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Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the time-to-go dept.

Linux 1134

dgharmon writes "The Command Line Interface has its uses, acknowledged Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim, but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI, he says. Keep it as an option or you can take it out all together. 'If it is there, it should just be there for the IT people or tech support to use when you encounter a problem.'"

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really?? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40512953)

Guy is a fucking moron. Thats all.

Re:really?? (5, Insightful)

TehNoobTrumpet (1836716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512973)

Why would any end user care at all about the CLI? They want an easy to use interface, and a CLI is exactly not that, especially in the realm of mobile apps, possibly the largest growing sector of software development these days

Re:really?? (4, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513065)

And yet text expanders, text based app launch shortcuts, etc are all the rage with GUI users these days.

CLI is the defacto interface for Google searches. People use it everyday and all day long. Nobody complains that it isn't intuitive.

The right tool is the one that works the best got the job at hand.

Search (as most people use it) not CLI (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513183)

CLI is the defacto interface for Google searches. People use it everyday and all day long. Nobody complains that it isn't intuitive.

Typing in a few keywords is not CLI. That's just data input in response to a prompt.

Using the more complex search modifiers does make it more like CLI use as you are driving behavior - but most people do not do that.

Just what they want Linux to become ? (0, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513299)

Just the other day a Linux distro decided that they want to do away with "Upgrade Kernel Without Reboot" feature of Linux

Now this guy wants to do away with CLI

Just what do they want to turn Linux into - another M$-Windows-like kludge?

While they are at it, why don't they import the "Windows registry feature" into Linux, and/or turn Linux into a proprietary closed-sourced OS??

Why can't they just leave Linux alone?

Re:really?? (5, Insightful)

bleedingsamurai (2539410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513083)

Why care about the command line? Because it is a whole lot easier then getting carpal tunnel clicking fifty different things when I could just type a couple commands and get the job done.

Just because non-technical users are afraid of a particular interface does not mean you rip it out. After all, distros like Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Fedora, RedHat and I'm sure plenty of others make it very easy for Joe User to get his computing done.

Re:really?? (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513301)

There will always be some function that can't be done in the GUI because they didn't knkow how to do it that way or they forgot.

There will always be some function that is faster to do in the CLI than it it in the GUI, especially if you know what you are doing.

Re:really?? (5, Insightful)

xystren (522982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513031)

I normally don't agree with AC, but I think this one hit the nail on the head.

Why is the command line interface still there? Simply because the GIU is lacking that particular feature. I'm also much faster on a keyboard than I am with a mouse/GIU. Sure, when GUIs are able to do what the command line can, then perhaps there may be a reason to phase it out - but until that happens, keep it there. Simply, if you don't want to use the command line interface, then don't. Pretty simple if you ask me. Just because you don't like it, don't call for it's assassination.

Re:really?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513189)

bash: giu: command not found

Re:really?? (5, Insightful)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513081)

I was going about my day until I read this article. Then I had to login to Slashdot just to flame this article.

The #1 desktop OS finally, after years of being predominately GUI only, caved into CLI with powershell. They are now moving in the correct direction and this guy NOW believes a CLI is useless for regular users?

Lets not forget who dominates the computer scene; computer nerds. I could walk grandma through screens of settings... OR I could just send a CLI script to check and/or set any options. Scripting and automation alone make CLI indispensable. And don't think end users won't be using these scripts to simply tasks. They may not be writing these scripts but they sure will be using them!

Re:really?? (2)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513267)

I was going about my day until I read this article. Then I had to login to Slashdot just to flame this article.

The #1 desktop OS finally, after years of being predominately GUI only, caved into CLI with powershell. They are now moving in the correct direction and this guy NOW believes a CLI is useless for regular users?

Lets not forget who dominates the computer scene; computer nerds. I could walk grandma through screens of settings... OR I could just send a CLI script to check and/or set any options. Scripting and automation alone make CLI indispensable. And don't think end users won't be using these scripts to simply tasks. They may not be writing these scripts but they sure will be using them!

Powershell is not, nor was it ever intended for the average user. It's there for ease of management in a corporate or enterprise setting. If you're sending your gram scripts, you're doing it wrong. Remote access would be far more effective.

Now which OS often forces the user to pull up a shell to fix things or install drivers. It ain't MS. Which current OS is a GUI grafted on top of a command line base shell? It aint Win3.x/95/98

Re:really?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513295)

An average end user will not be executing scripts.

Re:really?? (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513161)

Guy is a fucking moron. Thats all.

No, there's more to it than that. Roberto Lim is essentially saying "I never use an electric screwdriver when I need to open my TV remote, so no one except professional contractors should be allowed to use an electric screwdriver." Yes I do happen to be an IT professional, but I use command line loops for a lot of useful batch processing that "ordinary users" would love to use if they bothered to spend the time to look past the GUI.

Re:really?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513231)

Fucking moron? He is a lawyer. What do you expect?

