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poofyhairguy
June 23rd, 2005, 10:34 PM
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?"

sapo
June 23rd, 2005, 10:39 PM
I think you are working too much.. may i invite you to drink some beer and look at some women?

The command line scares new users.. but who the hell is going to teach them step by step how to click in endless buttons? not me...

poofyhairguy
June 23rd, 2005, 10:44 PM
I think you are working too much.. may i invite you to drink some beer and look at some women?

Thanks but I already have my favorite beer in the fridge and my girlfriend wouldn't like me oogling other women.



The command line scares new users.. but who the hell is going to teach them step by step how to click in endless buttons? not me...

Glad you can see me side of the story....I want to hear the other side though.

WildTangent
June 23rd, 2005, 10:51 PM
like you, i prefer the command line, because thats what i got used to. Ubuntu was my first distro, and when i went looking for help for things, i found the unnofficial guide, which of course is all commands. i find commands easy to do, so i use it. i think all new users should use commands when theyre available, how hard is it to explain a new user how to type something into a box? now try and get them to do the same thing with a GUI, its much harder, but for some reason they feel more secure doing it. i really dont understand how someone could fear a command line, especially since a large portion of new linux users havent used anything older than windows 9x in the past

-Wild

N'Jal
June 23rd, 2005, 10:54 PM
Technically i am a noob, i really don't know half of the things that you guys do, hell i don't even know what this ndiswrapper is, however, like yourself's i think the command line is a fine tool, all major OS's that i have seen use one, Mac has one, even repairing XP desktops requires knowledge of DOS *shudders*. I say technically because i have been using Linux for almost a year and a half now. So i know some things, and as i think down this path what graphical tool is there for fsck?

poofyhairguy
June 23rd, 2005, 10:54 PM
like you, i prefer the command line, because thats what i got used to. Ubuntu was my first distro, and when i went looking for help for things, i found the unnofficial guide, which of course is all commands. i find commands easy to do, so i use it. i think all new users should use commands when theyre available, how hard is it to explain a new user how to type something into a box? now try and get them to do the same thing with a GUI, its much harder, but for some reason they feel more secure doing it. i really dont understand how someone could fear a command line, especially since a large portion of new linux users havent used anything older than windows 9x in the past

-Wild


STOP FREAKING AGREEING WITH ME!!!!!


Just joking.

jimcooncat
June 23rd, 2005, 10:56 PM
I mean....look at your grub menu....."safe mode" in Ubuntu is the command line.

Ha, ha. It's not so "safe" on my computer, anyway!

Other than that, I quite agree. I think another consistency improvement would be to specify full paths and an editor when asking them to edit a file, and don't assume they know when to sudo.


sudo gedit /etc/fetchmailrc

not "edit the fetchmailrc file to include ..."

poofyhairguy
June 23rd, 2005, 10:59 PM
Other than that, I quite agree. I think another consistency improvement would be to specify full paths and an editor when asking them to edit a file, and don't assume they know when to sudo.

I usually do. I try to be good about that. That is a good rule. never just say "you need to edit this file with sudo." I give the command in quotes.



sudo gedit /etc/fetchmailrc


For graphical apps its better to use gksudo:

gksudo gedit

Xian
June 23rd, 2005, 11:08 PM
So...what do you guys think?
1.Is pointing newbies to the command line a bad thing?
2.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?"
3.Should we make more guides to do things in a graphical way?
4.Will Ubuntu ever reach the lofty goal of "never needing the command line?"
[My numbering]

1. No. Knowledge is good. But knowledge should not be confusing.
We should not instruct users in a way that alienates them.
Is it better than a graphical alternative? For a new user probably not.

2. SuSE/Novell sends out excellent documented official subscription e-mails that instruct users (both new and established) on the many ways that their SuSE system can be managed, tweaked, and secured. They sometimes mention a GUI method if available in YaST, but by and large the examples are from the command line. The SuSE/Novell support website is filled with command line instructions and tutorials.

My point being that sending a new user over to SuSE will not keep them from being presented with the command line as a method of system maintenance. I would argue that we do the same here, only we rely more upon that method since we have less GUI tools available.

Now, if Ubuntu did in theory have an equivalent amount of GUI tools and someone posted a question in the new user section at our forum, only to be answered with a series of commands and scripts for something that a YaST-like module could easily handle, then I'd say we were being negligent to the needs of our members. But this day has not yet arrived.

However, a user should feel comfortable with their system. If they need to run another Linux other than Ubuntu to achieve this, then I would have no problem advising them of this and helping them to find a better fit. I know of no goal of Ubuntu which states that it wants to be the only choice of every Linux user.

3. Yes, but we are quite short on GUI's at present.

4. Of course it can be done. How many Windows users still use command prompts?

Takis
June 23rd, 2005, 11:16 PM
I'd say Linux without a command-line is a long, long way off, so till that time new users need to be introduced to it. It's a very scary thing in most cases so the earlier they get used to at least doing a couple of things here and there, the better. It doesn't have to be a throw in the deep end, it can just be splashing your feet in the water, as long as you realise that in the end, it's just water (or a command line).

On a side note, I'm getting pretty annoyed at Windows' auto-complete (TAB) feature. I'll type 'cd Proga<TAB>' and change into the directory, and the VERY NEXT THING I'll type is 'ls'! Every time!

poofyhairguy
June 23rd, 2005, 11:18 PM
1. No. Knowledge is good. But knowledge should not be confusing.
We should not instruct users in a way that alienates them.
Is it better than a graphical alternative? For a new user probably not.

My opinion is that it is better because "they need to get used to the command line early on to survive in Linuxland." I think its better in the long run. But I posted this to see other opinions.



