[UFO Chicago] Ascii art, gifscii, and animated ascii

Jordan Bettis jordanb@hafd.org
Wed, 30 Jan 2002 00:14:20 -0600

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On Tue, Jan 29, 2002 at 11:41:26PM -0600, Bob Parnass, AJ9S wrote:
> Jeremiah,
> Could you explain animated ASCII in more detail?
> I can understand how one might devise an algorithm to "render"
> a "grayscale-like" image using ASCII characters instead of a bit map.
> Before GUIs, and such, some folks at work (AT&T's Teletype Corp.)
> created animations on Teletype CRT terminals using cursor
> positioning commands.
> Essentially, you could send a super long ASCII string to a
> terminal screen which could position the cursor, write some
> characters, etc.  It could highlight and blink selected portions,=20
> and ring the bell, too.  The animation I recall most vividly
> was made by Tom Gloger (a/k/a "Train").  Using
> ASCII art and cursor positioning commands, Tom animated
> the image a railroad train moving across the screen.
> A crossing gate had alternating blinking "lights"
> and the terminal bell would sound ding-ding-ding as the train sped
> by.
> It was non portable because cursor positioning commands
> were not standard among different makes and models of terminals.

One could do the same thing with curses and alot of calls to refresh().
The advantage would be portability (curses provides a standard interface
across multiple terminal types).

Jordan Bettis <http://www.hafd.org/~jordanb>
It is better to have 100 functions operate on one data structure than 10=20
functions on 10 data structures.
          -- Alan J Perlis: Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN 1982

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