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ASCII/ANSI GUI book
11-30-2019, 08:05 PM
Post: #1
ASCII/ANSI GUI book
I remember when "Bookstop" was still in business, a long time ago, when I was in my early teens. I remember visiting it once and I happened upon a book in the computer section that detailed how to create an ASCII / ANSI GUI text windowing system, with a lot of neat tricks. I ended up not buying the book, as I didn't have the money. Now, I'm trying to remember what the title was. I've tried extensive searches on google and Amazon, but I haven't turned anything up.

Does anyone have any idea of what the title of the book I'm remembering might be?

Thanks,

Jonathan
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11-30-2019, 11:13 PM
Post: #2
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
Hello Jonathan

The terms "GUI" and "text windowing" are not compatible, because GUI stands for /graphical/ user interface. In the time before GUIs ASCII was standard. With Windows ANSI became standard in the PC world. But I don't know for pre Windows 3 I have to admit.

The text windowing UI thing is often connected to a programing language. I don't see any connection to a language in your post. Do remember such a connection?

Another thing could be the publisher of the book. Most of them had an unique design for there books. Maybe you remember something about?

And when saw you the book in the store?

I've programmed several text UIs on PC-/MS-DOS then using multiple languages. And I remember such a book I had then too. As far as I remember it was not connected to a programming language but deeply described the concept. It could be a book from Microsoft Press because I had some of them but I'm not sure. Wait, maybe the abbreviation "SAA" could be part of the title (stands for systems application architecture, an IBM thing from the early 80th).

Best wishes - Guido
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12-01-2019, 07:59 AM
Post: #3
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(11-30-2019 08:05 PM)Jonathan Busby Wrote:  Does anyone have any idea of what the title of the book I'm remembering might be?

Did it have 'ncurses' in the title? A quick Google shows many books still in print.
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12-01-2019, 09:50 AM
Post: #4
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(11-30-2019 08:05 PM)Jonathan Busby Wrote:  Does anyone have any idea of what the title of the book I'm remembering might be?

Did it have anything to do with Borland's "Turbo Vision" framework?

— Ian Abbott
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12-01-2019, 10:03 AM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2019 10:07 AM by Sylvain Cote.)
Post: #5
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(11-30-2019 11:13 PM)Guido Wrote:  The terms "GUI" and "text windowing" are not compatible, because GUI stands for /graphical/ user interface. In the time before GUIs ASCII was standard. With Windows ANSI became standard in the PC world. But I don't know for pre Windows 3 I have to admit.
As far as I remember, the terms used at the time was either "CUI" for Character User Interface or "TUI" for Text User Interface

(12-01-2019 07:59 AM)BruceH Wrote:  Did it have 'ncurses' in the title? A quick Google shows many books still in print.
curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

Late 1980 and early 1990, there was several CUI/TUI frameworks books & library that were available for MS-DOS, the ones that I remember for C and/or C++ are

C++ Views
C Worthy
Greenleaf Data Windows
Panel Plus II
Turbo Vision
Vermont Views
Vitamin C
Win++
Zinc Interface Library

Also, several books were published that shows how to build a CUI/TUI windowing system, I had a couple of them, but unfortunately I do not have them anymore and I have long forgotten their titles.
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12-01-2019, 11:52 AM
Post: #6
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
Are you looking for THAT specific book or OTHER resources with similar information. If the latter, then ASCII Table - ANSI escape squences may prove useful. I can also recommend Using MS-DOS 6.22 {ver 3} special edition by QUE publishing.

BEST!
SlideRule
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12-01-2019, 12:35 PM
Post: #7
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 10:03 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 07:59 AM)BruceH Wrote:  Did it have 'ncurses' in the title? A quick Google shows many books still in print.

curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

Good thing Jonathan didn't mention MS-DOS then. :-)
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12-01-2019, 02:13 PM
Post: #8
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 12:35 PM)BruceH Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 10:03 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

Good thing Jonathan didn't mention MS-DOS then. :-)

You are completely right, I wrongly assumed it, sorry about that.
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12-01-2019, 03:44 PM
Post: #9
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
An interesting excerpt from That Powerful ESCAPE Character -- Key and Sequences

"IS THE ESCAPE SEQUENCE THAT IMPORTANT?

