SLUG Mailing List Archives
Re: [SLUG] 40 Years of Unix
- To: jam <jam@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [SLUG] 40 Years of Unix
- From: Daniel Bush <dlb.id.au@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 19:32:14 +1000
- Cc: slug@xxxxxxxxxxx
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whoa jam! Fanning the dying embers of this thread a bit aren't we!
2009/9/1 jam <jam@xxxxxxxxx>
> Jobst I started this with outrageous comments so I should honour the
> discussion. INIT can be a shell, but is usually not. 
> So in general GUIs use the RH brain to operate.  That mode is intuitive
> easy to learm, just because of the way we are built. CLI is a LH brain
> activity [logical, calculating etc] Arguing one is better is foolish.
> I've never seen a GUI that is faster or less cumbersome than a CLI each in
> hands of a suitable user. Anybody have any examples either way?
Drawing a picture in inkscape or illustrator ?
Creating a budget in a spreadsheet.
Editing a document or even just a text file .....
I mean everything is a command in the end. It's just easier sometimes to
invoke that command using a mouse and/or keyboard than to type the
underlying command in some sort of command line.
Knowing the underlying command and being able to call it does give you more
power because you can now use it in a program; and you can make programs do
things that humans can't (practically). But some commands may be of limited
value when you try to do this and are often easier to do using
mouse/keyboard in a gui. I don't really need to be able to script the
bezier curve command that draws a nice curvey line on a logo I'm designing,
Way I see it, the unix/linux shell provides a convenient, friendly way to
invoke commands and other programs on the system (interactively or not).
These are programs like 'ls','find',apache or other shell scripts, which the
shell forks and shell builtins like 'for' or 'while' loops. When I type
'vim' at the prompt, I've just executed a simple program that loads my text
editor (unless you want to view my entire shell session as one big
The unix shell is also a convenient/easy way to set variables in the
environment which can be read by processes forked off that shell.
The prevalence and ease of manipulating stdout/stdin/stderr and piping is
also a distinctive unix shell thing. In a ruby cli (irb) I would instead
store output from a function in a variable rather than do something with a
> Girl brains and boy brains are different and despite years of rude comments
> girls multi task and boys dont. Girls *seem* to prefer GUIs. Any comments ?
I think most people will prefer the gui for the sorts of things that "most
people" do. It's only when you need or want to create a series of
instructions (a script or program) that the shell gets interesting.
That being said, I'm a heavy cli user myself because I can load my current
interactive shell with variables and commands for things I'm doing and move
around and operate on the file system very easily; whether it's learning
about couchdb or running mplayer in a particular way or administering a
remote system or application etc etc.. In fact the way I'm using the shell
at the moment is helping me to learn and handle lots of stuff in a way I'd
have a hard time replicating in a gui without a commandline facility.