2. SuSE/Novell sends out excellent documented official subscription e-mails that instruct users (both new and established) on the many ways that their SuSE system can be managed, tweaked, and secured. They sometimes mention a GUI method if available in YaST, but by and large the examples are from the command line. The SuSE/Novell support website is filled with command line instructions and tutorials.

My point being that sending a new user over to SuSE will not keep them from being presented with the command line as a method of system maintenance. I would argue that we do the same here, only we rely more upon that method since we have less GUI tools available.

My point was that the closest I have seen to the Window's way of a GUI for everything is SUSE. But you are correct....even SUSE needs some command line love every now and then. Of course, that just supports my thesis that new users need to suck it up and hit the command line.



3. Yes, but we are quite short on GUI's at present.

Very true.

sapo
June 23rd, 2005, 11:24 PM
STOP FREAKING AGREEING WITH ME!!!!!


Just joking.

I agree! they should stop agreeing with you :roll:

desdinova
June 23rd, 2005, 11:31 PM
Preaching to the converted I know but...

I think its a bad idea to associate the command line with "dos" or "hard" - shell scripting is a seriously cool tool in looking after your linux box, and I defy anyone to find a way to find an easier graphical tool to do some jobs (such as "list all the files whose name starts with d and have "elete" somewhere in the name")

The bash shell and its ilk are one of our greatest strengths, and i think when people get more and more confident with Linux they'll realise it offers so much strength and is a useful tool in the kit that is Linux.

In fact, I know several people who, once they learned the power of the shell, remarked to me its a wonder why Windows doesnt have one of similar power.

And of course Longhorn (or its successor it seems ;-) will get one in the shape o MSH, or Monad Shell. So if MS thinks its a good enough idea to copy, then that speaks volumes on its power.

poofyhairguy
June 23rd, 2005, 11:35 PM
Here is the official Ubuntu page that relates to this:

http://udu.wiki.ubuntu.com/GraphicalConfigTools?highlight=%28MediumPriority%2 9

Makes me mad an ndiswrapper tool isn't even considered.

If there is anyone out there who wants to help Ubuntu and can program in some python....this is the way to go.

desdinova
June 23rd, 2005, 11:36 PM
What I find odd from that page is they talk about "stealing" from SuSE - when it wouldn't be - YaST is gpl so I can't see why it can't be forked off...

N'Jal
June 23rd, 2005, 11:42 PM
As i said i think they need to be introduced but it also helps if it's some really nifty trick that looks cool. The very first command i learned was the one that changes the command prompt dispay for that terminal session, it was good since you could do all sorts of stupid things with it that made me laugh. If you show the little quirks it's easier to learn.

See i am a dummy, i know nothing and that's exactally where i learned lots of the linux commands from a linux for dummies book....


PS1='Hello \u, what can I do for you today?'
That's what made me realise that the command line was not so scary

WildTangent
June 23rd, 2005, 11:43 PM
STOP FREAKING AGREEING WITH ME!!!!!
im not trying to suck up to you if thats what you think, just happen to have the same opinion :)

-Wild

Xian
June 23rd, 2005, 11:44 PM
What I find odd from that page is they talk about "stealing" from SuSE - when it wouldn't be - YaST is gpl so I can't see why it can't be forked off...
Especially when there is this: Yast4Debian (http://yast4debian.alioth.debian.org/)

N'Jal
June 23rd, 2005, 11:46 PM
I'm sorry but i aint got a clue how to go about getting yast4debian working as last i checked it was still unstable

desdinova
June 23rd, 2005, 11:46 PM
http://=http//yast4debian.alioth.debian.org/%7DYast4Debian

Am I missing the joke here? Why redirect me to MS?

AgenT
June 23rd, 2005, 11:48 PM
[My numbering]4. Of course it can be done. How many Windows users still use command prompts?

That's because Windows does not have a proper terminal. Window's "command prompt" is, at best, garbage. There is a reason why, what almost sounds like a joke, they are going to *try* and implement a more Linux-like terminal in the next version of Windows.

Right now, Windows may have a command prompt, but not a real terminal in any sense that other OS's have.

But there is a large number of people who would not dare touch the terminal because that is too difficult for them. This is true. But these same people would not touch any GUI tool either. Windows or Linux.

N'Jal
June 23rd, 2005, 11:48 PM
The origanal link works yet your points to MS that's not right...

desdinova
June 23rd, 2005, 11:50 PM
I think someone did a quick edit as the new link they've put in works.... ;-)

Xian
June 24th, 2005, 01:00 AM
I'm sorry but i aint got a clue how to go about getting yast4debian working as last i checked it was still unstable
Basically, it doesn't "work". The topic at hand was the GPL status of YaST and how it is being implemented by some devs at Debian. The individual modules which are applicable (including package management) are in the process of being ported. But it is not meant to be used on a desktop at this time.

Xian
June 24th, 2005, 01:03 AM
I think someone did a quick edit as the new link they've put in works.... ;-)
The URL syntax was initially incorrect. Fixed.

carlc
June 24th, 2005, 01:09 AM
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.

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?"


I think pointing to the command line is a good thing. It does catch some off gaurd but I believe that is part of what seperates windows and linux users. However, people who give it a shot realize the value and learn something in the process.

It seems to be a common assumption that the linux community needs more windows users to switch over. I don't agree with this 100% but I do think this will happen little by little as the next generations because more tech savvy. I think the only thing lacking for linux is gaming. As the linux community grows, hopefully more games will be developed for both linux and windows.

Xian
June 24th, 2005, 01:22 AM
You don't even need some widebody application like YaST to make the entry level more acceptable for users. Just look at how many members have found a great tool in bored2k's grubconf program. I point to it often when the question of reconfiguring grub arises. People genuinely find this to be an incredible asset.

az
June 24th, 2005, 02:00 AM
Actually, it would be great if we gave out advice in both formats: "Click on this and set that, or open a terminal and run this...."

