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Ask Slashdot: Command Line Interfaces -- What Is Out There?

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the anything-but-the-truth dept.

Software 383

Mars729 writes "GUIs are walled gardens in that features available in one piece of software is not available to other pieces of software. However, there is software out there with command-line options that can make software features accessible to power users and programmers. Some important ones I have uncovered are:

  • Exiftool: A command-line application that can read/write almost any kind of metadata contained in almost any filetype
  • Imagemagick: This and similar software like GraphicsMagick is a full-feature toolkit for displaying, converting and editing image files.
  • Irfanview: Like Imagemagick but faster, although it has much fewer features.
    FFMpeg: For video files
  • VLC: For audio and video files
  • Aspell: A command line spell checker
  • Google Static Maps API: A URL with coordinates, markers, zoom levels and other options to show a custom map from Google Maps. (I just uncovered this: no need to learn KML!)

Less useful but still useful are command shells. These provide file management mostly. I believe some of them may allow for sending and retrieving email messages. Also useful but less accessible and with a steeper learning curve are software with APIs and scripting. Examples would be Visual Basic for Applications in office software and groovy scripting for Freeplane. What else is out there?"

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383 comments

systemd is there (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835729)

You all will love to use

systemctl
journalctl

The first shows all services running on Linux

The last shows all binary logging on Linux

Get used to those commands because its the defacto standard now.

Re: systemd is there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835777)

Thank,
cli is amazing and it would be apparent if some of the 'omg did he really just say that crowd' helped out newbies instead of ranting

Re:systemd is there (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835785)

"command not found: systemd"

Doesn't look like it's preinstalled on Ubuntu 13.10. Any way to get this working?

Re:systemd is there (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835887)

Here you go, lil buddy [launchpad.net] , just compile and install away! Make sure you specify /usr/local/wtfbin for the target install dir. Cheers and happy new year!

Re:systemd is there (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 7 months ago | (#45836087)

Doesn't look like it's preinstalled on Ubuntu 13.10. Any way to get this working?

You would do better to read up on why some distros elect not to use systemd, despite the fact that it is becoming quite popular in some quarters. For my part, I consider it to be an unnecessary complication, so am happy that my preferred distro (Slackware) still elects not to implement systemd by default.

What is this? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835733)

This isn't worthy of being a story, we all grew up using command lines.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835741)

Mod parent up

Re:Mod parent up (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836129)

Mod parent up

I can't because /. doesn't have a command line interface for moderation.

Re:What is this? (4, Informative)

weilawei (897823) | about 7 months ago | (#45835757)

I'd like to bash the submitter. Command shells less useful my ass. Pretty much the entire *nix world is built around shells and files, with variations on a theme thrown in (pipes, sockets, etc.). Welcome to what the rest of us have known for decades.

Re: What is this? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835775)

Your way of thinking needs an upgrade. Soon everyone needs to understand the concepts of systemd. That means your overall usage of grep, sed, awk, etc. will decrease. Wayland will bring another change in your life. Hope you welcome these. Oh I forgot, you won't be asked :)

Re: What is this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836073)

It appears that lots of people recently have been condemned to reinvent Unix, poorly.

Re:What is this? (2)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 7 months ago | (#45835929)

Pretty much my initial response, too.

But you know what, I hadn't made any realistic new year's resolutions actually, but now I am thinking it would be nice if instead of the reflexive elitist slashdot reaction to new users (yes I wrote that out in full) let's just try to help these folks feel at home and somewhat supported in our little world.

My 2 cents: learn shell scripting. It's a great way to apply the shell commands you've already learned and a very natural way to learn some more (control structures, loops, mostly).

Re:What is this? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45836147)

it's not really "using the command line" unless you're using the line ... to command things, yourself.

if its automation and communications between system components, it's just protocol of some sorts.. could start saying that pop3 is a commandline then too

Re:What is this? (0, Troll)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 7 months ago | (#45835803)

Lately we've had egregious dupes, insipid, noobie-focused "what you need to do to your Windoze computer" items, a couple of my own submissions, then this... THIS! I demand that /. mods swear off what they've been ingesting over the holidays and speak to a kind social worker who will offer them a donut and tell them to stick closer to church-oriented activities.