Re:really?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513263)

Guy is a fucking moron. Thats all.

Why? He's right. It's nice to have the command line as an option for power users but no regular user should ever have to drop to the command line to get something done. Similarly I'd never take a server OS seriously that does not have a powerful command line which is one of the reasons why I regard Windows server as second rate.

Oh, this won't end well... (5, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512959)

Mod headline -1, flamebait.

(and the summary is silly, as well—how many popular software products today actually require the end user to run terminal commands?)

Re:Oh, this won't end well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513045)

I haven't seen any software products for consumers that have a cli.

Someone should get the message to Microsoft, a lot of their newer server releases have extended support for command line interfaces. I do use linux and the terminal quite often. However, for Microsoft, it seems that you have to type 4000 characters for something simple, like changing a mailbox or similar in Exchange. It's not so bad if there are abbreviations to use, but there doesn't seem to be, and not everything can be done through their gui anymore. It's pretty dang annoying how they can take something useful and make it stupidly hard to do.

Re:Oh, this won't end well... (5, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513067)

how many popular software products today actually require the end user to run terminal commands

Thankfully, not many.

On the other hand, very thankfully many CAD applications and the like do have a 'command line'. Not a terminal one, but one built into the GUI.
The reason this is 'very thankfully' is because 1. some things really are just easier when typed in, and 2. it forces the developers to make everything that's doable through the UI, no matter how awkwardly, doable in the command line.
The latter is very important when you consider the potential for macros, batch operations, more full-fledged scripting, etc.

If anything, more applications should have command lines.

I realize the article is more about the main CLI, though - and the modifier "required".. in which case I agree, the CLI shouldn't really be required. It's just damn nice it's there when you want it.

Re:Oh, this won't end well... (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513147)

Hah, I learned CAD a few months ago and I found the command line to be the most useful thing ever.
While I am well-used to the command line, I am mostly a GUI guy, but wow, I was amazed at how useful and precise it turned things to be. I wish GIMP allowed such a thing, it'd be a blast for sprite art.

Re:Oh, this won't end well... (4, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513237)

I wish GIMP allowed such a thing, it'd be a blast for sprite art.

It does - sort of. The supported languages are not very well-tailored to the application, but there is a Console and you can enter commands in there directly if you want.
I haven't checked if there's a 'apply pencil at x,y' - but I would imagine there is one :)
( I have only used it for some batch processing - specifically for a segmentation-based chromatic aberration removal process for a lens that makes the usual tools very unhappy (the equations they use just don't fit nicely). Admittedly, the lens is a piece of $20 e-bay crap :) )

I'd start with these two:
http://docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-using-script-fu-tutorial.html [gimp.org]
http://www.gimp.org/docs/python/index.html [gimp.org]

Re:Oh, this won't end well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513069)

I will asset that the vast majority of slashdot articles in this last month or two (Since the Slashdot TV thing came to a head) have just been trolls with the obvious intent of trying to increase readership.

Next up on Slashdot (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513089)

"... but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI, he says."

"... but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via soldiering iron, he says."

"... but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via distillation, he says."

"... but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via (fill in the blank), he says."

Now ask yourself what percentage of home users have ever used the command line on their phones. Or have opened up a device to re-soldier parts of it. And when was the LAST time something like that needed to be done.

Re:Next up on Slashdot (3, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513119)

I do it all the time. But on the other hand, I install phone systems for a living :) So my answer on the first question is "last Friday", and for the second it was somewhen two weeks ago, when one of my children dropped the remote.

Re:Next up on Slashdot (2)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513293)

Now ask yourself what percentage of home users have ever used the command line on their phones. Or have opened up a device to re-soldier parts of it. And when was the LAST time something like that needed to be done.

How many Linux home users are there? I guarantee that the vast majority have had to open a shell to fix something, usually following the instructions some Linux-for-dummies web site. Usually video drivers, or getting yum/rpm/apt-get to pull down and install a package.

Three words: (5, Insightful)

Orp (6583) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512961)

No. Fucking. Way.

And what are you supposed to remotely?? (5, Interesting)

desertfool (21262) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512967)

Sometimes you have to have a user ping something, telnet to something. I know it sucks and it is hard, but basic connectivity tests are what you need. /Love using AppNeta's PathView so I don't have to do this much anymore. //Just need the company to get more testing equipment.

Re:And what are you supposed to remotely?? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513179)

What's stopping you from pinging or doing other basic network checks using a GUI interface. I see this all the time when IT people ask end users to open up the command line and type ipconfig. Surely the end user would be more comfortable with double clicking the network interface icon and clicking the support tab which gives you the same information.

As for telnet ... are you talking about network testing (in which case see above) or are you talking about remote access, in which case why not use any of the multitude of protocols that allow you to get a basic GUI session over a network?

Re:And what are you supposed to remotely?? (3, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513251)

http://chrome.google.com/remotedesktop [google.com]

No configuration required, just need Chrome. Never been easier to remote Desktop (Works even on Linux, it's just an add-on for Chrome)

No (2)

Hugundous (1210818) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512975)

That is all.

