A friend pointed me to a (seemingly old) project called XMLTerm. XMLTerm is a mozilla based “A graphical command line interface”.
At first you may laugh, and ignore some of the security implications for now, but this could actually be quite cool.
Ajax could also come in to really help this out.
% du: When you do a ‘du’, wouldn’t it be cool to show a pie chart usage as well as the numbers?
% ssh [TAB]: tcsh came up with the ‘complete’ command, which lets you get smart with your tabbing. We can take that to a new level with a bit of UI integration. If you hit TAB after typing a command that needs a host (e.g. ssh, scp) then a select list can appear with your list of hosts
% history: Since we can place cool widgets in places, we could have a history bar which would allow you to click on an item to rerun it. Command Line Suggest could also get pulled up if you TAB at the beginning of a command, showing a drop down on history.
The XMLTerm site itself has ideas on graphical
ls which shows thumbnails, and a special
cat which groks HTML, images, etc.
In theory, this could be an interesting marriage of the command line interface (power), and richer functionality (not just text).