Re:What is this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836039)

what do you mean "lately"?

Re:What is this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835809)

This isn't worthy of being a comment; we're not monolithic.

Re:What is this? (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 7 months ago | (#45835825)

Okay, how about Monotheistic? Monomaniacal? Mononucleosistic? Never mind, you aren't one of the ones with a sense of humour, but have a chuckle anyways.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835863)

It's Slashdot. If you didn't grow up using command lines, then you don't belong here. Go off to one of the wannabe, pseudo-techie sites like Lifehacker or Gizmodo and stop diluting the content here.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835959)

I grew up wanting to learn, is that welcome here?

Re:What is this? (0, Flamebait)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 7 months ago | (#45836095)

No, fuck off. If you want to be spoon fed, go to stackoverflow and get mostly-correct answers from unemployed people who will never flame you, no matter how idiotic your questions are. Well actually, a question like "Holy shit I found out that I can use the keyboard to start my music app, what programs also have this feature" would probably get closed for being completely fucking retarded there too. If you actually wanted to learn, you would pick up a damn book (just about any book would be educational for the submitter (which is most likely you)) or use Google to actually check and see if those mythical CLI email programs exist.

Less useful but still useful are command shells. These provide file management mostly. I believe some of them may allow for sending and retrieving email messages.

Holy shit, you can start off with DOS for Dummies [amazon.com] and work your way up from there.

But anyway, I will attempt to answer your question:

What else is out there?

Every program on every major operating system can be launched from the shell, and 99% of these can accept command line arguments. Is there any other vague, poorly-thought-out questions you'd like to ask?

Re:What is this? (0)

rolfwind (528248) | about 7 months ago | (#45835991)

This isn't worthy of being a story, we all grew up using command lines.

No we didn't. You may have, I may have, but there are plenty of programmers or budding programmers that have hardly ever touched one.

This story for /. is way better than most of the fluff usually here, so I'm confused why you would bash it down.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836139)

BS. Nobody can call themself a programmer if they haven't used a command line.

This story is like giving instructions on how to breathe.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836151)

If you're a programmer and you've "hardly ever touched" a command line, well, that is on you. Command lines are easy to get to on all major platforms (you know, the ones that programmers write software on).

Command line interfaces for software products have nothing to do with being a programmer. Being able to type a command rather than click a button is a good skill to have, but let's not get carried away and claim that issuing a command or setting a program value from a command line is programming.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836049)

so not worthy! where's all the lame end-of-year / new year's stories and predictions that are supposed to grace the front page of slashdot on this day?

Re:What is this? (0)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 7 months ago | (#45836097)

So share what you learned! Or are you stupid and ugly!?

Re:What is this? (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 7 months ago | (#45836115)

This isn't worthy of being a story, we all grew up using command lines.

At least one of those programs is Windows-only, and all the rest have Windows versions, and Visual Basic is Windows-only.

I'm pretty sure he has little or no familiarity with the UNIX programming environment, and he's not even aware of COM-based programming using third party libraries and components on Windows well enough to know that you can in fact script all Microsoft GUI products, and many third party products on Windows use the same techniques making them fully scriptable as well.

This isn't the first time Mars729's called GUI's "walled gardens", and it's not the first time he's posted erroneous info about their scriptability, but then he *is* using Windows. He posted a similar comment to the "How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Down On the UNIX Farm?" thread 4 days ago.

Re:What is this? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 7 months ago | (#45836179)

Some didn't and are just getting into Linux now, where it's Gnome and KDE and LiveCDs. How about helping some newbies?

wait until you try one of the *nixes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835737)

There is even more to uncover there!

How is this news for nerds? Maybe it's for nerds, but it's far from being news. It's more like common knowledge around Slashdot.