Do not post replies. (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512977)

Article = flamebait.

Re:Do not post replies. (0, Flamebait)

Cow Jones (615566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513139)

Agree.

Just for the record, "acknowledged Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim" = Roblimo (357) [slashdot.org] , former Slashdot editor.

TFA follows the same scheme as many recent Slashdot submissions - ask an inflammatory question (to which to answer is usually "no") to generate page views and a heated discussion. I read (part of) TFA, and the only thing it does is present some pros and some cons and leave the question open.

In summary, nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Do not post replies. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513165)

Roblimo is Robin Miller, surely?

Name explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roblimo

Re:Do not post replies. (1)

Cow Jones (615566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513181)

You're correct, I was jumping to conclusions. Please mod my post down.

Re:Do not post replies. (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513203)

TFA follows the same scheme as many recent Slashdot submissions - ask an inflammatory question (to which to answer is usually "no") to generate page views and a heated discussion.

Indeed! [wikipedia.org]

GUI? (5, Insightful)

xlsior (524145) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512981)

The GUI - Making easy things easier, and hard things impossible. (Seriously, there are still a lot of command line tools like sed and awk which are absolutely invaluable, with no real non-commandline alternatives)

Re:GUI? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513199)

When you use sed and awk you're beyond the reach of basic use of software and are really starting to head down the programming route. I guarantee there is no normal end user in the world, even linux users who even know what sed or awk is let alone can figure out the arcane (to the novice) syntax.

If part of your normal user case requires the use of sed and awk, chances are your software is missing some critical functionality for those users.

Re:GUI? (5, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513243)

When you use sed and awk you're beyond the reach of basic use of software and are really starting to head down the programming route. I guarantee there is no normal end user in the world, even linux users who even know what sed or awk is let alone can figure out the arcane (to the novice) syntax.

Guess what? Whenever you use formulas in Microsoft Excel, you're starting to head down the programming route. People do this all the time.

Re:GUI? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513225)

But there is a GUI alternative to these CLI programs: Visual Studio; write a custom GUI program for each use case.

windows are for working with many things at once. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40512983)

Windows are for working with many things at once, like sorting emails into a tree of various folders. Icons are for newbies. CLI is for doing one thing (like writing code) and for doing it quickly. Icons put knowledge in the world, where the be discovered. CLI puts knowledge in the head, where it can be used quickly, efficiently, and on auo-pilot.

Re:windows are for working with many things at onc (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513077)

CLI is for writing code...?

What happens in your GUI when you have a folder with 10,000 files in it? What if you want to do something with all those files? Are you going to do it one click at a time?

Re:windows are for working with many things at onc (1)

phaedrus5001 (1992314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513153)

Agreed. Just yesterday I had to change extensions for a bunch of files in a directory, and each of those files was in its own sub directory. Using a little for loop and the handy '*', everything was changed and I could continue on with my life.

The CLI is a tool like any other. Would I want to work with it as my sole means for using my computer? Most definitely not. But I couldn't image working without it, either.

Over my dead body! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40512985)

You can have my command line when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers!

Disagree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40512987)

There are some things that are easier and more intuitive in a command line terminal than through layers of menus or clusters of icons.

'consumer' (4, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512991)

I think that is the key word... a rather hazy that doesn't really mean anything.

CLI isn't just for 'tech support and IT', but most users don't have much use for it. Though some people are just going to like it even if they are 'consumers', there are times where it can be a real time saver for common 'consumer' tasks. Though I do have to agree that no 'consumer' app should actually require its usage at this point.

Yes (1)

dezent (952982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512997)

Having worked with itnsince 1998 i am 100% behind not using cmd line for users, You see people are stupid and even if you think while doing things a majority of people do not.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513289)

I agree. The appropriate analogy is in personal transportation. We all now know that fossil fuel burning, single occupancy vehicles should be done away with.

The obvious answer is to require all individual trips to be made on a Segway.

To bad it will take so much longer to get from NY to LA.

Is that even worth a discussion? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513003)

The light-switch is one of the end-user interfaces for electricity in the house. The wiring behind it is better left to the experts. It's dangerous for the non-initiated to fiddle with it.

Same for the command line. Graphical user interfaces have become the de-facto end-user interface to modern computing devices, to information, to the Internet, etc. The CLI exposes some of the wiring behind it. No need for end users to mess with it or to have to understand it. It can be confusing for them or even dangerous.

The sooner software developers realize this, the better it is for everyone involved.

It may be sad that today's users are not introduced at the same level to the technology that many of us were decades ago, but that's the way things go. We don't expect to wire up our house ourselves, or build our own generators or electric engines. We shouldn't expect that a product for the masses should require in-depth knowledge or even expose an interface that is not really useful for every day users.