Did you check to see if Breezy's network tool has a graphical interface for ndiswrapper?

I do not think that is going to be a big hurdle, since it can be fixed in the gnome network toool, it can be a wireless configuration applet, it could be a nautilus script.... It is easy for me to say, since I do not make my living writing code, but it is an easy thing to do.

As for the command line, it is great that it is there, but at some point, there has to be a certain level of useability. If we do not show how useable the system is, many people will shy away. You have to aim for the lowest common denominator.

That being said, I hardly ever use anything other than mc (midnight commander) to poke around my filesystem. And there are about a dozen things I do on a daily basis that are command-line that have wonderful GUI alternatives. It just is a choice.

Most other people, I think, would not chose to use them. Maybe in a year or two, when I get a faster computer, I will avoid the command line too....

Leif
June 24th, 2005, 02:37 AM
I think that for things where a GUI alternative is logical, this should be implemented. I love the CLI for what it's good at, but the alternative should exist for common tasks. Then again, since being able to accomplish all setup related stuff without ever touching the CLI is quite a bit into the future, it's a moot point.

Since people have to use the CLI at some point or the other, might as well get used to it, and not pretend to have a useability level that isn't there.

poofyhairguy
June 24th, 2005, 03:11 AM
Since people have to use the CLI at some point or the other, might as well get used to it, and not pretend to have a useability level that isn't there.

Ok. Thats like the base concept for me. I kinda feel bad about it, but if someone wants to install and use Ubuntu as a primary OS they have to know what "change your bios to boot from a cd" is and how to "open the terminal and copy and paste this command in there."

But I also care about image. A suggestion was floated to me to give two ways of doings things. I will happily tell people of synaptic and try to be a little more GUI friendly.

panickedthumb
June 24th, 2005, 04:41 AM
I prefer telling users the command line because it gives them a greater understanding of the underlying system, and it's actually EASIER if you're paying attention. I've used many GUI apps in linux that don't work as well as their CLI counterparts (qtparted and gparted come to mind). The GUI essentially gets in the way of things.

Another reason that Windows users don't need to use the command line-- Windows is nowhere near as customizable. If you want to change your shell (somewhat equivalent to changing your DE in Linux) you have to do manual editing. If you want to change your icons (and I mean ALL icons) and you don't have a program that does it for you, you have to edit dll files.

Essentially what I'm saying is that CLI will give new users better understanding of the system, and let them do things more efficiently in the long run

aragorn2909
June 24th, 2005, 05:52 AM
I prefer telling users the command line because it gives them a greater understanding of the underlying system, and it's actually EASIER if you're paying attention.... Essentially what I'm saying is that CLI will give new users better understanding of the system, and let them do things more efficiently in the long run

I grew up on Dos. Command line does not frighten me, and I dont think it frightens alot of new users. What does frighten them/us, is being handed a command like this (which I just pulled from the unofficial ubuntu guide at random):

sudo chown -R root:root /opt/rp-pppoe-3.5/

and offering NO explanation as to what that means. Sure, I can follow directions, copy and paste, move on to the next command, but do I gain any more insight into my system because of it? Have I learned Linux? Sorry, but no. Personally, I enjoy endless reading and googling to better understand my Linux box, but not everybody feels the same way. CLI is an excellent tool (cannot be overstated), but absolutely needs to be accompanied with explanation.
My 2 cents.

Xian
June 24th, 2005, 06:00 AM
It's like anything else: a good idea trumps all contenders. Take the threads we have regarding partition space issues. People boot to suddenly find that their 12GB root partition is almost completely full and they need help finding out where to look for the culprit.

Now, I've posted in some of these threads on how to use the various 'du' commands to uncover the problem and sooner or later it all gets worked out. In still other threads I've told the member to install the GUI tool Filelight, and use it to present a graphical space allocation model of their applicable partition or directory.

I can easily say that the GUI tool wins this usefulness comparison. People just seem to have a much easier and rewarding time using the graphical model over command outputs. But I can also say that I've seen some other applications that tried to perform a similar function, and failed miserably because of a poorly designed interface.

So I'm just pointing out that not all GUI's are equally created, and that to just lump them all into a illustration with command sessions is not really getting at what the user experience might be like.

panickedthumb
June 24th, 2005, 06:11 AM
I totally agree Xian-- with some things, GUI wins hands down. partition viewing, as you said, is much easier to understand with something like filelight.

If all gui's were bad, we'd still be using JUST the CLI with no X or Gnome or any of that.

I always try to weigh the pros and cons with everything when giving users advice. It just usually leads to CLI

poofyhairguy
June 24th, 2005, 06:14 AM
. In still other threads I've told the member to install the GUI tool Filelight, and use it to present a graphical space allocation model of their applicable partition or directory.


I was just wondering how to do that a few minutes ago....

thanks

Leif
June 24th, 2005, 08:35 AM
I prefer telling users the command line because it gives them a greater understanding of the underlying system, and it's actually EASIER if you're paying attention. I've used many GUI apps in linux that don't work as well as their CLI counterparts (qtparted and gparted come to mind). The GUI essentially gets in the way of things.

It's easier to you, and to me too in most cases, true. But if you consider that for some people firing up a terminal may in itself present a huge difficulty, then GUI wins after all. I guess it's about trying to see it from their point of view.

But are a couple of posts enough to make a generalization about what people want and start going through laborious "now click here... and here... and here..." explanations ?

eskaypey
June 24th, 2005, 09:01 AM
It doesnt matter how you help people. For one problem there could be a number of solutions. Its all depends on the person who trying to solve this problem. The one who really wants to get it working and understand it, will learn the command/gui steps and see what else he/she can use it for.
Imagine you stand in the middle of the desert and you dont care who'll give you a lift, the person on the motorbike, the person on helicopter or car. You'll take the first choice offered.

panickedthumb
June 24th, 2005, 09:41 AM
It's easier to you, and to me too in most cases, true. But if you consider that for some people firing up a terminal may in itself present a huge difficulty, then GUI wins after all. I guess it's about trying to see it from their point of view.

