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Thread: Command-line vs. graphical user interface

  1. #11
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    this thread made it to 3 posts before a windows bash, excellent.

    Imagine telling someone to fire up this app, click this button, switch to this tab, enter the following in the third text box from the top in the first section, and finally click the green button at the bottom that says okay.

    Or you tell them, copy and paste this into the terminal and enter your password.
    you are absolutely right, it is easier to do that, however, for a user like me there is nothing worse than getting a bunch of commands and being told to c v them into the console. Im grateful for the help of course, but it really gets on my nerves being told all these things I dont understand yet, while to a seasoned user the commands are second nature, to a novice they are not, its another language. I think this is something that people forget. Theres nothing wrong with the cli its just very hard to understand without explanation. If i spoke japanese to someone for a month they might start recognising some sounds/words/grammar patterns, doesnt mean it makes any sense to them at all. If i explain what Im saying they will learn fast. A gui environment gives a visual reference to abstract things and makes things easier to absorb, a text only environment is very difficult to master.

    I guess its like giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish.

    give him a fish and feed him for a day, teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime, teach him about fish and he will breed them, sell them, etc etc etc.

  2. #12
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    "Knowledge Replaces Fear". These words were on a certificate I got for a First Aid class I took back in Junior High, more years ago than I care to consider.

    While you may not "fear" the Command Line, I do suggest you get to know it better. Even in Windows systems, there are things that are just easier to do from the CL. I'm frequently using "ipconfig" on Windows boxes. Do you know of a GUI on that system that will give me the same information as quickly?

    There are many books out there to help you. I recommend "Linux Pocket Guide" from O'Reilly Press. I keep a copy on my desk for reference, but there are many others.

    The CL is not rocket science. In fact, it's a lot like learning a different language. You can learn enough to speak like a native, or you can learn just what you need to get around. All you need to do is make the effort.

  3. #13

    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by diogenes2 View Post
    Especially coupled with how easy it is to total a Linux system from the cmd line, it would be a great idea to focus more on simple-as-possible = graphics help.
    I was just thinking that it's probably easier to total a Linux system from a GUI. Maybe if someone packaged up one of those malicious scripts, and put it in a file named "Double-click me!" we'd have a lot more support threads to answer.
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  4. #14
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by diogenes2 View Post
    Hi Th1Bil & Jordan,
    No, I NEVER want to use the cmd line again! (See the warning about swines posting destructive "help" codes here. http://ubuntuforums.org/announcement.php?f=73

    It is soooo easy to total a system with a small error in obtuse (non-human analysable) coding, by simple human error.
    That's a much bigger problem than simply the command line; malicious users could just as easily say "hey, go to this web site, download this executable" or "run this javascript" and accomplish the same thing on another operating system, if the person receiving the information doesn't want to think or use his head. The only way to avoid this human error is to learn, which is why I don't think refusing to learn the command line is a sound way to go about things.

    Installing a new operating system requires more under-the-hood experience than just using whatever OS came with your computer, period. It requires learning new things, especially if you are coming from another OS paradigm.

    These arguments never get resolved -- as previously posted, there is always Mandriva if you are dead-set against learning anything, but when learning to use a new OS, especially one that affords as much flexibility and freedom as Ubuntu, I think it's going to have more of a payoff in the long run to just learn how things work, instead of complaining that you shouldn't have to.

    And as for the "I just want to drive" analogy; I believe automobile owners should take the time to learn about their cars, too. Not to sound harsh, but I think there's far too much willful ignorance in the world.

    The command line is simply not that scary.
    Focus is Cash in the Economics of Attention
    No one should apologize for, nor act threatened as a result of their preferences.- PapaRaven

  5. #15
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by ticopelp View Post

    And as for the "I just want to drive" analogy; I believe automobile owners should take the time to learn about their cars, too. Not to sound harsh, but I think there's far too much willful ignorance in the world.

    The command line is simply not that scary.

    I doubt many drivers can change their oil themselves let alone a gasket, maybe a timing belt.



    as previously posted, there is always Mandriva if you are dead-set against learning anything
    I don't think that people are "dead set against learning anything"

    I think another way of looking at it might be, I bought this tool(PC) to do things, i don't want to have to study a bunch of other things about the tool before I can use it do what I bought it for.

    Can you imagine if you had to mess around on forums and flash hardware just to get your set top DVD player to play surround sound? If you had to recompile the software on your cellphone for it to display flash animation?

