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?"
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Comment by nimble
by nimble on Sat 9th Feb 2008 20:20 UTC
nimble
Member since:
2005-07-06

All valid points about the greater expressiveness of CLIs compared to GUIs, and I particularly liked the gesture vs language analogy (although of course there are languages communicated entirely in gestures, something to think about there.)

So why are people so fearful about using the CLI? Well, to be honest, the Unix-style command line interface is utter crap for a beginner. Unnecessarily terse bordering on the cryptic, inconsistent (in naming of commands but especially with options), ugly, and unforgiving (why doesn't 'rm' move to recoverable trash by default?). The help system is slow and to load up and navigate, and just don't get me started on editors.

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