Re:Is that even worth a discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513107)

Your point has very little to do with CLI vs. GUI.
It is possible to expose way too much functionality to the user through a GUI just as it is possible to expose the right amount to a user through a CLI.
Just because the GNU incarnation of a CLI sucks doesn't mean that every other CLI has to.

That's the whole point. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513223)

The light-switch is one of the end-user interfaces for electricity in the house.

That's the whole point. What percentage of the light switches currently in use are NOT operated by some kind of switch?

He's advocating for something that has been solved and implemented years ago.

Graphical user interfaces have become the de-facto end-user interface to modern computing devices, to information, to the Internet, etc.

Yep. So he's advocating that what has already happened ... happen? How many people have used the command line on their smart phones? Already solved. Already implemented. No need to claim that it SHOULD be done.

The sooner software developers realize this, the better it is for everyone involved.

They have realized it. They have implemented it. It is already done.

We shouldn't expect that a product for the masses should require in-depth knowledge or even expose an interface that is not really useful for every day users.

Again, already realized, designed, implemented, shipped and sold.

Been there. Done that. Ten years ago.

So? (3, Informative)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513007)

Why did this even make it to the home page? That door is so open you can't kick it in anymore.

He's right. (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513017)

*gets ready for mindless hate replies*

Look, I'm not against the command line. It's fine. And I actually would say that every program should have a command line. That said, every program should also have a GUI interface.

A serious problem in linux is that frequently you have to go to the command line to do a lot of things. You should NEVER have to go to command line.

The command line is great for people that have memorized all the commands, know exactly what they want to do, and can run the operations in their sleep. But for everyone else it's a hinderence. They have to do queries and check forums to figure out what the program is called. Then they need to look up the syntax.

It's the opposite of user friendly.

Command line is great for certain things. I Scripting especially is much easier if everything can take a command line. I wish more programs in windows for example could take a command line.

But linux especially needs to offer the GUI as the primary interface for EVERYTHING.

I know the old linux hands disagree. This is why you have adoption problems. And because you have adoption problems many companies don't write software for your OS requiring the open source community to write everything themselves. And of course hardware venders frequently don't release drivers for your OS. Fix the GUI issue and all that will change.

Quid pro quo. We're not asking for the universe here. Just the GUI as the primary interface. Keep the command line for those that prefer it. But you'll never get the adoption up so long as its the secondary interface.

Re:He's right. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513105)

Conversely, though, you should never have to go to the GUI to do something.

What's exactly the problem with having a GUI and a CLI as full featured interfaces?

Re:He's right. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513113)

I do not want a gui primary interface.

I want standard input and output on every program.

If it cant be part of a pipeline, it isnt worth much to me.

Re:He's right. (2)

sapgau (413511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513135)

That's why next year will be when Linux takes over the desktop. But not today.
But just wait until next year, I promise.

Re:He's right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513159)

But linux especially needs to offer the GUI as the primary interface for EVERYTHING.

I heard that this was done by a company on the West Coast called Apple.

It might've been a good idea had somebody (with resources and skills to back it up) had thought of it 15 years ago. But now, I suggest that Linux not try to compete head to head with Apple.

Re:He's right. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513175)

The command line is great for people that have memorized all the commands, know exactly what they want to do, and can run the operations in their sleep. But for everyone else it's a hinderence. They have to do queries and check forums to figure out what the program is called.

How is this any different than having to remember where a program is located? Every release of Windows, they've managed to move things around. Gnome is guilty of this too.

If anything, it's much easier to remember a command and its syntax than to go hunting for a GUI program.

Re:He's right. (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513201)

The command line is great for people that have memorized all the commands, know exactly what they want to do, and can run the operations in their sleep. But for everyone else it's a hinderence. They have to do queries and check forums to figure out what the program is called. Then they need to look up the syntax.
It's the opposite of user friendly.

Sometimes this is the case but its rarely that bad, generally is just run this line with the appropriate field. Mostly is just scary and does not hide the information the user will have difficulty understanding. Instead of pages of pictures on where to find an options its now all compressed down to a line.

It also provides obscure options and the chance to provide solutions to a user by just copy and pasting a line. In a GUI these would require 100s of options that the user would have to individually fill in. You can implement find -exec commands in a user friendly comforting GUI, you have to cut down the options and remove functionally to get it remotely sane.

The command line is scary (feels unsafe), not visually pretty and does not comfort users that the operation is OK but that's all due to a lack of experience with it, its not fundamentally hostile to the user.

Re:He's right. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513215)

A serious problem in linux is that frequently you have to go to the command line to do a lot of things. You should NEVER have to go to command line.

I recently set my new laptop a month now and I never had to use the command line. Could you share some instance where you had to?

But linux especially needs to offer the GUI as the primary interface for EVERYTHING.

Isnt it already the primary interface? Even people on the Ubuntu forum give instructions assuming you are not a fan of terminal and would prefer GUI.