    It's all good and well that linux is so powerful/customizable etc etc, but is that what the average USER is needing?

    If the ubuntu PCs that Dell are selling had to be configuired manually I doubt they would sell very well.

  6. #16
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    This is all devil's advocate, I'm _very_ happy with my new Ubuntu laptop and I occasionally try (with very modest success) to convert my friends to free OSs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ticopelp View Post
    Installing a new operating system requires more under-the-hood experience than just using whatever OS came with your computer, period. It requires learning new things, especially if you are coming from another OS paradigm.
    Ubuntu [I can't speak for any other distros as I haven't tried them] just doesn't compare with Windows or OS X as far as ease of use. 8 years ago I built a Windows box and _installed_ Win98SE and didn't have any problems [note: 'no problems' means 'no visible problems', people who say 'Windows just works" are probably unaware of invisible issues like worms or spyware, kind of like you might not notice that your car leaks oil or steering fluid if you park in a different spot every day]; 2 years ago I got a Mac Mini and was _blown_away_ by how everything "just worked" even though I had never used a Mac before; 3 months ago I bought a System 76 laptop -- pre-installed Ubuntu so I did _not_ have to install the OS -- and have had no end of problems (not Sys76's fault!!! all the hardware works with Ubuntu, I've just had lots of software (often dependency) issues) despite the fact that I've used (as a _user_ not an _admin_) hp-ux and/or solaris daily at work for the last 6.5 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by ticopelp View Post
    And as for the "I just want to drive" analogy; I believe automobile owners should take the time to learn about their cars, too. Not to sound harsh, but I think there's far too much willful ignorance in the world.
    Yeah, of course there's a lot of that. One of the ideals of engineering is to make really difficult or complex things seem invisible to the users. There is a whole lot of work behind the sewer system, but all you see is a faucet and a drain in your sink and a flush button on your toilet. Do you really expect everyone to know how their wastes are broken down by biological entities and reabsorbed into their water system [if you have a septic tank and a well you need to know these things; if you live an apartment in the city you really don't need to care] like you expect them to understand even a moderate car problem like a low engine oil level?

    It's _good_ to understand more (I learned a little bit about the internals of my engine by observing when a mechanic replaced a power steering belt that broke 30 minutes into a 4 hour drive but I still wouldn't try to replace that belt, the most accessible of 3 in my engine, simply because I don't have the experience to understand potential side effects... just like a new user doesn't know what _might_ be accidentally lost by
    Code:
    rm -f `find ~ -name "*~"`
    (even though _you_ know it just deletes temporary files)).

    As the OP tried to point out, as long as Linux users think that you _must_ be able to use the CL to accomplish a task then Linux is neither "ready for the Desktop" nor in a position to become a dominant OS. Until Linux distros work out of the box [yes you can partially blame device manufacturers for this] _and_ have "easy" (read: I can go to jiffy lube or les schwab or ubuntuforums.org and someone there can fix the "bumpity-bump" sound I hear when I drive on the freeway) fixes, it will not become mainstream.

  7. #17
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    If you want to NOT use the comand line, use OSX. It is very efficient to use the command line, once you know how, its a bit harder to learn, or to find out how, but thats what the internet and this forum are for. How much easier is it to install via "apt-get install a-program" than to have to google for a-program, check it is a valid company, check it is good software, finally download it and double click it to find its a pile of #^$%.

    I am new to Linux, but I have no trouble installing a driver for my belkin USB by compiling from source, in fact I thought it was better than belkins windows installer, which installs a stupid little 'network manager' app which is useless, and theres no way to just install the drivers!

    Obviously it suits a certain person, but if you are going to complain about command line, perhaps Linux isn't for you.

  8. #18
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    well by far linux has improved greatly on not using the terminal, it just depends on what you need to do these days...
    I am still on the party of "there should be a gui for every terminal app" thing, however those who feel the terminal is better then gui have their place as well.
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  9. #19
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    To the OP:

    I have installed Ubuntu on a laptop, a couple of desktops, and a few servers and everything worked perfectly.

    But to your question:
    No, Linux cannot take the command-line out. It's the backed to everything including your GUI.
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  10. #20
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by inversekinetix View Post
    I doubt many drivers can change their oil themselves let alone a gasket, maybe a timing belt.
    Well, we can pick nits about whether learning to type sudo install apt-get constitutes something as complex as changing a timing belt (I don't think it is), but my point is this: I can change my tires and my oil. It's not a complicated thing to learn. If your tire goes flat, do you stand by the side of the road complaining that your car was obviously not ready for the highway?

