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Thread: Command-line vs. graphical user interface

  1. #21
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    Question Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Hi there people,
    Thank you to all for your comments.
    I've just got back from the beach - a long walk in the cool of the evening ( I'm in Godzone, Queensland, Australia ).

    After my last efforts at loading 7.10 again trashed the XP system, it was the only sane thing to do!

    To answer a few thoughts/comments at once:

    1. The whole value of Lux is the extreme difficulty of assaulting it. That other one is sooo wide open. The only way to do much damage to Lux is if you let someone in (vis, my earlier post e.g.)

    2. Many years ago, about 1984, I wrote the first simple access program for CP/M that the M.D. of the Osborne Corp said was the magic link that would open the microcomputer market to ordinary business users.
    Somebody dubbed it a "menu". For the first time a user could simply enter a number to write a letter, or run a spreadsheet, or amazingly, connect to another computer across the world...... Nothing has changed. *I* and half a billion others just want to drive an automatic, not a manual shift with a hand-crank Starter.
    It isn't scary, it is just plain unsmart to do things the hard way.

    3. BTW: Most problems with installs mean you can't simply C n' P a string, because the Lux isn't running! The Newbies are usually looking for help using a windows machine that works.
    AND a tiny slip or worse, a malicious code entry can trash everything.

    4. Somebody kindly suggested Mandriva. But isn't Ubuntu now universally recognised as the one to beat - the "real people's Linux"............?

    5. Back to work:
    a: DHCP is enabled. Whatever that really is.
    b: My old Notebook is networked with this one through a Netgear Router and running U7.04 with no trouble - even the instal was all on auto.
    c: Maybe it is a 7.10 problem? Should I go back?
    d: Is there anything specific I can check manually to see why Inet isn't working?
    e: My BIG plan is to run Ubuntu and Linux-VMWare with XP safely locked up inside just to run my DragonDictate - the only program I haven't got a replacement for so far
    f: Is it true that there is a free Linux-VMWare version hidden out there?

    Thanks for all the help and advice so far people, I really do appreciate it,

    Dio II

  2. #22
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    Nov 2005
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    Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

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

    I haven't yet read all of this thread, but i have to say that, in many ways i agree with the initial post of the whole CLI thing. I personally use the CLI at times, but only when there's no other way of achieving something.

    Anyway, FWIW, for a "CLI Free" experience (Well, as much as you can get of one anyway) you could try either PCLOS, or Linux Mint. Both have worked wonderfully for me in the recent past, with only minimal CLI interaction.
    Registered Linux user: #413753 | Ubuntu user: #7595
    | Tiny Me | antiX | Zenwalk |

  3. #23
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

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

    Quote Originally Posted by diogenes2 View Post
    Nothing has changed. *I* and half a billion others just want to drive an automatic, not a manual shift with a hand-crank Starter. It isn't scary, it is just plain unsmart to do things the hard way.
    I see analogies like that a lot, and they never really make sense to me. The commands are the heart of Linux -- they aren't primitive or deprecated -- that's how the operating system works. The GUI is just an extra layer.

    What we're talking about isn't the difference between a hand-crank starter and an automatic -- it's more like the difference between a written restaurant menu and those picture menus at McDonald's they make for illiterates. (Which is a bit inflammatory, yes, but no more so than the "hand crank" nonsense, IMHO.)

    Quote Originally Posted by diogenes2 View Post
    AND a tiny slip or worse, a malicious code entry can trash everything.
    Again, true of Windows and OS X as well. All the more reason to know how things work -- again, just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by diogenes2 View Post
    4. Somebody kindly suggested Mandriva. But isn't Ubuntu now universally recognised as the one to beat - the "real people's Linux"............?
    Well, that's the beauty of Linux, is the freedom to pick a distro you like, and what works for you, and use it to your heart's content. Ubuntu has a great community, but I think there are distros out there with a more simplified user experience than Ubuntu -- Mandriva and Fedora among them. Someone mentioned Linux Mint, which I installed for a friend because it's very similar to XP in terms of the menus and such. (They eventually gave up and decided to install a pirated copy of XP on it instead, and got a virus afterward, but hey, I tried. )
    Focus is Cash in the Economics of Attention
    No one should apologize for, nor act threatened as a result of their preferences.- PapaRaven

  4. #24
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    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

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

    As it has been mentioned, you should consider Mandriva. If you like Ubuntu as it currently is, mostly, then you'll have to live with the need to use the terminal occasionally. Ubuntu does keep getting more GUI tools, but the terminal is still important. And indeed, there's no "one and true" distribution. There's a bunch of big, popular and widespread distros because people have different preferences.

    Mandriva aims to provide GUI configuration tools everywhere. They have a good control center and many wizards. That's great for those who want to avoid the command line. One very good thing about Mandriva config tools is that, when you run them in text mode (say, you broke X), they still present a decent interface through ncurses so you don't have to resort to manually typing commands.

