Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Feb 2008 20:46 UTC, submitted by irbis
Graphics, User Interfaces "It's one of the more popular culture wars in the free software community: GUI versus CLI (graphics versus the command-line). Programmers, by selection, inclination, and long experience, understandably are attracted to textual interactions with the computer, but the text interface was imposed originally by technological limitations. The GUI was introduced as a reply to those problems, but has undergone very little evolution from 1973 (when it was invented at Xerox PARC) to today. So why can't we do better than either of these tired old systems?"
Permalink for comment 300087
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
In the Beginning... was the Command Line
by pinky on Fri 8th Feb 2008 22:54 UTC
pinky
Member since:
2005-07-15

Basically i agree with CrLf.

The book "In the Beginning... was the Command Line" from Neal Stephenson as a really true sentence: "We need a command line for the same cause that only children read picture-books, only the human language is powerfull enough to express complex issues"

The GUI is a really good tool to allow many users to work with the computer. But it will always be limited because you can never put every possible option into an icon or something visual.

Let me try an comparison: If you want to express your thoughts you will always have to write them down. We will never have a "GUI" with all possible words so that you can create yout text by point-and-click (you can't put a "selection-dialog" with all possible word on the screen). If you want to express your thoughts you have to write them down. The same is true for complex tasks in the computer world.

Maybe some day the command line can be replaced by a voice-interface (so that you can talk with your computer) but you will always need a real language to be able to execute complex tasks.

GUIs are a nice simplification for many standard tasks but it can never replace a language based interface for complex tasks.

Reply Score: 6