My head just exploded. (4, Insightful)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835751)

Quoting the summary:

Less useful but still useful are command shells. These provide file management mostly. I believe some of them may allow for sending and retrieving email messages.

Yes, my head just exploded. Please pardon the mess, aggressive renovations are in progress. I'm absolutely awestruck that this made it to the front page of /., and suddenly feel extremely old at 32.

In short, if you are experiencing a lack of flexibility with GUIs, which is a completely normal response in my book, please proceed to install your favorite Linux/BSD/Whatever-nixish distribution and learn to use the following:

  • Shells, at minimum a Bourne-compatible shell
  • Bash, Perl, and Python
  • Man pages

I really, truly, honestly, brain-explodingly do not know what else to say here. Holy crap.

Re:My head just exploded. (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835769)

Replying to my own post here for clarification: the second entry in the unordered list (which /. decided to render in a less than graceful manner) should have had the term "scripting" appended to it. One-liners are great; knowing how to write useful self-contained programs yourself in various interpreters is far better.

This aside, I'm seriously beginning to suspect a bored troll managed to get the best of Soulskill on this one.

Re:My head just exploded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835819)

There might be command-line tools for Windows that you're ignorant of, even if you refuse to help with Lunix except for "RTFM and get off my lawn."

Re:My head just exploded. (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835851)

You're probably just a troll, but what the hell, it's new year's even and I'm headed to bed in a couple of minutes anyhow. I'll waste a few calories pointing out that I've probably spent more of my life teaching people how to use everything from DOS, to every incarnation of Windows since 3.1, to most common Linux and BSD distributions (with emphasis on Debian, Mandrake back when that was a thing, and RHEL) than you've been alive. Have another drink, junior, and hope your dad doesn't notice the watered down vodka tomorrow night.

Re:My head just exploded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835895)

First, there is no way that you can possibly know that. Second, your past experiences are irrelevant. Third, you haven't confirmed any knowledge of modern command-line tools in Windows, you just blew a bunch of smoke and hoped nobody noticed.

Aside from posturing, I'm not sure what you were trying to accomplish here since you haven't actually contributed anything of value. What do you want, a cookie?

Re:My head just exploded. (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835925)

Past experiences are far from irrelevant here. When you grow up, you'll understand that. As for the rest, are you shitting me? I work with PowerShell every day dealing with a production fleet of systems running a mix of Server 2008/2012, along with a slew of RHEL based stuff. Go back to bed, kid.

Re:My head just exploded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836169)

Sorry junior but you already stated that you are only 32 years old, so even if your experiences weren't utterly worthless in this context, you still don't have much of it.

Also, what happened to going to bed in a couple of minutes? Right, you didn't actually mean what you wrote, you just said it in a futile attempt to dismiss responses because you're ill prepared to handle them.

Re:My head just exploded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836133)

I think he wants to be a mean old fart and get attention for it from other mean old fart wannabes.

Re:My head just exploded. (1, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#45835821)

Less useful but still useful are command shells. These provide file management mostly. I believe some of them may allow for sending and retrieving email messages

What I'm trying to understand, is how the submitter intends to use the CLI for a program without a shell of some kind. Unless he's talking about programs like Midnight Commander or Norton Commander (for people who really are getting old) by the term "command shells".

All that said, an interesting program is motion -- it lets you use a USB webcam as a motion detector, is scriptable, takes snapshots or movies.

http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion/DownloadFiles [lavrsen.dk]

Re:My head just exploded. (0)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835835)

Man, I'm just as confused as you. I sincerely believe this was a troll submission that got through. My faith in humanity almost depends upon this being the case.

programs like Midnight Commander or Norton Commander

Yep on both. Used to run a BBS when I was a kid, when 9600 baud was smoking fast. Thanks dude, now I really do feel old, though not entirely in a bad way I guess. :)

Re:My head just exploded. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835905)

Shit, you should've been there when we thought 600bps was fast. My first modem was a 300bps acoustic coupler.