    It's the first Linux distro I seriously used, and while I certainly prefer Ubuntu now, you should give Mandriva a try. It's thebest distro for those who want to avoid the command line.

  5. #25
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by avik View Post
    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.
    I've seen the driving analogy somewhere in this thread, so I'll stick with it.

    Perhaps your GUI example is like taking the longer, but well sign posted route and the CLI is like taking the direct shortcut route that you only know because you've done it so many times. Maybe the first few times you took the shorter, direct, un-sign posted route you took a few wrong turns, found yourself in the wrong part of town with a one way system going against you and it ended up taking you five times as long to get home as it would if you'd just took the well sign posted route.
    READ THIS Don't run any commands without understanding what they do, unless they are from a reliable source and have been confirmed by other experts. Serious damage can result from following malicious "advice".

  6. #26
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

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

    Quote Originally Posted by DrMega View Post
    I've seen the driving analogy somewhere in this thread, so I'll stick with it.

    Perhaps your GUI example is like taking the longer, but well sign posted route and the CLI is like taking the direct shortcut route that you only know because you've done it so many times. Maybe the first few times you took the shorter, direct, un-sign posted route you took a few wrong turns, found yourself in the wrong part of town with a one way system going against you and it ended up taking you five times as long to get home as it would if you'd just took the well sign posted route.
    That last part of your analogy is where it breaks down, though.

    You're more likely to get lost and take wrong turns if you go the GUI route than if someone gives you the correct command to copy and paste.

    In fact, the command will give you a more informative error message if it doesn't work than the GUI will.

  7. #27
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Not to mention I think this is true for most operating systems. Heck whenever there's something wrong with networking, if I have to do anything in Windows to fix it, it's usually through its command line interface. I just find it easier then going through their networking prompts, dialogs, and property boxes.

    I don't think the problem is as much as you have to use the CLI. Like Windows and OSX, there are GUI ways to get things to work in Linux [specifically Ubuntu since I'm not familar with other versions]. But it's just easier to give command line instructions thus when people want helps from people who have more knowledge about the system at hand the experts are going use what they're comfortable with (the command line).

    I guess some of us should learn both ways to help people (I'd be willing to do it when I have more time). But for now it's just easier for me to use the CLI. It's easier for me to type into the terminal to check and get updates by using "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade" Then type in password and Y. then to go to system > administrator > update manager > type in password. Then click the buttons.
    "I thought what I'd do was I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes"
    Desktop: Ubuntu 9.10, Windows XP
    Laptop: Ubuntu 9.10, Windows Vista (soon to be replaced by Windows 7)
    n800: Diablo/Maemo 4 (one day Mer..)

  8. #28
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu View Post

    In fact, the command will give you a more informative error message if it doesn't work than the GUI will.

    For a person who can understand the error message I'm sure the cli wouldn't be a problem to start with.


    I think for the beginner the cli is too much. Let me try a different analogy to the car one.

    Take an electronic translation dictionary, I type in the word I'm looking for in English (call this cli) I hit enter and immediately the word is translated into Japanese and the job is done. Now I take a regular paper dictionary(gui), I start looking up the word, whilst I'm searching I come upon a bunch of other interesting words that I might want to use. In the process of doing one thing I come across other things that I didnt know, its great, that is how I see the gui.

    After I know the gui inside out then I'll go and find out the extra things under the hood.

  9. #29
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by jordanmthomas View Post
    I believe a lot of people get everything running with no problems. It's sort of a hardware crap-shoot in some situations.

    Anyway, if you're expecting the command line to go away any time soon I wouldn't hold your breath. The command line is the bread and butter of Linux. It's the MAIN reason I use Linux. There's plenty of "graphic help" -- just search the web and you'll find page after page of howto's on every subject you can imagine.

    If you're really against it, there are GUI tools for configuring things like networks. I know for a fact that Fedora has GUI tools to configure most everything. In the end, the GUIs are just wrappers on top of the configuration file you'd be editing in a terminal anyway.
    Agreed

  10. #30
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    Re: How can I avoid the #@$% CMD LINE?

    Quote Originally Posted by inversekinetix View Post
    For a person who can understand the error message I'm sure the cli wouldn't be a problem to start with.

    I think for the beginner the cli is too much.
    I agree with you, but the beginner isn't alone, and neither is the person who can understand the error message.

    Oftentimes, on these forums, the beginner is pasting in a code to solve or diagnose a problem. The code and the interpretation of the error message are done by the person who can understand the error message.

    Beginner: I have this problem
    Helper: Can you paste this command into the terminal and paste the output back here?
    Beginner: Okay. Here it is
    Helper: Ah, I see what the problem is. You need blah

    So the beginner doesn't need to understand the error message right away, but the error message is certainly a lot more useful to the helper than "Whenever I start the application, it appears for a second and then crashes."

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