So far I have chosen the following console apps for my month-long experiment in computing without a graphical interface:
web browser—> elinks
file manager—> bash :-)
instant messaging—> centericq
image viewer—> fbi
text editor—> vim
I spent a few hours googling for a Linux console word processor (not “text editor”) and have found exactly nothing. I need to be able to center text, underline text, change text to italics, change fonts and typefaces, and indent. I do not need fancy-schmancy features such as indexing, styles, et cetera. I just need the equivalant functionality of, say, Microsoft WordPad. How is it that there is not a console-based word processor? There were a number of them for DOS. I must say I am completely stunned that one is not to be found (at least after hours of searching). I have a copy of WordPerfect 5.1 (for DOS) that I could run in a DOS emulator, but that would be cheating since I want to limit my experiment to freely available software. Actually, I also have WordPerfect 5.1 for SCO UNIX. That, too, would be cheating. I really do not want to learn a markup language like TeX.
I am committed to this experiment for at least the next month. If, however, I cannot find a word processor (notice I did not use the adjectives “good” or “quality” – I just need one!) for the console, I will have to return to the world of X. There is some hope, however. GTK is able to run on a framebuffer without X. The claim is that a GTK program can run unmodified on a framebuffer. If I am able to get this working, my choice of word processors increases dramatically. (Uh, from zero to more than zero. :-)
I created a new article category: command line computing. For those who wish to follow this experiment and perhaps use my progress reports as a reference, you will be able to select this category to retrieve all the articles concerning it.
My next article will be about getting elinks to display images. Yes, it is possible, and yes it does work. :-)
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