But are a couple of posts enough to make a generalization about what people want and start going through laborious "now click here... and here... and here..." explanations ?
I'm saying that regardless of comfort level, copying and pasting a command and hitting enter is easier than cick here, click here, etc. Whether it's more understandable is up to the person explaining it.

UbuWu
June 24th, 2005, 09:47 AM
For the moment I think it is fine to tell people to do things with the command line. But I hope in one of the next releases, you will NEVER have to use the command line to do anything a normal computer user would like to do. I can't remember the last time I used the command line in Windows... (only in dosbox :razz: )

poofyhairguy
June 24th, 2005, 10:20 AM
But I hope in one of the next releases, you will NEVER have to use the command line to do anything a normal computer user would like to do.


Yeah...maybe in a few years the CLI will just be an option, not a necessaty.

eskaypey
June 24th, 2005, 11:08 AM
But I hope in one of the next releases, you will NEVER have to use the command line to do anything a normal computer user would like to do.Yeah...maybe in a few years the CLI will just be an option, not a necessaty.

Boo you! Maybe we'll just lock it up and make it Winduntu? hey?

[-X

Leif
June 24th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Boo you! Maybe we'll just lock it up and make it Winduntu? hey?


What does this have to do with Windows ? About locking up ? This is about ease of use, and if properly done, for a good number of people, GUIs are more useable than CLI.

And whatever happened to Linux being about choice ? Nobody said we take out the CLI, but we create another option, the GUI. But no, Windows has it, so it *must* be evil !

poofyhairguy
June 24th, 2005, 11:33 AM
Boo you! Maybe we'll just lock it up and make it Winduntu? hey?

[-X


Boo me? I likem me synaptic....

az
June 24th, 2005, 01:00 PM
"Yeah...maybe in a few years the CLI will just be an option, not a necessaty."

That's the way it was for some people with Warty, alot more in Hoary and hopefully most people in Breezy...

The point of useability not being there is valid - to a point. There is much more useability than we talk about, and if you do not demand useability, you will never get it.

Again today, I picked up a computer trade paper and I found two instances of linux being mentioned. Both times it was compared to mac and was seen as being aimed at a more technical user. There is no reason for linux to be so elitist.

The more technical users have only a lot to gain by useability getting more and more evolved.

No one is going to take away the command line. For pete's sake! That is how Unix works!

jimcooncat
June 24th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but it seems most "File Open" dialogs don't have a place where I can paste the full path of the file I want to open. This "only point and click" design slows me down to a crawl, as well as not having obvious, consistent keyboard shortcuts.

Geesh, even Windows Common Dialogs have a text box to paste into, and you used to be able to navigate quite well with just the keyboard (well, back in the Windows 3.11 days).

Am I getting off-topic?

panickedthumb
June 24th, 2005, 02:08 PM
yeah that's a little off topic, but I agree, gnome's file dialogs seem to be going backwards.

desdinova
June 24th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Yeah...maybe in a few years the CLI will just be an option, not a necessaty.

But the CLI has one obvious advantage

Example

I want the user to tell me how much discspace they have left.

GUI Way - Filelight

Console way - df -h

Which way is easiest to copy and paste in a reply?

timczer
June 24th, 2005, 02:54 PM
I guess as I read these posts, it keeps coming back to an argument that shows up on a regular basis. "Should LInux be easier for Windows users to migrate too?" A graphical way of doing things is clearly what those users are used to. Many, if not most computer users just want the thing to work. When I used windows I wanted to open up my computer, load a few programs and get my work done and browse the web. I think most people asking for help want to get to the fix as fast as possible, they probably don't care how it works (I just want to put gas in my car and go, I don't care what goes on in the engine to get there).
That being said, I personally do enjoy learning things about computers, and finding new and better ways of doing things. Copying and pasting command line instructions over time has given me knowledge about how things work and I am far more able now to tweak my system than I was when I first started. On this I agree with aragorn2909, in that sometimes a little more explanation on what the commands are doing would be helpful. I know I could google the command, or search it in the forums, or look for a man page, but if I am already following your post for instructions to do something, I am not likely to want to leave it to look for something else. A few nuggets of what some commands do within the post would be helpful to all. (the chmod example is perfect as I see it often but am still not sure exactly what this is doing).

poofyhairguy
June 24th, 2005, 07:48 PM
Again today, I picked up a computer trade paper and I found two instances of linux being mentioned. Both times it was compared to mac and was seen as being aimed at a more technical user. There is no reason for linux to be so elitist.



Thats just the mainstream media's opinion. Linux will be elitist until it ships on a major PC maker's box (which is never if MS has its way).

poofyhairguy
June 24th, 2005, 07:49 PM
But the CLI has one obvious advantage

Example

I want the user to tell me how much discspace they have left.

GUI Way - Filelight

Console way - df -h

Which way is easiest to copy and paste in a reply?


Yeah....there are some advantages to the command line. Plus...the point of a more GUI future is kinda moot- I don't think Breezy is adding much in the way of GUI config tools.

az
June 24th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Thats just the mainstream media's opinion. Linux will be elitist until it ships on a major PC maker's box (which is never if MS has its way).


No, linux will be elitist until it stops being elitist.

Saying that tools to help you avoid the command line are making it into windows are wrong. It is elitist in imposing a certain way of doing things on people that may not be what they want.