Re:My head just exploded. (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835941)

Mod parent up. The few times I dialed up on an acoustic coupler were at a buddy's house as a kid on his dad's machine. In my defense, I'll note that my house still had rotary phones on the walls. :)

Re:My head just exploded. (4, Insightful)

mvar (1386987) | about 7 months ago | (#45835813)

First this Tips for your new laptop [slashdot.org] and then this.
I have a feeling that there's more shitty noob advice to come on this site from now on..Holy crap indeed

Re:My head just exploded. (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 7 months ago | (#45835847)

I really, truly, honestly, brain-explodingly do not know what else to say here. Holy crap

I think the polite thing to say would be "Welcome to the world of computing. How did you like your first day?"

Re:My head just exploded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835849)

and regex! learn regex!

Re:My head just exploded. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836029)

When I see folks struggling with the shell, I really wish they would bring back Stan Kelly-Bootle's book "Understanding Unix" [amazon.com] back into print, or even better, update it for a new version.

While most books just take the common commands (cut, grep etc.), give a brief description and move on, Kelly-Bootle's book actually showed how to use them together in scripts that opened your mind to the possibilities (a simple example: given a text file, finding out the most frequently used words and their counts).

I haven't seen a better book since, and I recently re-bought it.

I agree,... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835763)

are the mods are all drunk?

Re:I agree,... (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835781)

Dude, Netcraft confirms it, and I'm certain of it now myself. Soulskill ain't sober at the moment. I can't fault him for that, but ... just damn dude on posting this submission.

Re:I agree,... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835843)

Can't you just skip this story if you don't want to read it?

Re:I agree,... (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835901)

You've obviously grossly missed the entire point surrounding the severe wtfness of this story being posted on this site in the first place. Holy shit man, it's the 90s now, get with the program.

Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836023)

are the mods are all drunk?

And maybe a few of us too.

Visual Basic for Applications??? (3, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | about 7 months ago | (#45835771)

If you are doing windows and still doing Visual Basic for Applications for general scripts you are part of the problem and really behind in your skill level.
Powershell has easily replaced most VBA script usage, there are still a few special cases where it has to be used.

Re:Visual Basic for Applications??? (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 7 months ago | (#45835937)

VBA is almost VB6.

VBScript is not quite VBA. There are some VERY annoying inconsistencies, like this :

For ii = 0 To 10
        ' Do Stuff
Next ii ' This is legal in VBA / VB6 - but it's a syntax error in VBScript!

Situation normal (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45835983)

VB was BASIC, then it was Pascal, then pretty well cut down Java. Where do you want to go today?
You won't be able to do it the same way tomorrow.

Re:Situation normal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836067)

I think you'll find Pascal predates Visual Basic by a decade or two.

Re:Situation normal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836113)

I think he's referring to the way the Visual Basic syntax has morphed over the years from something which looked a bit like old school BASIC into something which looked a bit like Pascal.

I don't really know, though. I've had limited exposure to that particular death of the mind which is Visual Basic, but hey, when has ignorance of a subject ever stopped anyone here on \. commenting on it..?

Happy New Year!, and all that.,.

Re:Situation normal (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45836125)

Obviously, just as BASIC and java did. The point that was missed is VB had BASIC syntax, then changed to a lot of syntax from pascal, then changed to a lot from java - all without being backwards compatible but the thing was still called VB.

Lots of programmers for hire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835779)

If you talk about 'command line' as if it was something 'magic', you should simply pay someone who doesn't to get the job done.
It'll be quicker, easyer, might actually work and cheaper, even if you put your own wage as low as 1$ / hour into the equation.

Re:Lots of programmers for hire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835935)

What if my time is free and I want to learn?

Command shells "less useful"? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 7 months ago | (#45835791)

Is this some sort of joke?
A Unix-style shell is the most useful command line interface. It is itself its own scripting language.

There are various ones. The most popular is bash, but there are also fairly different ones like fish.

