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GUI frustration

Posted 10-04-2021 at 02:54 PM by Skaperen

i've been "doing" computers since around 1970 and professionally since 1979, back when mainframes were my thing. i tried some smaller computers, too. most were text. i did try an Apple II and it had some graphical stuff but i mostly did things on it with text commands. through the years, the graphical user interface has improved enough that it is pretty much used by most people for most things, not counting the times people type in their text messages, email, or their LQ blog posts. i still do my programming in text, in languages like bash, C, and Python. i use a terminal emulator that gives me access to a Unix shell session in which i run text editors, compilers, and interpreters, and many other things, including stuff i create.

it's still a graphical environment, and, in this case, software is drawing the text into the graphical user interface (GUI) for me to read. but this is where my frustration is.

i've been getting older. we all have. eventually we notice it as thins just don't work as well as we have become accustomed to. vision is one of the things i have noticed. i need larger and larger text in order to read it. fortunately, the terminal emulator i use is able to change the size of text overall. Firefox can do this, too. i have also learned a graphical feature to enlarge the pixels on my screen in exchange for the pixels all sliding around as the mouse is moved.

the frustration is the text layout in the graphical environment. there is so much "dead space" with the text being spread out so much. i assume a lot of people need the spacing to be able to read the text. nowhere have i seen a means for the reader to be able to adjust that.

that's my frustration. with all the abilities GUI has given, the ability to adjust the spacing of text, especially the space between lines. i remember a program i wrote to draw large text for signs on those big printers used by mainframes. its "pixels" were characters the printer was made to print. my program had its own font database (at first builtin, then, eventually, separate files). when the program was used, not only did the user need to provide the text they wanted enlarged, but also various settings like the font name to use, the font size, and the desired spacing, both horizontal and vertical. later, i worked where i had access to a high resolution dot printer and made a text printer out of it with similar features. i tried a very tiny font and managed to get 3 columns of 80 column text printed on each page with as many as 85 rows of text although 72 rows looked better. but, matching the way many websites and programs like these days, i'd get maybe one big wide arrangement with less than 30 rows.

i can hold Ctrl and row the mouse in most cases and change the font size. but changing the spacing is still a dream. in a few cases, magnification it available. but, it just doesn't shrink the spacing, especially not in one chosen direction.
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  1. Old Comment
    Have you tried different fonts? By default terminals will used monospaced fonts, and it sounds like this is not what you want. You might try a font which has normal kerning.
    Posted 10-06-2021 at 04:21 PM by rkelsen rkelsen is offline


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