I've implemented over a dozen RFCs, can match regexps with the best of them and do know which end of a pipe does what ;).
For instance, I very rarely want more informations about the files from an "ls" command; and if I did, I'd probably use Finder instead. On the other hand, not having enough terminal real estate to display the entire directory at once is a very frequent problem. From that perspective, adding icons is a step in the wrong direction.
Thinking about it, if I were playing with making a better terminal, one of my first lines of thought would be things that made it quick and easy to break information out into other windows, because scrolling back and forth in the terminal's buffer is a PITA.
Of course, this new terminal might be exactly what the author needs, and more power to him if it is. There's no need for us all to use the same tools. (Thanks heavens -- I want nothing to do with Emacs or vi!)
The thing that strikes me as very, very cool about this project is that you might not need the Finder at all any more.
You know what would rock my world? A "lsf" command that emulated "ls" as much as possible, but launched a Finder window appropriately sized to display the results.
As for why? Because it will be optimized for keyboard interaction and rapid context switching.
It's very hard to make a product that essentially devalues things that your customers spent a lot of time learning. You're probably better off ignoring people who already happy with their shell experience, and going after people who have not yet invested in learning all that crap.
And yes, it's crap. And I say that not because I don't know it myself, but because in the end, much of it is not essential to the actual job we're trying to get done, it's the tools we use. And the tools are not the job.
I'm quite bad for upgrading for upgrading's sake but I can understand why, of all people, traders at Bloomberg didn't want any kind of learning curve on their terminals.
Yes, it's clearly better but users don't always want to change to something that does what they already do in a more modern way.
In my experience, programmers as a whole are actually more luddite and irrationally reactionary than the general populace.
Doctors and different drugs/treatments, Contractors and brands of power tools.
Programmers do seem to make the biggest deal about "all the fighting", everyone else seems to just accept that professionals are opinionated and arguing is how progress is made. But I'm on the inside with the programming stuff and on the outside looking in for the rest of these fields so maybe that's not true.
From what I've seen, smart Doctors and Contractors eventually get to discussing empirical data and costs. Far too often, I've seen programmers just make up crap and state it emphatically.
I actually built in anonymous usage logging into TermKit using Google Analytics over SSL. It logs the types of commands you execute (no data). It's my plan to release this data back to the community regularly. I don't think anyone has done a large-scale survey of command-line unix usage before. Should be interesting.
Edit: and you can easily turn it off if you wish.
I think the culture would be a vital part of an ecosystem of empirical observation. For the sciences generally, the culture predated the sources and gave rise to them. For medicine, I think a culture of empiricism was imported from other scientific fields. For contractors, they are very motivated to note what works, what breaks, and what enables them to make more money.
I've had similar ideas (based on Python) but never got around to executing them. Keep up the good work and don't let the angry bearded UNIX dinosaurs get to you :)
Who cares what people on the internet say, they're the ones wasting their time posting it.
Considering that when the interface for the terminal was created it was all about being able to do everything and anything without breaking a sweat. Simple things like automatic source code highlighting, animated progress bars, being able to view (now common) files like pdf and jpeg that were not common back in the old days. Popup tab complete, I can't believe that that isn't standard on all terminals already (especially since tab complete is all about being lazy, a popup makes a lot of sense).
I'll download the source and poke around it later this evening (right now I need to work on my exam of implementing the go-back-n protocol).
Cheers and keep up the good work.
PS: RDF support would be great (since you have json). RDF is the standard for sharing data (often statistics) openly online, check out http://data.gov.uk/linked-data
I thought the current minimalistic approach was ok, but it might be worth to add subtle quotes around the edges to reinforce the idea. That's why it's made out of HTML/CSS...
Sure, not everyone will like this, but for people that are visually oriented like me it will make things a lot of fun.
About caring enough, yeah, that depends, maybe the world is ready for this now :) At least it isn't some overengineered XML grotesquery this time.
Have you looked at some WebGL / Canvas based demos lately? There are now very efficient GPU offloaded rendering APIs that make rendering graphics a breeze, it is no longer a big-overhead thing. If you don't use fancy graphics you're underutilizing your GPU.
[also, TermKit is not just about fancy graphics, but also about user friendlyness/usefullness for some tasks that are not very well handled in terminals otherwise]
You built something great, made it open source, which is even more great, and you're here to answer people, which is amazing. Now, please don't act like "I implemented x RFCs, I can do y like the best...", it's simply useless here.
One reason is that people already know you can code well, and they can even read your source if they want to know better, there's no need to brag.
Another reason is that HN is the place of some very good developers, and I believe humility is appreciated here, at least until you build some life changing software (and I won't debate about what is or is not life changing).
Anyways, thanks for building this and releasing the source code as open, it's cool.
Again, the architecture supports it.