Windows 8 Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513219)

Oh, that's right. That's why MS is finally allowing Windows 8 Server to be administered without a GUI. In fact, according to MS, it's one of the big selling points of Win8 Server. I can finally SSH into a Windows box into of using RDP.

Re:He's right. (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513275)

A serious problem in linux is that frequently you have to go to the command line to do a lot of things. You should NEVER have to go to command line.

Quick! You've got two flat databases with different data types, table layouts, and you want to conditionally filter then merge the data into a 3rd file.

No, you could probably do that in excel. The learning curve is probably similar but the result isn't going to be nearly as quick. And, you simply won't be able to do a lot of what may be necessary.

I'm really not sure what the general problem is, though. Simple things involving common use never need the command line in Linux; it's more likely to need the command line in Windows for 'basic' things than Linux these days. More advanced troubleshooting and "IT" things is another matter, but then you've got a lot more power to leverage in Linux to do this, too, so the incentive to drop to a terminal is higher than elsewhere.

Re:He's right. (4, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513281)

But linux especially needs to offer the GUI as the primary interface for EVERYTHING.
I know the old linux hands disagree. This is why you have adoption problems. [...] And of course hardware venders frequently don't release drivers for your OS. Fix the GUI issue and all that will change.

This would make a lot of sense ... if it were even loosely based on reality.

My wife, my 12-year-old daughter, and my mother in law all use linux as their only desktop OS. None of them know a CLI from a hole in the ground. None of them needs a CLI to do anything they want to do. They use GUIs exclusively -- mainly Firefox, libreoffice, and GIMP. There is no "GUI issue."

And because you have adoption problems many companies don't write software for your OS requiring the open source community to write everything themselves.

The existence of open-source applications on linux is a good thing, not a bad thing.

got CLI? (1)

smilnrt (1648147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513021)

Taking away my CLI? That's cause for war. GUI's are for the weak/simple minded. I do not want graphs, charts, and pictures to tell me a problem may exist, I need just one line or 100's of them!

i'll feed the troll headline... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513023)

Excuse me... I'm a consumer. I use the command line all the time, because I recognize that it is far more powerful than any GUI tool that purports to serve the same purpose that I've ever seen.

The GUI is great if you only ever do what someone else happened to write a feature to allow you to do. If you ever think on your own, want to step outside those bounds, the command line is far superior. With a few simple tools piped together, you can do things easily that are highly painful and tedious with a UI.

But then, we seem to be fast becoming a species that no longer thinks for themselves, wanting everything dumbed down as far as possible.

Many times I've seen people laboriously doing something with a GUI that I can script in 15 seconds with Bash. When I show them, they are amazed.

But hey, let's take all the power user features out of our computers and make sure they are suitable ONLY for casual users and novices. That sounds like a good plan.

Re: (1)

bleedingsamurai (2539410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513025)

I can think of many reasons why the command line is still a very important part of any operating system. If, as a developer, you are worried that Joe User needs access to your tool, then make it easy for them. Rather then have the whole system cater to the computer illiterate.

Sensationalist much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513033)

The supplied quote: "but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require something be done via CLI".

I can't agree more!!! No chance in hell the average consumer is going to want to learn a CLI. Anyone proposing a CLI for a consumer market device should be fucking fired. Hell, tons of Mac users don't know/care that you can run a CLI shell (bash).

Why is this news at all?

Betteridge's Law of Headlines... (5, Informative)

Shalian (512701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513035)

I invoke Betteridge's Law of Headlines [wikipedia.org] here.

No.

Really? (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513037)

Those of us who use the CLI on a regular basis find ourselves feeling confined on those odd occasions when we have to use Windows. With a GUI, everything is visual, but nothing can be automated or repeated. This greatly aids someone who doesn't know what they are doing, but since when did business want someone who didn't know what they were doing sitting behind a terminal?

In Windows, everything is point-and-click easy, but nothing can be automated. In UNIX, the important things have a GUI shortcut, and everything can be automated.

Re:Really? (1)

kabdib (81955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513091)

You do know that you can do almost everything on a Windows box through an API, or through a command line tool, right?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513141)

All this "nothing can be automated" in Windows is a misconception. That would be true maybe 10 years ago but today things are different. With Powershell you can do almost everything in the OS you can think of.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513211)

Those of us who use the CLI on a regular basis...

...are probably not the 'consumers' the article is referring to.

Automator in OS X is pretty good (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513227)

With a GUI, everything is visual, but nothing can be automated or repeated.

While somewhat true in Windows, OS X has the Automator, which is basically a GUI for building scripts using the OS X environment. It's quite powerful, and I often find myself using it to accomplish tasks that I normally would have written a shell script for in Linux. Given the complexity of the tasks it can accomplish, it's fairly user friendly.