"Less useful but still useful are command shells"! (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#45835793)

I'm sorry, is this a joke? The Windows command line - even with powershell - might be a crippled joke, but the unix command line allows you to control *everything* going on in the OS itself and most features of whichever Desktop you're using. Plus the ability to pipe commands together creates a level of poweruser control that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Something Microsoft took 2 decades to realise and a paradigm that a lot of Windows admins still don't "get".

Re:"Less useful but still useful are command shell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835869)

Exactly this. FFS, bash allows you to read straight from TCP sockets.

Re:"Less useful but still useful are command shell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836057)

Many of teh GUI utilities in *nix are basically wrappers around the CLI. Every MP3 or DVD burning program, for instance.

PowerShell (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#45835797)

PowerShell deserves a mention too. Some people hate it, some people love it.

It is object oriented so the data transfer between processes is more robust. Also all the commands' manual pages come with extensive documentation and lots of great examples. UNIX man pages usually lack examples.

Re: PowerShell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836153)

This is exactly why I prefer using the OSX Terminal CLI over Windows: Apple has ensured that all its commands are not only object-oriented for robustness but also 64-bit Cocoa-compatible, which means they only get snappier-feeling with every update.

Great topic (4, Informative)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 7 months ago | (#45835799)

mulk - much needed modernization of wget's functionality
qrencode - copy-paste from the desktop to a mobile device, or maintain an airgap
iotop - like htop for IO
history - built into bash, re-issue old commands as !number
pkill - kill programs indiscriminately
youtube-dl - keeps working even though google has almost killed youtube
netstat -lnp - see which program is bound to which port
vim - it won't make sense until you install plugins like spf-13, learn a few key combinations and set :color ir_black
tar -zxvf - you can remember it because the keys are right next to each other
pxz - parallel LZMA compressor
alasamixer - volume control
locate - find files, update the index with updatedb

Looking forwards to see more!

Re:Great topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836091)

Annoyingly you can do more in the GUI with some programs than you can do from the command line. Take Brasero v3.4.1, for example, which is what Nautilus uses for the "Copy Disc..." option... I would love to be able to use a command like the following to bypass the GUI entirely when copying a DVD to an .iso file:

brasero --device=/dev/sr0 --copy --image-file=./SomeVideo.iso

Instead I have to mess about with dvdcpy and mkisofs, which doesn't always capture the right content, and you have a nasty folder mess left afterwards:

dvdcpy -s skip -o SomeVideo -m /dev/sr0; mkisofs -dvd-video -o SomeVideo.iso SomeVideo/

Command line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835801)

Everything old is new again...

Hey lets reinvent the wheel too.

Is this real life? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835815)

I have been reading Slashdot for over 10 years.. this would have to be one of the worst 'news for nerds' stories I have ever seen.

I need to find a new watering hole.

Re: Is this real life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835853)

+1. I think this article gave me brain cancer.

Re:Is this real life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835911)

is this just fantasy? caught in a landslide, no escape from reality! open your eyes, look up to the sky and see!

Oh FFS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835845)

Fuck you Slashdot. Fuck... you.

Or more correctly, Fuck you Dice for letting a once-great tech site reduce itself to... this.

What the f**king f**k? (4, Insightful)

YuppieScum (1096) | about 7 months ago | (#45835855)

"GUIs are walled gardens in that features available in one piece of software is not available to other pieces of software.

Never mind it should be "are" not "is", under what circumstances would you ever be surprised that the features provided by Excel are not available in PhotoShop... with the exception of cut/copy/paste?

Did I miss a meeting where meretricious twaddle on this site became de rigour?

Maybe I should resign my ID...

Re:What the f**king f**k? (4, Insightful)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 7 months ago | (#45835909)

Man, my original ID was in the 75K-ish range, and I'm seriously debating whether this was (1) a troll submission that got through, or (2) a tactical move to get folks like us to finally just say "fuck it" here and move along while Dice moves along to pursue the new, hip, trendy, GUI-loving, tablet-toting, no-fucking-idea-whatsoever-how-things-work-at-all crowd for ad views. I honestly don't know, but I can safely say this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen posted to this site.