Making the software _proprietary_ is turning it into windows, And that has nothing to do with useability.

skoal
June 24th, 2005, 09:23 PM
The CLI is for those of us who have very little time to do anything, yet enjoy spending more time than is necessary on such mundane tasks - all in the hope that "what we should be doing" will simply faaaade away...

\\//_

Leif
June 24th, 2005, 10:05 PM
The CLI is for those of us who have very little time to do anything, yet enjoy spending more time than is necessary on such mundane tasks - all in the hope that "what we should be doing" will simply faaaade away...
\\//_

s/Linux/The CLI :razz:

desdinova
June 24th, 2005, 10:13 PM
Wow, instant generalisation ;-)

Some of us are actually comfortable and reasonably proficient at the cli you know... I just don't see what the fuss is about, there's some sort of misconception around that graphical instantly equals better, when sometimes its a lot easier to do a find/grep/sed/awk type command line.

Leif
June 24th, 2005, 10:18 PM
Wow, instant generalisation ;-)

Some of us are actually comfortable and reasonably proficient at the cli you know... I just don't see what the fuss is about, there's some sort of misconception around that graphical instantly equals better, when sometimes its a lot easier to do a find/grep/sed/awk type command line.

It's not that GUI is better, it's that having the choice of both GUI and CLI is better.

desdinova
June 24th, 2005, 10:20 PM
It's not that GUI is better, it's that having the choice of both GUI and CLI is better.

Oh I agree - hence the smiley ;-)

skoal
June 24th, 2005, 10:35 PM
It's not that GUI is better, it's that having the choice of both GUI and CLI is better.
Yes, sir! Exactly! Down here in Texas we got fire ant problems. When I say "problems", I mean "carry your sleeping dog off to their mound and eat 'em" type problems. Now, the quick and easy way of taking care of those little fire ants is with a can of gasoline and a match...but...I choose the sometimes slower (albeit much more satisfying) method - roasting random workers with a magnifying glass as they carry back pieces of "stomach exploding" cream of wheat to their queen.

It's all about choices...

...and...

...sweet sweet satisfaaaaaaaaction...

\\//_

Optimal Aurora
June 24th, 2005, 10:42 PM
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.

All other distros you have to do the same command-line thing too...

Back in Windows 3.1, you started windows by typing in 'win' in the c prompt... I learned to use the c prompt for a lot of things, however I dislike it... Although, I love programming, so for me personally, I rather use linux...

Optimal Aurora
June 24th, 2005, 10:45 PM
Oh and by the way it is a whole lot easier to tell some one to open up a terminal (for me I have one sitting in my bottom gnome bar that looks like a dock from Mac OSX), than having to say go to System --> Administration --> Users and Groups, then open this...

Leif
June 24th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Yes, sir! Exactly! Down here in Texas we got fire ant problems. When I say "problems", I mean "carry your sleeping dog off to their mound and eat 'em" type problems. Now, the quick and easy way of taking care of those little fire ants is with a can of gasoline and a match...but...I choose the sometimes slower (albeit much more satisfying) method - roasting random workers with a magnifying glass as they carry back pieces of "stomach exploding" cream of wheat to their queen.

It's all about choices...

...and...

...sweet sweet satisfaaaaaaaaction...

\\//_

OK, excellent, so we need GUI, CLI, and at least two ways of killing ants. When all of this is done, ubuntu is gonna be AWESOME !

skoal
June 24th, 2005, 11:35 PM
OK, excellent, so we need GUI, CLI, and at least two ways of killing ants. When all of this is done, ubuntu is gonna be AWESOME !
Apparently, there's already more than 1 way to uncover (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=43909) a 'moo' cow message with our package management tools. This distro just keeps getting better by the day...

p.s. Is there any way I can get a GUI (not CLI) moo cow in Synaptic? That CLI cow looks like it's been overmilked. I want a GUI moo cow so that when you click it's cow bell dangling around it's neck, Christopher Walken's voice pipes through my speakers, "I got the feva for more packages, and the prescription is more cowbell." Then you click the cowbell again and synaptic automagically reloads more hidden repositories...

\\//_

TristanMike
June 24th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Hi, hope you don't mind if I comment, :) First I'd like to say thank you to Poofy and all of the great people here on the Ubuntu forums for all of your help to us neon green noobs. I personally find it difficult to grasp the terminal, mainly because I've only first heard/experienced it within the past couple weeks.

The only thing I'd like to say about the help given in command form, and to reiterate what "aragorn2909" said, that giving a command line to c/p is fine and dandy, being able to do it might be impossible to mess up(though I have managed to accomplish this task :-k ) but not understanding what it does really does put me no further ahead in my understanding of the terminal and how it/Linux works and thus a more effecient Linux user.

There have been times when I have been searching for a solution to a problem and find a thread with it, but one that I don't understand at all and couldn't apply to fix my own problem. Think about what people who don't know what "lol" or "brb" must think in their head. People, like myself, don't know what all of the anacroynms and commands are for, and people who don't know, might not want to ask for fear of being laughed at or frustrating the nice people who help because they should have installed RUTE(wait, how do I....? just kidding).

Perhaps there could be a small Legend at the bottom of the pages or at the sides giving a brief description of what some of the more basic commands do. That way when someone posts either for help or in response, there is some sort of reference if needed. Also I have found that when someone associates the command with the gui proceedure, it helps to better understand the terminal and its functions. I only just found out the other day that apt-get was the exact same thing as synaptic. This, of course, this is just from a really, really green computer guy.
TristanMike
(Edited to be more digestable.... ;-) )

Xian
June 25th, 2005, 12:26 AM
Also I have found that when someone associates the command with the gui proceedure, it helps to better understand the terminal and its functions. I only just found out the other day that apt-get was the exact same thing as synaptic. This, of course, this is just from a really, really green computer guy.
Yes, this is a good example of how the command line version of a GUI can really help to empower a user. There are just so many more functions that can be accomplished in Apt when it is better understood.

