Coming Up for Air

2018

April

  • Resurrecting Turbo Vision

    If you wrote software on a DOS system in the 80s or 90s, you probably used one of the Borland products, Turbo Pascal or Turbo C, with that beautiful, beautiful blue, mouse-enabled text-based user interface (TUI, if you will). Those IDEs were powered by a library called Turbo Vision (TV), which Borland documented and published for others to use. I loved it. While we all live in a GUI world and there are lots of libraries for building GUIS, I have for years now been dying to be able to use TV again, if for no other reason than hard core nostalgia. The problem being that I have used C in about 2 decades, and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’m too excited about writing even toy apps in the language. Dead end, right? Not so fast.

    Enter, stage left: SWIG. SWIG, the Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator, is a tool for building wrappers for libraries written in, say, C or C, for languages such as Python, PHP, and... Java. While it may not be the best option, it's an option, and I've been tinkering with it off and on for many, many moons now with the C version of the library open source by Borland long ago, before they were sold off and the Borland brand quietly disappeared. Tonight, I made great progress on it.

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