REPLY - The tiny shell script user interface (DOS & UNIX).


Reply yields basic interaction for batch and script files, like simple menus or input lines, drawn on a colored background with random fill patterns (if desired). The program works on a line-by-line basis. See Gerolf Markup Shredder (text mode interface) for an example of usage.


Reply is copyright (c) 1991–2006 by G. D. Brettschneider (domain: – email:


reply [mode] [line] [text] [hotkey] [item]



Reply command line invocation might look like this:

reply -banner       1 "CoolProg"
reply -random       2
reply -top          7 "+-------+"
reply -item         8 "Your name"
reply -question     9 "Gerolf B."  N 3
reply -item        10 "Get money"  M 2
reply -item        11 "Exit now!" XX 1
reply -bottom      12 "+-------+"
reply -shadow      13
reply -stripe       1  8          36
reply -background   2  8          36
reply -clear        7

Reply must be called from a shell script, multiple times in sequence, in order to build a menu or dialog box. If the hotkey parameter is doubled, Reply displays a highlighted line and waits for user input. The answer, in terms of environment variable settings, is written to a temporary batch or shell file, which can be executed by the menu-building script (from within a loop). This is a work-around for the problem that a running program cannot change its own environment.


A few additional environment variables must be defined before running Reply; so the number of parameters passed to Reply can be kept smaller:


Reply is portable to both DOS and Unix. The source codesource code is written in ANSI C.


You can send bug reports, corrections or suggestions to: MarkupShredder(at)Gerolf.orgMarkupShredder(at), subject: GMS REPLY user interface.


Copyright (c) 1991-2006 by Gerolf Diethelm Brettschneider, Luchtbergstraße 27, D-28237 Bremen. All rights reserved. This software comes without any warranty. You may freely distribute and use it.

G. D. Brettschneider (2006) – – MarkupShredder(at)