You also might want to segment your paragraphs into more digestible portions. :)

az
June 25th, 2005, 01:14 AM
"Will Ubuntu ever reach the lofty goal of "never needing the command line?"

Can I just know what this thread is really about? If it is about the superiority of the command line, that depends on your use. Yes, the goal is to avoid the command line as much as possible - this is a good thing.

If it is about whether or not we need more useability, well, that is a hot topic in linux these days.

If you look at the work that Seth Nichols is doing in Fedora with "interface design" and contrast that with the people who are saying that all we need is something that works, and not try to push linux to the forefront of GUI art-deco, you still get the point that a lot of people are looking into this in one way or another. Canonical even commisioned a useability study on Hoary the day it came out

Is this a "Please stand up if you are a purist" thread?

aragorn2909
June 25th, 2005, 06:27 AM
"Will Ubuntu ever reach the lofty goal of "never needing the command line?"

Can I just know what this thread is really about? If it is about the superiority of the command line, that depends on your use. Yes, the goal is to avoid the command line as much as possible - this is a good thing.

If it is about whether or not we need more useability, well, that is a hot topic in linux these days.

Is this a "Please stand up if you are a purist" thread?

I must answer your first question with another question. Does Ubuntu ever WANT to reach the "lofty goal" of never needing the command line?

Secondly, is this thread about the superiority of command line over gui or vice versa? I don't think so. Is the goal really to avoid the command line as much as possible? I don't think so either. My thought here is, why would Ubuntu users want to deny themselves this obviously powerful little tool? I mean, even in XP, try pointing and clicking a Dos batch file. Granted, I don't want to do things like burn DVD/CDs from the command line. I don't want to move mp3s to my mp3 player from the command line. I want drag and drop, point and click as much as the greenest of n00bs, but like my Mother says, a place for everything and everything in its place. Does this make me a "purist"? Hardly. This makes me a person who wants to get as much "useability" out of my computer as I can.

I'll sit down now. ;-)

Brunellus
June 25th, 2005, 06:44 AM
I must answer your first question with another question. Does Ubuntu ever WANT to reach the "lofty goal" of never needing the command line?

Secondly, is this thread about the superiority of command line over gui or vice versa? I don't think so. Is the goal really to avoid the command line as much as possible? I don't think so either. My thought here is, why would Ubuntu users want to deny themselves this obviously powerful little tool? I mean, even in XP, try pointing and clicking a Dos batch file. Granted, I don't want to do things like burn DVD/CDs from the command line. I don't want to move mp3s to my mp3 player from the command line. I want drag and drop, point and click as much as the greenest of n00bs, but like my Mother says, a place for everything and everything in its place. Does this make me a "purist"? Hardly. This makes me a person who wants to get as much "useability" out of my computer as I can.

I'll sit down now. ;-)
n00bs (myself included) often want something that they can understand intuitively. Merely being given black-magical incantations like
tar -xjvf foobar.tar might solve their problems, but won't give them the sense that they can really do anything on their machines.

Of course, in a perfect world, they'd all STFU and learn the CLI, right? Sure. But this thread is about giving people a safety-net.

aragorn2909
June 25th, 2005, 07:16 AM
Exactly (almost) what I said in my previous post on this matter. I'm sensing a common theme from the n00bs:
GUI = good
CLI = good (with explanation)

aysiu
June 25th, 2005, 07:38 AM
Really, it comes down to choice. Ideally, no one should need the command-line or need GUI. No one should be denied either one. Right now, though, Ubuntu needs the command-line for a lot of basic functionality. I happen to like the command-line for certain things, but if people don't want to use it, they should have to. Right now, Windows has gone the other way. Sometimes I want to just open a DOS terminal and type a bunch of commands, but Windows XP won't let me do certain commands while the Windows desktop is running.

manicka
June 25th, 2005, 08:27 AM
Since I first tried Linux 5-6 years ago I was attracted by using the command line to do things and found it refreshing after using GUI's for everything. I had never been a DOS person.

I still like GUI's for a lots of things (synaptic being one, although apt at the command line is slowly taking over) but the command line and manual editing config files is where it is at for me.

Basically it's what brought me to Linux in the first place as I was bored in the GUI world of other os'.

I really think that Ubuntu has the balance just right :D

The Producer
June 25th, 2005, 09:54 AM
This shouldn't be a debate.

If your trying to get Windows users...simple...computer illterate people...people who could care less about "knowing all about their base system", creating GUI solutions shouldn't be something that's debated.

I don't see how almost no one here can realize that.

Rarely do I see anyone here, or in any Linux forum, think about any of this from their POV. All I see is "I this, I that, or we (we as in the faction of people who find learning more about computers interesting)". And if you are not apart of "us", then your behind is going to have to learn until you are, regardless of what time that takes out of your life...when it can be done simplier on other systems.

And your dissappointed to see why people think Linux is elitist.

I understand that people are going to have to learn, or "get used to" the GUI, regardless of how "user friendly" it's designed, but in that process, don't force them to HAVE to learn the CLI. It's overkill. Don't take away their freedom to just sit down, simply install a few things, install a new device, and view multimedia without the annoyances of viruses, without having to open the CLI.

I know it's completely possible to set up Ubuntu or any Linux version where this can be achieved, while maintaining the legendary stability and security that, before, only people who knew what they were doing could access. And if other people want the power, they can use it, or go to another "untainted" distro. If the developers think it can't be obtained, maybe they are the ones who need to learn.

