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Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: Katherine Noyes 2012-06-28 06:18:18
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There are many topics that tend to come up in a recurring manner around water coolers throughout the Linux blogosphere, and not just the great "Year of" debate, either. No indeed, another shining example more than a little familiar to most of us who spend any time here is the much-abused command line -- specifically, whether it's outlived its usefulness in this era of the GUI. Well guess what? The debate is back! So what shall it be? Has the command line interface outlived its usefulness? Or is there still a place for this trusty old tool?


Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: snowfarthing 2012-07-30 15:17:28 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
For anyone who wants to remove the command line from Linux, I'll believe it *might* be a good idea when it is torn out, like a beating heart, from Mac OS itself.

The thing is, Graphical Interfaces are pretty. I sometimes wish I can "print" graphics from a command line. But they are also so...rigid; they are so...fragile, and complicated. Just *try* to write a "Hello World" program under a Graphical Interface, and compare the same program to a Command Line Interface. Command Line interfaces are simply easier to program under!

Now, you might say, "But why should *I* care about programming? I just want to use the darn computer!" Never mind that *every* programmer has to start somewhere, and that someday, every so often, a user will wake up and say, "I'm going to learn how to program today!" And the Command Line Interface will be waiting for such people, and will be welcoming them.

A Command Line Interface is simple. And it can be a bit cryptic. But once you learn the commands, with that simplicity comes great power, and *that* is why, under Mac OS X, you can access the terminal under "Applications->Utilities". And that is why I will resort to using a command line over a file manager almost every time.

I have a tablet with Android OS on it, and it annoys me greatly that I haven't yet been able to install a shell, because I have been denied root access. I seek for power, and that power is at my fingerprints when I can call up a shell!

Finally, I don't know when Hairyfeet last installed a Linux Distro, but it's relatively easy to install a system without resorting to use a command line, unless you're using something like a "kickstart" script (which usually means you're doing something server-ish or developer-ish anyway). The *closest* I've come to a command line, is a text-based menu that usually also recognises a mouse! Even that is kindof rare...

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: stevenddeacon 2012-07-02 22:58:10 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
Check out Microsoft's Windows 2012 Server new feature ... Command Line System Console support to improve System Administrator productivity.

When administrating HP-UX, Sun Solaris or Linux servers I use command line because I am five times more productive than using a GUI interface.

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: hairyfeet 2012-07-07 21:34:28 In reply to: stevenddeacon
Sigh, that is a SERVER OS which is what I already said! We are talking about desktops, NOT your server, cluster or toaster.

If all you want to be is a server OS then just say so, don't pretend its a desktop when your answer is "her derp WinServer" when people point out why it don't work. or do you REALLY think home users are running Winserver?

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: dwsummers 2012-07-01 21:42:20 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
GUI = WYSIAYG (WHAT YOU SEE IS ALL YOU GET)

The GUI is DEFINITELY good for doing anything that requires graphics or sometimes non-repetative tasks, however you can't match the power of the command line with anything else that I'm aware of, as detailed in some of the posts already.

One person can manage hundreds of computers (I managed up to 200 computer workstations and servers alone) with the command-line but much fewer with a GUI-only environment (I believe you can find lots of information and studies to back that up if you Google for it).

My comment on GUIs is they are WYSIAYG (WHAT YOU SEE IS ALL YOU GET). You can't do things they weren't designed for with GUIs whereas with the command line you can do all sorts of things the original CLI designers didn't imagine if the CLI tools are well-designed and use the principle of "do one thing and do it well". The Command Line Interface is the "glue" that quickly and easily brings all the small but powerful CLI tools together to do the job, with scripting as well if you for some reason can't do it with just bare CLI.

HOWEVER, for people who have no desire to learn how the computer works, well, I guess they are stuck with the less powerful GUIs.

No offense to them, they just aren't interested, probably like I'm not interested in learning the innards of the car to do my own repair work.

However, kind of a shame because with a little bit of learning they could increase their efficiency and production, just like kind of a shame I'm not interested in details of car innards as I could probably save a lot of money on car maintenance/repair if I would learn.

