I'm just going to straight up ask the community on this one. Please beat me up and tear my logic apart- I'm posting this for that reason.
As many know I try my best to help out new Ubuntu users. Many of us do, and its a great thing. Often on this forum I will tell people commands to put in the command line to fix their problems. Recently I was told that this is not the best thing, as it scares away new ex-Window's users who associate "command line" with "Dos" (this ignores that fact that a big "feature" of longhorn will be a functional CLI). Azz, another moderator here is big on giving answers that fix problems through a graphical method if possible. Supposedly the Ubuntu developers themselves have set out a goal that "an Ubuntu user shouldn't need to touch the command line," but until they make a GUI tool for ndiswrapper (aka the hardest thing for a new user to do) I don't put much weight into their opinions on the matter.
I personally tell greens commands because :
A. Instructions using a GUI require pages of screenshots with areas circled in gimp or whatever. Its harder to write a good way to work through the GUI...they are very intuitive to me so I leave out steps that my brain assumes. Anyone that has done tech support on Windows can tell you the problems here.
B. No one can mess up copy and pasting a command. You CAN mess up entering info in many dialog boxes in a GUI.
C. I kinda have this idea that greens need to get used to the way Linux does things. Many of the howtos on this forum require some work on the command line. It seems like unless someone set up the computer for you and all you do it make office docs and surf the internet you will one day have to face the command line (if only to run the program you just downloading in synaptic but a menu option wasn't added for it). Till now I've been of the opinion "they need to just get used to it early on.....its not like we have a YAST or something like that so command line work is inevitable." I mean....look at your grub menu....."safe mode" in Ubuntu is the command line.
D. When I first started with Linux I was afraid of the command line too...but now I think is is very powerful and I would hate to go without it. It doesn't have the negative connotation with me as it does with some people. If the betters I got my early advise from didn't force me to use the command line (by only helping me that way) I wouldn't be half the *NIX admin I am today. Now (after using Linux for less that a year) I can fix a Ubuntu computer from the command line.
E. The guide uses the command line so I want to be consistent.
F. There is no F
So...what do you guys think? Is pointing newbies to the command line a bad thing? If they are afraid of it should I be honest and tell them "the only Linux I know of that liberates itself from the command line is SUSE?" Should we make more guides to do things in a graphical way? Will Ubuntu ever reach the lofty goal of "never needing the command line?"