The terminal emulator is an ancient but essential tool in the arsenal of any advanced computer user. The terminal emulator allows one to access the command line shell interface of the operating system while working in a graphical environment. The existence of the terminal emulator allows one to simultaneously enjoy both the visual appeal and discoverability of graphical desktop applications and the accurate efficiency and expressiveness of a command-line interface.
While the graphical computing environments have been undergoing a user-experience driven revolution in recent years, the terminals emulators have seen little change. There have been some superficial additions such as tabs and split windows, but in essence today’s terminal emulators still closely resemble their hardware counterparts of old.
Recently there have been attempts to bring modern UI concepts to the terminal emulator and give it a modern overhaul.