I normally only repeat a task about a maximum of three times before I try to automate it with CLI or scripting. I don't have the patience to do the same tasks over and over and over again when the computer can do it for me.

"The computer should work for us, we shouldn't have to work for the computer". - Me

I don't think the CLI is going to go away. It has too many advantages. I couldn't live with out it.

Even M$ is making the GUI "optional" in their next server installment from what I hear.

Everyone has different requirements, learning, environment, etc, and use computers for different things.

I doubt the DEBATE is going to go way, and I also doubt the command line will go away.

I'm not sure why people think you HAVE to do it one way or another. You CAN run things more EFFICIENTLY with the CLI but you can still do things with the GUI.

Of course, I'm just one data point and opinion.
So take it with a grain of salt and $0.02. I just stumbled across this interesting article and comments.....

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: MaxTesla 2012-06-28 18:10:22 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
The author is right the comments are wrong

No Linux OS can ever become nr1 OS as long as it requires you to type anything, it is much easier to click, EVERYTHING should be doable with clicking, you can of course keep the terminal and writing but as long as EVERYTHING cant be done via clicking no Linux will be nr1

That is Linux biggest problem fanatics who simply do not understand that most of humanity want to click and not learn how to program.

Programing via command line is only realistic for a small number of people, the rest want to be able to click.

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: snowfarthing 2012-07-30 15:21:33 In reply to: MaxTesla
Last I checked, you *have* to use a keyboard to type values into a spreadsheet, or sentences into a word processor. Or are you saying we should all use on-screen keyboards, and enter everything into our computers with mice?

When Android and iOS have on-screen keyboards, it's because physical keyboards are bulky, and add a bit of weight to the computer. It's *not* because those on-screen keyboards are more efficient!

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: WorBlux 2012-07-04 20:34:38 In reply to: MaxTesla
Linux is already the OS of choice on every platform except the desktop (embedded systems, servers, and high-performance clusters)

A Unix command line/ shell language is the most powerful and graspable programming tool for the common person. Being able to redirect text between programs allows you to do some very powerful things with a handful of lines. A single line of shell script can sometimes do more than ten thousand lines of C.

If you don't want to participate in your computing environment, then gran an android and stop complaining. Because of the areas where Linux is the most successful, many of the core systems will remain heavily reliant of shell scripts and textual interfaces and pipelines.

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: madmod 2012-06-28 15:18:01 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
In my small computer business I fix mostly Windows computers, but I use Ubuntu for almost everything in my office including the retrieval of invoices, work histories, configuration diagrams, all my bookkeeping files, along with rsync backups, etc. between office and travel computers, and our file server. Without my 100+ CLI scripts that span Bash & Python, I'd be lost trying to get things done after a long day.

The scripts save me trying to remember what switches I should use, whether the source file goes first or after the destination file, etc. I update webpages using Python scripts that would otherwise require me to mess with individual tags on complicated text pages of code. My stuff is all menu driven in Bash using the CLI. It's the only way to go for me. I simply can't do those kind of things efficiently any other way.

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: g1i1ch 2012-06-28 12:17:33 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
I agree with walkerreuben in making a website in gedit. Any web developer worth his weight must get down and dirty with the code at one point or another. Otherwise you're just a simple designer.

As for getting rid of cli. HA! Not going to happen. I came from windows and now have a cli only computer because I love it so much and I'm only 23. You can't just hate it and be done with it, you have to try to learn it. And then you'll fall in love.

But think about this. Should we really dumb down our OS for people who are new, or should we make them smarter instead?

Re: Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?
Posted by: walkerreuben 2012-06-28 06:22:20 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
"Put another way, "it is like creating a website via gedit," Lim concluded. "It's cool. But in this day and age, who really wants to type '< P >' instead of just pressing the 'Enter' key?""

Fail. It should have been "who really wants to type '< / br >'".

And there are a ton of perfectly good reasons to use gedit to make a website. I've had heaps of fun writing my website that way. You've got so much more control over every little detail.
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