On the other hand, my impression is that Automator is also vastly underused by OS X users. I think the fundamental difference between "computer people" and computer users is that if a computer person has to do the same thing more than twice, they see if they can't find a more efficient and automated way to do it... whereas computer users just sigh and resign themselves to a redundant and mindless task.

schwaht? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513047)

Yes, those Windoze computer might just see that cmd thingamagicithinkiy when i tell them to windowskey-r-cmd-enter, but what the.
Ever heard of powershell? That thing that will be the only sane way to admin windows servers from yesterday to whenever MS changes its mind?

slashtroll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513049)

Obvious slashtroll is obvious

Wait, what century am I in? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513051)

>but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI, he says.

To my knowledge, no piece of consumer tech, in the last 15 years, has required the command line. I think Telix was the last one, and that was after ProComm went totally GUI after 95. One of my favorite editors, Aurora, was never moved over to the GUI, and remained moribund after Windows 95 - no updates, nothing.

Does *anyone* know of any consumer tech over the past 15 years that has ever required the command line to even start? I can't think of one.

That being said, there is something to like about the character based terminal for character based protocols. I find IRC to be a pain with anything other than something like irssi and screen. I also don't see any GUI based OS automation worth a damn. It's just simpler to write a bash or PowerShell script to do automated tasks than to fudge around with a GUI.

--
BMO

So what will happen (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513055)

When we get rid of the command line AND the start button? Ahh I see where this is going. NO, it's MY computer. Piss off, monopolistic OS vendor.

um no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513071)

Linux is a fragmented construct of programs, so great suggestion to get everyone to use linux. But.. get a grip on reality. There are many things that are easier to understand with the GUI but the CLI in linux is here to stay, sorry.

No (4, Insightful)

sapgau (413511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513075)

And if it wasn't available we would find a way to install it.

Next topic.

Troll article (4, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513093)

Troll article is trolling. Nothing to see here.

Are you serious? (2)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513095)

Have you ever had automated something? This happens even in the consumer world and where the command-line comes in ;-).

Probably reacting to a flamebait i shouldn't reply to....

For end users (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513097)

It should 'just work'.

For tech staff, it needs to stick around.

Dinosaurs are blogging now? (4, Funny)

spasm (79260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513115)

"Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim"

Well I'd assume raptors would be mobile, but I still have no idea why a dinosaur would be blogging, let alone why anyone would care what they thought about CLI vs anything else?

CLI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513121)

I've had situations where a site was getting 99% packet loss and the GUI was not working. Without a CLI to bounce the DS3 interface it would have required someone be sent on site. In the world of Fiber and high speed Internet people quickly forget that a CLI doesn't have to be a primary means of configuration but it can be a life saver. Not only that whomever wrote this article is clueless. Many scripts and remote management tasks can only be automated easily with a CLI.

You can have my CLI... (2, Interesting)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513129)

...when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Dipshit...

Flamebait or not, the quotes article are so wrong (4, Insightful)

Balial (39889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513137)

"Just the simple task of separating two kinds of files from a single directory, 'mkdir GIF;mkdir JPG;mv *.gif ./GIF;mv *.jpg ./JPG' and I'm done -- five seconds to accomplish that. How long would it take in a pretty looking GUI?"

Create two directories; sort by file type; drag & drop * 2... done. And it'll deal with mixed case extensions. Don't get me started about Mr. "You can't do that FTP transfer in less than 8 mouse clicks". vs 32 keystrokes. I'm not sure where his maths comes from.

They also don't go into how far you are away from destroying the world with a CLI:

sudo rm -Rf ~/bin

is one keystroke from

sudo rm -Rf ~ /bin

Or just the simple case of "cp a b c/", only you eagerly hit enter before "c/" so you blow away b with no checks.

And who knows what you get when your super awesome smart shell loop isn't escaped properly on a filename with a space, quotes or apostrophe in the name.

GUI or CLI -- do whatever you like -- but don't base your choice on the "quality" of information from the types of people in this article.

Developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513145)

Writing command line applications are a lot easier, quicker and calling them programatically is a no brainer. It stays not because sysadmins or any kind of users, but because developers don't have to jump hurdles like GUI and IPC.

Regular languages should be enough for anybody! (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513149)

Or more specifically, a GUI whose interactions can be modeled completely by a finite state machine. Need context sensitivity? Sorry, too much computer for you.

Consumer market? like having the consumption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513167)

Bwah ha ha ha! the command line is what they use in Star Trek. Its just an audio output command line with voice recognition.... I mean they even have an audio prompt sound that plays when somebody says "Computer". Without the command line how do you get the low overhead automation.. The GUI wastes too many compute cycles for those users who are actually worthy of having access to a computer!

I'd go further (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513187)

The *menu* has mainly outstayed its welcome. For helping a lot of non-geeks with computers, I'm amazed at how they get lost in menus, and are fearful of trying stuff out. I think most apps should just propose templates to be filled, use very loud and simple screen for configuration (à la Palm), and maybe just one menu for "More..." like Android currently does.

I know there are experts out there, who like menus, keyboard shortcuts, and CLIs (I do). But most people just can't handle them.

