# # xmacroplay - controlling applications with a keystroke file
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xmacroplay - controlling applications with a keystroke file

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© August 2005 Tony Lawrence

There was a newsgroup post recently that asked:

In Windows it is possible to control one application from another by sending keystrokes to the buffer for that app. The technique is limited, of course, by what you can do via the keyboard in the driven app. Is there an equivalent in Linux?

I responded with pointers to Expect and the simple case of "yourapp < yourkeyfile". I was almost immediately reminded that this advice was nearly useless for X11 apps, and a later post offered XMacro as a partial solution; it sends events to the whole server, not a specific app, so you'd need to do something to force focus. Possible wmctrl or something like it could help.

This little interplay reinforces a feeling I've been having recently that fewer and fewer Linux users care about the command line. I'm not saying it's totally dead, but apparently the GUI is much more important to most folks. GUI's are important to me, also: obviously most web pages are much more pleasantly viewed in a GUI. But I do tend to drop to a terminal window for almost anything else.

Will command line apps be completely gone soon? Unused antiques? I noticed that text editing tools weren't installed by default in the last Linux install I did - there's a sign of diminishing interest.


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