About Character Mode Applications

Character mode (or "command-line") applications:

  1. [Optionally] Read data from standard input (stdin)
  2. Do "work"
  3. [Optionally] Write data to standard output (stdout) or standard error (stderr)

Character mode applications communicate with the end-user through a "console" (or "terminal") application. A console converts user input from keyboard, mouse, touch-screen, pen, etc., and send it to a character mode application's stdin. A console may also display a character mode application's text output on the user's screen.

In Windows, the console is built-in and provides a rich API through which character mode applications can interact with the user.