I think the Linux community needs to quit forcing this "fundamentals" mess, and leave it only to the people who want to learn it.

skoal
June 25th, 2005, 03:36 PM
I understand that people are going to have to learn, or "get used to" the GUI, regardless of how "user friendly" it's designed, but in that process, don't force them to HAVE to learn the CLI. It's overkill. Don't take away their freedom to just sit down, simply install a few things, install a new device, and view multimedia without the annoyances of viruses, without having to open the CLI.
In an ideal world, this would be the case on Ubuntu (or any Linux distro for that matter). Unfortunately, in practice there are just so many utilities and open source tools out there (being developed all the time), the developers (or even those who use them) don't have the time to develop a GUI for it. I don't understand how so many people fail to see that point. That's not being elitist. That's being practical. What's the old saying about things freely given? Don't bite the hand that feeds you...or better yet, help out and "cook" every once in a while...aka...learn GTK/QT and help the developer out. His time is just as important as the next...

\\//_

az
June 25th, 2005, 04:00 PM
In an ideal world, this would be the case on Ubuntu (or any Linux distro for that matter). Unfortunately, in practice there are just so many utilities and open source tools out there (being developed all the time), the developers (or even those who use them) don't have the time to develop a GUI for it. I don't understand how so many people fail to see that point. That's not being elitist. That's being practical. What's the old saying about things freely given? Don't bite the hand that feeds you...or better yet, help out and "cook" every once in a while...aka...learn GTK/QT and help the developer out. His time is just as important as the next...

\\//_


Uh, no.

The whole point of Ubuntu is to have a more useable system than you would get with Debian. Canonical takes a subset of packages that are in debian and makes them useable for humans. They take the time to develop a GUI for it.

You can use universe and you can use debian, but the goal of what ships in Ubuntu is to be useable by everybody.

aragorn2909
June 25th, 2005, 07:54 PM
but the goal of what ships in Ubuntu is to be useable by everybody.

But there is no reason that command line can't/isn't useable. I find it both useable and useful. What I see on these forums, and in this thread, is people's DEPENDANCE on gui. Ubuntu/Linux has to be more "Windows-like", more "OS-X-like". Nonsense. Ubuntu has to be more Ubuntu-like. This is where I agree whole-heartedly with aysiu


Really, it comes down to choice. Ideally, no one should need the command-line or need GUI. No one should be denied either one.

skoal
June 25th, 2005, 07:54 PM
The whole point of Ubuntu is to have a more useable system than you would get with Debian. Canonical takes a subset of packages that are in debian and makes them useable for humans. They take the time to develop a GUI for it.
I think that goes without saying, and that's probably why we all love Ubuntu.

As poofyhairyguy stated in the very first post, "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."

He's absolutely correct. I think that's a perfect illustration and the one which I was trying to stress, and more importantly, the one which all linux users should keep in mind. What's so difficult in extrapolating that statement made by poofy, mixing in a dose of reality by my prior post, and applying it to other applications here on linux? What am I missing here? Most people in this thread seem to be living "above the clouds". Do I really need to point out and illustrate the many many GUI gaps left behind in most linux apps? Unless I misunderstood poofy, I stand on his side of the "line", neither ideological nor phillosophical, just practical.

The ideological discussion is pointless^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hwhimsical. To each his own - since by birthright, my choices are my own.

As for the phillosophical, so long as 1 wire extends from your USB or PS/2 port and connects to a flat piece of plastic with keys you rub your fingers on, there will always be a need for a CLI, so long as there's a need for a keyboard.

\\//_

The Producer
June 25th, 2005, 09:07 PM
Basicly, what i'm saying is that for doing basic or routine things, like installations, configuration, etc, there shouldn't be a need for a commandline at all. And this can be done without copying OSX or Windows. At least in Ubuntu. I'm not saying to completely remove the thing. But I guess i'm living in a fantasy world... :???:


What's the old saying about things freely given? Don't bite the hand that feeds you...

Your right. You get what you pay for. ;-)


or better yet, help out and "cook" every once in a while...aka...learn GTK/QT and help the developer out

learn GTK/QT and help the developer out = "Why don't you do it yourself?"

No thanks. Programming isn't my specialty, and i'm not really that interested in it. In the past I never had a need for programming, but, I guess if I want to make any practical use out of Ubuntu for myself the simple people, I guess it's time to learn. Or just end it all and stick with Windows or OS X.

Linux (or even Ubuntu) isn't a prefered system for other people. At least the developers for OS X and Windows don't ever tell me "if you want this feature, why don't you learn and do it yourself?", so I might as well advise people to stick it out with Windows or switch to OS X. Open source gives the developers, the people I assume who love to program, a chance to really excel over proprietary systems, or, it gives them "freedom", but, I guess no one is taking full advantage of it. So much for the "freedom".

If half of this had nothing to do with "pointless ideological discussion phillosophical reasons", then there shouldn't be any arguement as to trying develop more GUI functions in Ubuntu Linux: Linux For Human Beings.


Really, it comes down to choice. Ideally, no one should need the command-line or need GUI. No one should be denied either one.

az
June 25th, 2005, 11:01 PM
"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."

There are two problem with the above statement.

One: Most people, when told that the way to solve their problem is to open up a command line and type more than four charaters will run away saying that this is a crap system.

Two: I could never get Suse to install on a box, so I do not know what YAST can and cannot do. But, Synaptic is able to take care of most of your configurationjust by selecting the package, hitting "package" in the menu and "configure..." Other than that, the Gnome suite is there for that.
There is actually a 10x10 goal for Gnome. That is, have gnome on ten percent of the desktops in the world by 2010.

weekend warrior
June 25th, 2005, 11:55 PM
Well this looks like the debate du jour so I'm going to throw a spanner in the works ;-) with a very simple point that is seldom talked about in regard to CLI. Consider if you will the following basic CLI command:

adm-eah vees-rimshanah

This of course will make perfect sense to you. It's a very basic command! It shouldn't confuse anyone at all. What's that? You can't make out a word? Ah well, perhaps the problem is you don't speak Hebrew? Yes that's correct, if linux came from Israel this is what you would be up against when learning CLI. Now try to imagine what:

apt-get dist-upgrade

looks like to someone from let's say... India, with minimal or no English skills. It's often overlooked (in the English speaking community) that CLI is basically English shorthand. What looks plain as day to a native English speaker is no where near as easy to decipher for a non-English speaker.