Care to speculate upon what the world would be like now if:
• the escape sequence principle had not been created? or
• if one had the power to now withdraw the escape sequence idea from usage? (IBM did not seek a patent; indeed, a $300 million dollar suit against IBM was unsuccessful because the escape sequence had been put into the public domain)

The following list is illustrative but incomplete. Its purpose is to show how different the world would have been without ESCAPE! Think of your own input to the list.
Here are some things one would miss:
• Video computer monitors (as on personal computers) are gone. With no escape sequences to move cursors, change foreground and background colors, set blinking or inverse, etc., we are back to Teletypewriters and other mechanical aids.
• Writers are back to typewriters, for Word Processing is no more.
• No more making one's own artwork or personal greeting cards.
• Computer graphics hardly exist. No more pictures of a rotating auto chassis, no visual engineering design, no CAD (computer- aided design) for buildings, kitchens, highways, etc.
• No laser printers, whose manuals show hundreds of escape sequences used for their control and operation.
• Various phone services are gone, like checking a bank balance by typing in the account number followed by # and/or *, for these act as escape sequences to the bank computer.
• Other screen applications are gone or reduced in functionality. Airline reservations, for example (we might have to revert to inflexible and published schedules and fares -- which might not be an all-bad idea!).
• Medicine reverts. No nurse's video stations, displays for treadmills, etc.
• Forget air traffic control as we know it now, and all the intelligent displays in submarines and fighter planes.
• Japan, Korea, and China are back to brushwork and linotype fonts for their character sets. The relationship to ASCII is gone.
• Photocomposition cannot shift to subsets of the various symbols of the world, in various sizes, fonts, rotation, etc. Books will thus be more expensive, and rarer.
• And -- No Internet or Web as they are now!"

BEST!
SlideRule
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12-01-2019, 04:26 PM
Post: #10
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 10:03 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 07:59 AM)BruceH Wrote:  Did it have 'ncurses' in the title? A quick Google shows many books still in print.
curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

For the record, there were ports of the curses libraries to MS-DOS, notably PCCurses, which later changed its name to PDCurses and is still alive and kicking, although its scope has broadened to other platforms such as OS/2, Windows Console, SDL 1&2, and even X11.

— Ian Abbott
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12-01-2019, 04:33 PM
Post: #11
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(11-30-2019 11:13 PM)Guido Wrote:  Hello Jonathan

The terms "GUI" and "text windowing" are not compatible[snip]

I know that technically, "GUI" usually involves plotting pixels on a display device to create a windowing system, But, I should have enclosed "GUI" in quotes as it's a small semantic distinction between "TUI" and "CUI".

Quote:The text windowing UI thing is often connected to a programing language. I don't see any connection to a language in your post. Do remember such a connection?

Sorry, but it was so long ago that I can't remember much :/ I think there is a possibility that it *was* some form of C or Pascal running on some form of DOS.

Quote:Another thing could be the publisher of the book. Most of them had an unique design for there books. Maybe you remember something about?

Sorry, can't remember :/

Quote:And when saw you the book in the store?

Around 1993 or so.

Quote:I've programmed several text UIs on PC-/MS-DOS then using multiple languages. And I remember such a book I had then too. As far as I remember it was not connected to a programming language but deeply described the concept. It could be a book from Microsoft Press because I had some of them but I'm not sure. Wait, maybe the abbreviation "SAA" could be part of the title (stands for systems application architecture, an IBM thing from the early 80th).

Thanks for the info! Big Grin I think the book may have been as you described above.

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 04:35 PM
Post: #12
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 07:59 AM)BruceH Wrote:  Did it have 'ncurses' in the title? A quick Google shows many books still in print.

I'm not sure, but thanks for the tip! Smile

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 04:37 PM
Post: #13
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 04:26 PM)ijabbott Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 10:03 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

For the record, there were ports of the curses libraries to MS-DOS, notably PCCurses, which later changed its name to PDCurses and is still alive and kicking, although its scope has broadened to other platforms such as OS/2, Windows Console, SDL 1&2, and even X11.

Thanks for the info Smile

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 04:39 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2019 04:43 PM by Jonathan Busby.)
Post: #14
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 09:50 AM)ijabbott Wrote:  Did it have anything to do with Borland's "Turbo Vision" framework?

