Linked by David Adams on Fri 5th Aug 2011 16:08 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces A couple of days ago I read a blog post by Stephen Ramsay, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. In it, he mentions that he has all but abandoned the GUI and finds the command line to be "faster, easier to understand, easier to integrate, more scalable, more portable, more sustainable, more consistent, and many, many times more flexible than even the most well-thought-out graphical apps." I found this very thought-provoking, because, like Ramsay, I spend a lot of time thinking about "The Future of Computing," and I think that the CLI, an interface from the past, might have a place in the interface of the future.
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A bit optimistic and naive...
by gpsnoopy on Fri 5th Aug 2011 17:23 UTC
gpsnoopy
Member since:
2007-04-17

If you think about it, any CLI is just yet another programming language. Sure, there are problems that can be easily solved by CLI. But to think that a text based approach will quickly solve all problem is a bit naive.

CLI is very good at being very specific about what you want, and more importantly chaining (e.g. pipes) existing tools to create a new procedure. Again, this is just yet another programming language...

But if everyone uses GUI nowadays, it's not just because they are too stupid to understand CLI. GUI can present multidimensional information much more easily, and the user can interact with it very intuitively. Think about Google Map on a touch based device, how do you do that in CLI?

Another example I can think of as a programmer is GDB versus Visual Studio Debugger. Another would be SVN CLI versus TortoiseSVN. Each time the GUI version presents the information in a better way to the user, and ironically also provides more features.

If you're looking for a quick procedural approach to solve a problem then CLI is great. If you have to deal with any form of multidimensional information that's not quickly and easily filtered, then no, CLI is not what you want.

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