    Most things in Ubuntu (including installing packages) can be done without the command line. But I used to do Windows tech support, and quite often, getting under the hood to get people's Internet to work involved -- guess what! -- firing up start > run > command and opening a terminal window, usually to run ping or what have you.

    Troubleshooting and installing a new OS is going to require a bit more learning than sitting down in front of a pre-installed system -- I just don't see how there's any way around that. While you're down there, you might as well learn a bit about why things work the way they do. I think this is equally as true of Windows or any other OS as it is of Linux.

    If your time is at too much of a premium to learn new things, especially something as relatively complicated as a computer OS, you shouldn't be installing a new OS. You should be sticking with the OS that you know how to use, and which doesn't require you to learn anything new. I don't say that to be elitist (I don't consider learning an ability restricted to a select few), but I do think that people should be realistic about how they use their time. Ubuntu doesn't work flawlessly on all hardware yet, much as I (or any number of users who have unfortunately had trouble) wish that it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by inversekinetix View Post
    I don't think that people are "dead set against learning anything"
    I certainly don't think everyone is -- but I think some are.

    Quote Originally Posted by inversekinetix View Post
    It's all good and well that linux is so powerful/customizable etc etc, but is that what the average USER is needing?
    The average user needs a pre-installed system. Again, I would rarely anticipate having to use the command line on a pre-installed machine where everything is running fine -- that said, I still think it's a good idea to know how to change your tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by inversekinetix View Post
    If the ubuntu PCs that Dell are selling had to be configuired manually I doubt they would sell very well.
    I totally agree. Good thing that's not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by osx424242 View Post
    Ubuntu [I can't speak for any other distros as I haven't tried them] just doesn't compare with Windows or OS X as far as ease of use. 8 years ago I built a Windows box and _installed_ Win98SE and didn't have any problems [note: 'no problems' means 'no visible problems', people who say 'Windows just works" are probably unaware of invisible issues like worms or spyware, kind of like you might not notice that your car leaks oil or steering fluid if you park in a different spot every day]; 2 years ago I got a Mac Mini and was _blown_away_ by how everything "just worked" even though I had never used a Mac before; 3 months ago I bought a System 76 laptop -- pre-installed Ubuntu so I did _not_ have to install the OS -- and have had no end of problems (not Sys76's fault!!! all the hardware works with Ubuntu, I've just had lots of software (often dependency) issues) despite the fact that I've used (as a _user_ not an _admin_) hp-ux and/or solaris daily at work for the last 6.5 years.
    Good post. I'm not an anti-MS zealot. I was a Windows user from 95 up until XP. I don't really have a problem with Windows from a usability standpoint -- I agree that it's a very easy OS for someone who's not interested in computers to sit down with and use, as long as everything is running fine. When it comes to getting under the hood, it's every bit as bewildering as linux, if not more so, to try to fix. Ever try to walk someone through editing their registry over the phone? It's no fun. The registry editor is every bit as complex, or more, as typing things into a terminal, but you still have to do it when something goes wrong, if you don't want to just take your computer to a shop for someone else to fix.

    Windows has just as many infuriating quirks as any other OS (like 98's refusal to find drivers that are already installed) when one has to get into the guts of it. The difference between Windows / Mac and something like Ubuntu is that the hardware support often isn't as unified or well-supported, because Ubuntu isn't a giant commercial OS with support from vendors. I certainly wish things were different in that regard, and that Ubuntu worked "out of the box" for everyone. We're not there yet, certainly, but I hope that day will come at some point.

    I'm not trying to be harsh on people who don't want to use the command line -- I stayed away from Linux myself for quite a while because I found the commands confusing and kind of arcane, so I definitely know how that feels. However, there also wasn't a community like this, full of helpful people who are willing to take time to help others learn. I think that with a positive attitude and a willingness to absorb information, there's a lot benefit and fun to be had getting your hands dirty and learning to use your tools.

    I've worked with so many people over the years who think computers are magical, irrational devices that have a will of their own, and they're afraid to do anything except by rote. A little self-education goes a long way towards dispelling this fear -- no matter what OS you're using.
    Focus is Cash in the Economics of Attention
    No one should apologize for, nor act threatened as a result of their preferences.- PapaRaven

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