application software.

There are several different directions you're going here at once, and
it would probably be a good idea to sort them out.

One is the idea of dumping login sessions as we know them (which are
deeply, deeply tied to the idea of a persistent connection of some
kind) in favor of a web-application kind of session, which exists as
an ID code in an internal database and receives packet-switched
(rather than circuit-switched) updates via some protocol like http.

Another, separate, one is dumping teletypes in favor of terminals that
are based on successive pages, or updatable pages; not necessarily
static, but unitary; documents rather than streams.

A third separate direction is this new user interface you propose,
which to me sounds like a modernized and polished form of setting your
shell to emacs.

I'm not sure I buy the user interface stuff, but the other two points
are worth thinking about in their own right. In particular, terminals
that support graphics are not (and have never really been) directly
compatible with the stream model of teletypes. The same problem has
always to some extent existed with full-screen text applications, too.
Since it's obviously desirable to be able to work with graphics,
moving to a page-based model has a number of potential advantages; the
big question is not what splufty GUI stuff to put into it but how to
maintain the conventional shell interface in that setting. A single
page that grows and grows is probably not the right idea.

Meanwhile, I must say I don't like the idea of packet-switched
sessions. It seems like exposing innards of the system to external
attack for no particular benefit.

David A. Holland

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