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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RE: Two distinct beasts...
by Alfman on Fri 5th Aug 2011 17:45 UTC in reply to "Two distinct beasts..."
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"As a side note, IIRC there were also some research suggesting that, in many scenarios, CLI merely is perceived as faster than GUI (supposedly because CLI requires greater attention, which masks perception of time); but actually timing some common tasks tells otherwise."

This is desperately asking for a citation.

My thought is that it is true that CLI apps have a higher learning curve, but knowledge of them pays off very quickly.

To the extent that GUI are inherently a superset of CLI, then in theory GUI should be every bit as good as CLI. However in practice GUI programs are incredibly difficult to automate. It's usually quite trivial to perform automation on top of CLI, and incredibly difficult with GUI apps.

We could always say that this is a weakness of the specific GUI program, which failed to incorporate macros, rather than a problem with the GUI model in general. However this is something many CLI apps get for free.

Even something as simple as renaming many files is error prone and painful without CLI tools.

You might need to replace "Company" with "Company, Inc" in all documents where it hasn't already been changed. If your documents are only accessible through a GUI interface, then you (or the intern) might need to spend several hours doing it manually.

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