Chris Burnor Philosophical Nerd

Terminals: A Rant

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First let me start off by saying that I absolutely love my terminal. I spend literally all day with a terminal window open, and it’s usually in the foreground. Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that most of my work is implemented in the browser (and that the best developers are the first to Google), I could probably ditch the GUI entirely.

However, it is because of this love that I would like to rant for a moment on the state of the modern terminal and provide some suggestions for how terminal emulators might be brought into the 21st century. I particularly want to focus on features that would make terminal emulators better for experts. Most ‘features’ on terminals seem to be for making it easier for newbies to get started with the terminal, rather than to make the terminal better once they’ve mastered it.

I would like to see more than 256 color support in the terminal. This one is a no brainer.

Terminals should have better integration with the system clipboard. Why is selecting text so difficult. I should be able to use the system clipboard, not just for inputting and selecting text, but be able to pipe and modify that text.

Terminals should integrate better with the system content types. Apple has done some good work here with the open command. Linux should take some inspiration here.

I realize there are some tools out there that do some of this, but these seem to be features that should really be part of the terminal itself, not some half-baked weekend side project that never gets updated.

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