Would asking users to run and connect a terminal emulator be too much?

This is instead of using good ole Serial Monitor.

Advantage with a terminal program is that when you press a key, it goes to serial then.
Advantage with a terminal program is that the cursor can be moved like on an LCD or TFT.

I started thinking along lines of portable displays, even 4-line LCD's and how I would show lists one item at a time, the same should work if possible on PC terminal but would look very different (and need more code) on Serial Monitor.

But a lot depends on whether or not people are willing to go to the trouble to set up and use a terminal emulator?

My other hope is that some day Arduino might include an ANSI terminal in the IDE, something that can be set for font, columns, lines and baud rate able to show a 132x66 page of greenbar or simulate a 20x2 LCD. Oh yes, I want that!

The answer depends on your target market but 95% of the time the answer is going to be "no". Nobody wants to install and connect a terminal program. Certainly not since Hyperterminal stopped shipping with Windows more than a decade ago.

Usually the answer is a program you write yourself which looks like a regular window and connects to the device over serial behind the scenes. If you can make the connection automatic (scan every available COM port until your device responds) then that's good although most people will accept a "select COM port" option.

VT-100 terminal with ASCII line art? Nobody wants that.

compare to Serial Monitor and where did I go into line art? Can you get that on an LCD?

No. The ability to put up text that can change without printing a new line should be enough.

Being able to iterate through menu choices in 1 line of space should work on PC and LCD.

But yeah, not many would make the effort for something they don't know.

Leaves me more to think of.....

Considering how easy it is to whack something together in Processing, I should think that's the best route for making a serial-configuration type program.

I find it very acceptable to ask the end user to install. It's either that or asking the user to install the IDE (stupid idea if a non-technical user is the target) or to install another application to run you processing code.

MorganS:
Considering how easy it is to whack something together in Processing, I should think that's the best route for making a serial-configuration type program.

I want an ANSI terminal emulator for screen-and key-based user io. Serial Monitor is line-based.