Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Jan 2013 22:38 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Acer, the Taiwanese computer maker that's suffered two consecutive annual losses, posted strong sales of notebooks using Google's Chrome platform after the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 failed to ignite the market. Chrome-based models accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer's U.S. shipments since being released there in November, President Jim Wong said in an interview at the Taipei-based company's headquarters. That ratio is expected to be sustainable in the long term and the company is considering offering Chrome models in other developed markets, he said." HP is also planning a Chrome OS laptop, and it's been at the top of Amazon's charts (whatever that means) for a while now. In case you haven't noticed - the desktop world, too, is changing. Nobody wants Windows 8 (touch or no), so OEMs are finally looking elsewhere. We're finally getting what we wanted 13 years ago.
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Why has it to be one or the other ?

Shells are fine as a computer administration interface. They use up little system resources, make few assumptions about what works and what doesn't, are easily scriptable, and their commands can be trivially transmitted from one person to another.

GUIs, on their side, are generally more practical for everyday use. They allow for more advanced tasks, it's easier to find out how they work without piles of documentation, they make more efficient use of screen estate, and they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing too.

Now, what I can't wrap my mind around is why there hasn't been more work on scriptable software that can work well with both interfaces and then some more, considering how anyone who designs modern GUI software also ends up creating a form of CLI interface in the backend code at some point.

The way people currently end up creating dumb GUI frontends whose sole purpose is to feed a CLI interface, or give up on GUI or CLI altogether, strikes me as suboptimal. Especially when people subsequently end up creating nonstandard CLIs in an attempt to go beyond the limitations of a pure GUI approach, as with voice interfaces.

Edited 2013-01-29 05:33 UTC

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