From my cold dead hand (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513197)

The command line is not better or worse than a beautiful GUI. It is a whole different paradigm with a whole different purpose. I love that I can go to my mac and type nearly the exact same commands as my linux box to do the same things; xvfz is nearly one keystroke. But these are not things I would ever impose on my family.

The key (hee hee) to the command line is constancy of knowledge. Things I do now, I have done for over a decade, and hopefully will do for another decade using the same keystrokes. These tend to be dark arcane things like ssh tunnels that again I would never impose upon my family. I don't need to learn a new interface from year to year, I don't need to learn a new interface from OS to OS. Much of my Solaris knowledge is still good. One of the reasons that I fled Windows was that its command line was not consistent with my other more Unix'y knowledge. If I had to noodle a Windows box I would start poking around looking for applications and menus that conceal the things I want almost as well as a command line ever could.

To eliminate the command line from an OS that I use would be to eliminate an OS from my use.

Somebody tell the Plex team this (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513207)

I would have agreed with all the flamebait posts, except that the Plex Media Center team, which makes an otherwise super-user-friendly front end and back end for managing their media center, requires the use of a CLI for even basic operations like updating the library.

I will give up the command line when you pry the keyboard from my cold, dead fingers. Still, I would prefer that consumer software not require its use for common, or even uncommon but simple, tasks.

CLI is User Friendly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513213)

There are several problems with eliminating a simple command interface. The first is that it means someone has to create a GUI for EVERY action a user might need to take no matter how obscure. And that interface needs to be changed every time a new option is added for even the most obscure command. And you need to create a menu selection so that the user can access the GUI for that command and create documentation for the user to find that menu item.

The result of all that extra work is that it will often be a lot cheaper and practical to simply not to offer the ability to do some things at all.

The command line is actually a very good interface for rarely used commands. Once someone has found the proper syntax, they can easily cut and paste it to run the command and be done. With a GUI, they will usually need instructions on navigation and its likely various choices offered by the GUI will have to be explained.

In short, the command line is a user friendly way of doing some things. Its easier to document. It doesn't change locations. It is flexible.

False dichotomy (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513235)

'era of the gui' - false premise, too. You can have both, as it should be.
It would be great, however, if all GUI apps were designed with a client shell component and the gui just manipulated the command line part for you.

5 minutes of fame..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513241)

abruptly aborted 299 seconds ago.

Hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513247)

The article is right. To reach the masses you should not rely on CLI.

If informatics teachers preparing students for university use written down instructions "[Start]->[Programs]->[Application Folder X] (third item from top)->[Application X1] (second item from top)" to open applications (yes, one sheet per application) or have Google as their browsers' startpage to reach any site via Google Search, then why should one expect people to use CLI or even know about it?

You don't believe it? Such an expert lives in my house. Sorry, couldn't resist...

cb

CLI Everywhere! (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513259)

I'll be happy when I get a CLI version of Photoshop!

Seriously, the more I get under the hood with Linux, the more I appreciate the utility of a good CLI. Then again, I date back to the days of DOS and WordPerfect....

...targeted at the consumer market... (1)

2fuf (993808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513261)

duh

The Answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513271)

There used to be a word processor I think Borland Sprint that was sold as having every popular word processor UI so no retraining would be required for a large office.

Why not allow every UI that someone wants to use, CL unix or DOS, Win 95, OS/2, OS9, OSX, X11, whatever?

Why ever disable, ignore or exclude anything? It ADDS effort to do so.

Betteridge's Law of Headlines (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513273)

According to Betteridge's Law of Headlines: No.

CIA, hello there! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513277)

Implants Will Be the Norm

Regarding:

Google 'Project Glass'
- http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/07/01/0553247/wearable-computing-will-be-the-norm-says-google-glass-team [slashdot.org]

This technology reminds me of the ST:TNG episode, "The Game":

- http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Game_(episode) [memory-alpha.org]

"Wesley Crusher visits the Enterprise only to see everyone behaving strangely on account of an addictive, mind-controlling game."

IMO this is part of the march, or 'slow boiling frog' dance towards The Mark Of The Beast. Gradually, 'THEY' (see George Carlin's videos on YouTube about 'our owners' and 'education') will lead us to a mandatory chip implant and a a possible global hive mind.

It shouldn't surprise anyone:

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MKULTRA [wikipedia.org]
- Google: The Mind Has No Firewall (military article)
- http://mindjustice.org/ [mindjustice.org]
- thehiddenevil.com
- Wikipedia: Look up the various 'PROJECTS' other than MKULTRA, there are many, like Project Paperclip.