Re:What the f**king f**k? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835915)

It's spelled de rigueur.

AutoHotkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835865)

Manipulate the Windows GUI with AutoHotkey. It's quite useful for scripting closed-source Windows software that provides a GUI but not command line options.

Re:AutoHotkey (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 7 months ago | (#45835927)

Are you going to tell these old fossils about bookmarklets too? =)

Re:AutoHotkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835947)

Nah. But I recently needed to automate the task of launching some closed-source crap that provides a command window but no method of loading commands from a config file. So I wrote an AHK script to launch the crap and type stuff into its command window with simulated keystrokes. Problem solved.

Fanboi bait (1)

EngnrFrmrlyKnownAsAC (2816391) | about 7 months ago | (#45835893)

GUIs are walled gardens in that features available in one piece of software is not available to other pieces of software.

The best programs do have scripting interfaces but just because a program lacks a graphical interface doesn't mean it's properly scriptable.

(A)REXX (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 7 months ago | (#45835913)

The movie Titanic was rendered, in no small part, with Amigas running AREXX to control the per-frame rendering and result submission. Many Amiga applications included an AREXX interface port (I used the one in the terminal emulator for automated dialing).

PC-DOS 6 (The IBM release, that also included CDROM drivers, and came on CD), had an IBM port of mainframe REXX, as well.

Re:(A)REXX (1)

zoward (188110) | about 7 months ago | (#45836123)

REXX was the "blessed" scripting language of OS/2 as well, and had lots of hooks into the OS.

There is only one true CLI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835933)

and that is the VMS DCL
Built-n context sensitive help with examples. Not need for those terrible things called 'man' pages. Nary and example in sight in them.

Re:There is only one true CLI (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 7 months ago | (#45836001)

Funny. I had a nightmare recently about being suckered into a contract to do some VMS work.

DCL always gave me the willies.

A question of better design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835949)

A GUI should be a shell that drives an object model. The same object model should be accessible via either a command-line program or some other interface (Perl, Python, etc). That's been a best practice since the 90s. Develop the functionality of the program as an object model, and write a GUI that drives it.

Re:A question of better design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835957)

Best practice also says that all programs should be open source so they can be modified as needed, but not all programs are open source, even in 2014. Sometimes the GUI is all you get.

Broken calendar widget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45835975)

January 1 != April 1

Re:Broken calendar widget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836003)

Is it Smarch yet? I guess not; the weather outside isn't quite frightful enough.

Don't start bashing the curious (5, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | about 7 months ago | (#45835985)

Obviously the submitter didn't grow up with a unix background, as lots of people here have. And now I see lots of people asking what the hell submitter is thinking, "is this a joke", "not worthy of a story" et cetera.

But think about it. Submitter came from a GUI background and now discovers the commandline. I'm thinking back when I started with Linux, feeling totally amazed about so much utilities, so much power and I kinda envy the submitter :)

So give it a rest and just chip in.

Re:Don't start bashing the curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836065)

Oh dear gods, there are living people who grew up using modern versions of Windows. They don't know DOS! The horror........

Re:Don't start bashing the curious (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 7 months ago | (#45836077)

So far this submission has seen a really disappointing response from the Slashdot crowd. They look like braggarts who do not actually know anything about the subject matter.

Re:Don't start bashing the curious (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836105)

There is lots of information out there and, very much unlike 20 years ago, the tools to find this information are numerous, easy to use and freely available. It's nice that someone stumbled upon the power of the command line, but it doesn't need to make front page news. No, we're not going to deliver the information on a silver plate any more than it already is delivered on a silver plate if you bother to look. Granted, some will write about their favorite programs, but the scorn to offset these nuggets of misplaced helpfulness is well deserved. It isn't so much directed at the newbie who doesn't know better but at the editor who allowed it through to the front page. Can you imagine someone getting onto the cover of a fashion magazine with a story about how they discovered that you can actually sew your own clothes and does anyone have any tips about that?

electrum (1)

lkcl (517947) | about 7 months ago | (#45836013)

although it has a built-in python command prompt i.e. it's python it does have that as an actual tab, with the electrum python module pre-loaded. really handy.