It may have, as my main programming languages in my early teen years were C, Borland Turbo Pascal and x86 assembly, especially x86 assembly inline in Pascal Smile

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 04:42 PM
Post: #15
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 10:03 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  
(11-30-2019 11:13 PM)Guido Wrote:  The terms "GUI" and "text windowing" are not compatible, because GUI stands for /graphical/ user interface. In the time before GUIs ASCII was standard. With Windows ANSI became standard in the PC world. But I don't know for pre Windows 3 I have to admit.
As far as I remember, the terms used at the time was either "CUI" for Character User Interface or "TUI" for Text User Interface

(12-01-2019 07:59 AM)BruceH Wrote:  Did it have 'ncurses' in the title? A quick Google shows many books still in print.
curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

Late 1980 and early 1990, there was several CUI/TUI frameworks books & library that were available for MS-DOS, the ones that I remember for C and/or C++ are

C++ Views
C Worthy
Greenleaf Data Windows
Panel Plus II
Turbo Vision
Vermont Views
Vitamin C
Win++
Zinc Interface Library

Also, several books were published that shows how to build a CUI/TUI windowing system, I had a couple of them, but unfortunately I do not have them anymore and I have long forgotten their titles.

Thanks for the list! Big Grin It's unfortunate that you can't remember some of the CUI/TUI book titles, but if they existed, then some type of search is bound to turn up something Smile

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 04:52 PM
Post: #16
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 04:26 PM)ijabbott Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 10:03 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  curses and ncurses comes from the UNIX world and was not available for MS-DOS

For the record, there were ports of the curses libraries to MS-DOS, notably PCCurses, which later changed its name to PDCurses and is still alive and kicking, although its scope has broadened to other platforms such as OS/2, Windows Console, SDL 1&2, and even X11.

In my early teens, I also extensively used DJGPP and Svgalib to emulate a Unix environment in DOS, as when I was about 12 to 13 I'd use the Solaris and Irix machines at my dad's workplace when he took me along.

I remember doing a lot of graphics programming, but, I don't remember using curses.

I don't know if DJGPP came with curses but it's a possibility.

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 04:56 PM
Post: #17
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(11-30-2019 11:13 PM)Guido Wrote:  Hello Jonathan

The terms "GUI" and "text windowing" are not compatible, because GUI stands for /graphical/ user interface.

Well, when I was about 14 or 15, I remember entering text mode on an ancient 386 with a 256 color video card on a VGA monitor. I would then modify the character bitmaps stored in memory for full pixel-based graphics Smile I thought it was a neat trick as I was involved in the Demoscene at the time Smile So, technically, you *can* have a GUI with just text Tongue

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 05:09 PM
Post: #18
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 03:44 PM)SlideRule Wrote:  An interesting excerpt from That Powerful ESCAPE Character -- Key and Sequences

Thanks for the very interesting article link! Smile

Regards,

Jonathan
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12-01-2019, 08:25 PM
Post: #19
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
Some references ...

Books
  • User Interfaces in C, Mark Goodwin, 1989, MIS Press, How-to book with code in assembly and C to write TUI for CGA, MDA & EGA video cards on MS-DOS.
Libraries
  • Turbo Vision for C++ ported to the GNU compiler (URL)
  • Open Watcom has a TUI library that you could extract from (URL)
  • PDCurses - curses library for DOS, OS/2, Windows console, X11 and SDL (URL)
  • TesSeRact Development Tools (URL)
  • C/WinDOS Toolchest (URL)
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12-01-2019, 08:57 PM
Post: #20
RE: ASCII/ANSI GUI book
(12-01-2019 08:25 PM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  Some references ...

Books
  • User Interfaces in C, Mark Goodwin, 1989, MIS Press, How-to book with code in assembly and C to write TUI for CGA, MDA & EGA video cards on MS-DOS.
Libraries
  • Turbo Vision for C++ ported to the GNU compiler (URL)
  • Open Watcom has a TUI library that you could extract from (URL)
  • PDCurses - curses library for DOS, OS/2, Windows console, X11 and SDL (URL)
  • TesSeRact Development Tools (URL)
  • C/WinDOS Toolchest (URL)

Thanks so much for the info! Big Grin

Regards,

Jonathan
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