%

Memorable quotes for Looker (1981) | http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/quotes [imdb.com]

âoeJohn Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, thatâ(TM)s power. â

%

âoeThe United States has itâ(TM)s own propaganda, but itâ(TM)s very effective because people donâ(TM)t realize that itâ(TM)s propaganda. And itâ(TM)s subtle, but itâ(TM)s actually a much stronger propaganda machine than the Nazis had but itâ(TM)s funded in a different way. With the Nazis it was funded by the government, but in the United States, itâ(TM)s funded by corporations and corporations they only want things to happen that will make people want to buy stuff. So whatever that is, then that is considered okay and good, but that doesnâ(TM)t necessarily mean it really serves peopleâ(TM)s thinking â" it can stupify and make not very good things happen.â
â" Crispin Glover: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000417/bio [imdb.com]

%

âoeWeâ(TM)ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.â â" William Casey, CIA Director

%

âoeItâ(TM)s only logical to assume that conspiracies are everywhere, because thatâ(TM)s what people do. They conspire. If you canâ(TM)t get the message, get the man.â â" Mel Gibson

%

[1967] Jim Garrison Interview âoeIn a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you canâ(TM)t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You canâ(TM)t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they wonâ(TM)t be there. We wonâ(TM)t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. Weâ(TM)re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isnâ(TM)t the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same. Iâ(TM)ve learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. Iâ(TM)ve always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Governmentâ(TM)s basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But Iâ(TM)ve come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, âoeFascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.â Iâ(TM)m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.â

%

"The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care!" - George Carlin

%

"From 1950 to 1962, the C.I.A. ran a massive research project, a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind, spending over $1 billion a year to crack the code of human consciousness, from both mass persuasion and the use of coercion in individual interrogation." - Professor Alfred McCoy, author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror. This quote is from Prof. McCoy's interview with Democracy Now on February 17, 2006.

%

"Our brain is domineering when it comes to coping with reality. We sometimes see things not as they really are, sometimes invent categories that do not exist and sometimes fail to see things that are really there. There are people who have never seen or heard of an aircraft and will not be able to imagine it and a real airplane overhead will be distorted in their minds, creating alternative realities.

To recognize that what we call reality is only a consensus reality (only what we have agreed to call reality) is to recognize that we can perceive only what we can conceive. Captain Cook's ship was invisible to the Tahitians because they could not conceive of such a vessel. Joseph Pearce explains this best: "Man's mind mirrors a universe that mirrors man's mind."" - Bharati Sarkar, "Consciousness - Our third eye."

%

âoeSecrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of.â
â"â" Bill Moyers

%

âoeSecrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction.â
â"â" Edward Teller

%

âoeThe best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.â
â"â" Niels Bohr

%

âoeFor nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.â
â"â" Luke (ch 8, v. 17)

%

âoeThe very word âsecrecyâ(TM) is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.â
â"â" John F. Kennedy

%

CIA Head: We Will Spy On Americans Through Electrical Appliances

- http://www.infowars.com/cia-head-we-will-spy-on-americans-through-electrical-appliances/ [infowars.com]

Global information surveillance grid being constructed; willing Americans embrace gadgets used to spy on them

Steve Watson | Infowars.com | March 16, 2012

"CIA director David Petraeus has said that the rise of new âoesmartâ gadgets means that Americans are effectively bugging their own homes, saving US spy agencies a job when it identifies any âoepersons of interestâ.

Speaking at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIAâ(TM)s technology investment operation, Petraeus made the comments when discussing new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously âdumbâ(TM) home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.

Wired reports the details via its Danger Room Blog:

âoeâTransformationalâ(TM) is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,â Petraeus enthused, âoeparticularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.â

âoeItems of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters â" all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,â Petraeus said.

âoethe latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.â the CIA head added.

Petraeus also stated that such devices within the home âoechange our notions of secrecyâ.

Petraeusâ(TM) comments come in the same week that one of the biggest microchip companies in the world, ARM, unveiled new processors that are designed to give practically every household appliance an internet connection, in order that they can be remote controlled and operate in tandem with applications.

ARM describes the concept as an âoeinternet of thingsâ.

Where will all the information from such devices be sent and analyzed? It can be no coincidence that the NSA is currently building a monolithic heavily fortified $2 billion facility deep in the Utah desert and surrounded by mountains. The facility is set to go fully live in September 2013.

âoeThe Utah data center is the centerpiece of the Global Information Grid, a military project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it.â reports Gizmodo.

âoeThis centerâ"with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world.â

Wired reports that the incoming data is being mined by plugging into telecommunications companiesâ(TM) switches, essentially the same method the NSA infamously uses for warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications, as exposed six years ago.

Former intelligence analyst turned best selling author James Bamford, has penned a lengthy piece on the NSA facility and warns âoeIt is, in some measure, the realization of the âtotal information awarenessâ(TM) program created during the first term of the Bush administrationâ"an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americansâ(TM) privacy.â" - © 2012 Infowars.com

- http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/ [wired.com]
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17345934 [bbc.co.uk]
- http://gizmodo.com/5893869/this-is-the-most-powerful-spy-center-in-the-world [gizmodo.com]
- http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1 [wired.com]
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy [wikipedia.org]
- http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/ [wired.com]

What a stupid fucking comment. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513305)

What a stupid fucking comment.

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