Hi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836045)

I'm a fucktard, and I just got a computer.

Re:Hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836107)

The bad news is you're tarded and fuckedup. The good news is lots of tards live kickass lives these days!

Unless this is a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45836059)

....this is a good example of why I rarely come to slashdot any more.

And I've been involved with /. almost from the beginning.

 

There are three User interfaces and none are.... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 7 months ago | (#45836089)

... of any less value than the others.

From http://abstractionphysics.net/pmwiki/index.php [abstractionphysics.net]

Primary computer user interfaces:
Nature likes three (3) in primaries, as color in light (additive - red, blue, green) and paint (subtractive - blue, yellow, red) from which we can create all other colors in the rainbow. This applies to abstraction physics as well, as applied through the tool of computer, for there are three primary user interfaces. The command line, the Graphical User interface (GUI) and the side door port to application and functionality access (known by many different names and application levels such as API, IPC, DCOM, dcop, D-BUS, Plumber, computer sockets, etc., but each having its limitation and typically not so end user friendly as the concept should be.) And like the primary colors, if you take one away or limit its use, you constrain the ability of the user in putting new automatons together or modifying existing ones. Causing false limitations in user ability also applies to the abstraction actions mentioned above, constrain access and you constrain users ability to create or modify.

Why The Matrix was inside it green until the end of the third where the sky was full color. Why there were "THREE" power lines to the robot city...

AppleScript (1)

pond0123 (784875) | about 7 months ago | (#45836131)

Others have already pointed out how bizarre the original story is, but there seems to be no mention of AppleScript [apple.com] . If you're on OS X, you get the Unix command line plus scriptable applications through AppleScript with raw scripts or GUI-built actions through Automator [macosxautomation.com] . It's all built in to a clean installation of the OS. Amiga afficionados should be familiar with the concept via ARexx [wikipedia.org] .

Many third party application support AppleScript, though as the environment seems to gain more and more inexperienced and/or lazy programmers, proper integration into the OS X framework environment seems to get worse and worse. That includes code from Apple. Given the extremely sharp decline in Apple's software quality over the last couple of years across all of their platforms, it's currently rather hard to recommend any of it. Probably needs to be filed under "a very good idea, destroyed by the incompetence of the modern software industry".

Cygwin (1)

ACorvus (202386) | about 7 months ago | (#45836137)

Looks like the you are a windows user.
In which case, there is only one thing you need, and that's Cygwin. It is a GNU environment on Windows.

http://www.cygwin.com/ [cygwin.com]

Soulskill: please don't drink and post (4, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 7 months ago | (#45836141)

GUIs are walled gardens in that features available in one piece of software is not available to other pieces of software.

Setting aside the fact that this statement makes no sense, I suspect it was crafted around using the term "walled garden" in a misguided effort to establish nerd street cred. Mission failed.

However, there is software out there with command-line options that can make software features accessible to power users and programmers.

Out of all of the CLI based software the submitter could have chosen, the selection demonstrates that they are neither a power user or a programmer.

Less useful but still useful are command shells.

Holy fuck. Seriously? What I am supposed to run my CLI based software in to begin with. Never mind everything else about a shell that runs deep.

The bullet points caught my eyes first, I knew right away it was going to be bad, but this? This article making the front page is an insult to the majority of Slashdot's user base and an affront to our intellect and skill sets. Also, it reads like it was written by a second-grader.

libdav (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 7 months ago | (#45836165)

isint ffmpeg superseded? Don't know if the new one is better or not...

Programming analogy (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#45836167)

GUIs are walled gardens in that features available in one piece of software is not available to other pieces of software.

If only Members of Congress were programmers, companies would be modular entities instead of the monolithic monsters they are now.

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