Now consider that it is one of the goals of Ubuntu to be easily accessible to people in their native language. CLI does not in large measure meet this requirement. A translated GUI however does as it would allow an Indian user in this case to function without any difficulty at all. This is one of the clearest rationals for more GUI and less CLI.


Have a look at this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=16377) for a real-life Indian example of this problem from our very own forums.

Ah and btw it's actually "Ad me'ah ve'esrim shanah!" and means "May you live to be 120!" :smile:

poofyhairguy
June 26th, 2005, 04:06 AM
There are two problem with the above statement.

One: Most people, when told that the way to solve their problem is to open up a command line and type more than four charaters will run away saying that this is a crap system.

Yeah...but my train of thought was:

"well...if all it takes is the command line to scare a person away, then honestly they might end up thinking Ubuntu is crap no matter what I do. Why waste my time?"

Its HARD to avoid the command line right now. I personally think that is necessary for at least 80%+ of Ubuntu users (maybe even more) to touch the command line at least once. Why not just get it out of the way? As they say in the movies "separate the men from the boys." (no offense to female Ubuntu users...its an analogy) The whole thread was basically asking if my opinion is cruel and heartless...because I really think it isn't.

By the way- in reference to other posters- I'm all for developing new GUIs. Thats not what this is about. I like gtk2 GUIs, they are nice. The problem is that there are not enough now to pretend that we can get by with out them (by comparison I think that you almost can get by with all GUI in SUSE, its was a comparison).

Ubuntu GUIs are not developing fast enough. The community has made more than the developers have.

And Azz...I have to call you on something. Ubuntu doesn't really add any new GUIs to Debian. Thats what things like Xandros and Libranet do.

TristanMike
June 26th, 2005, 05:31 AM
Yeah...but my train of thought was:

"well...if all it takes is the command line to scare a person away, then honestly they might end up thinking Ubuntu is crap no matter what I do. Why waste my time?"
First, there is no way I could see a person say Ubuntu is crap if they looked at it unless they were completely closed minded. It looks great, feels great, similar to windows, and there's a bit of new learning that needs to be done but that's all, should you expect any different from something that's not Windows? So I really don't think is the command line alone that scares people away, it's just different, and different can be scary, especially when windows has forced people out of the option of using it and thus learning commands. Would you give keys to a car to somebody without making sure they new how to drive it in the first place? I hope you get my analogy. I mean, you have to admit that some of the commands are a little cryptic, especially to a noob like me.....tar zxvf ubuntu5.04.tar.gz <--What's that?(not really... :) )

I assume most of this comes from the "Absolute Beginner" Section of this forum, but we are Absolute beginners, have absolutely no idea on how to use these functions and a little help by the hand is VERY much appreiciated, I can say anyway. Association is a very important tool, and if a person can assocate the commands with what they would see in a window, it helps in transition, I think. Maybe the section should be divided into Absolute Beginner and Intermediate User, or something to help define the needs and experience of the user. This is just my opinon from converting from Windows in this short while.
TristanMike

Retrix
June 26th, 2005, 05:48 AM
Hopefully I can be of help to this lack of GUI problem. I have just been notified that my proposal for the Google Summer of Code contest has been accepted.

Basically that means that over the next few months, I will be working with Ubuntu to deliver more and better GUI tools for daily Ubuntu use as well as administration, maintenance and setup. I have a number of ideas already, but the more the better, so if you have any ideas that need to be implemented, please let me know.

I am in the middle of my exams at the moment, but as soon as they are done, I'll be getting cracking on improving Ubuntu for everyone.

-Sam Pohlenz

skoal
June 26th, 2005, 06:07 AM
Canonical even commisioned a useability study on Hoary the day it came out[...]
Hey azz, where is that study you mentioned? I'm very interested in reading their findings. I googled around and could only come up with this (http://www.lilax.net/textfiles/2005-05-14/ubuntu_gulev-slides.pdf) and this old thread (http://mpt.net.nz/archive/2005/04/11/ubuntu), which we talked about somewhere ad nauseum, elsewhere in these forums. Is there another one I missed?

Part of many Computer Science undergrad curriculum have entire courses devoted to this topic of "usability". This was even offered on the graduate level waaaay back in the early 90's at my alma matter, which I elected not to take at the time.

I think Ubuntu (and the developers et al.) should be commended in their efforts to fill in those GUI gaps, which myself and others believe exist. What other distro offers such "bounties" to their community at large? I can't think of one. What I personally find most promising about this distro and it's stated goals is the "consistent enforcable poilicies" which Ubuntu aims to achieve by closely integrating and tying together common Desktop and system level tasks under one unifying desktop, Gnome. The only other distro which comes close to that is Linspire, IMO. Enforceable is the applicable key word here. It shouldn't be confused with "lack of choices" either. In my estimation, enforceable means achieving prodcutivity and simplicity at the expense of knowledge (or as others may define it, "confusion"), in the name of consistency, for the sake of usability.

Maybe an illustration will help provide some insight into my understanding of this thread, and the association of providing a CLI or GUI solution. To all those fisherman and "cooks" out there, they understand what I mean when I say there's more than one way to clean a fish - however, some ways waste meat, others make a mess, and even still, others leave you bones. In the aftermath, the "cook" only wishes to provide the filet, and for the "hungry" who asked for it, that's all they care to see (or ever asked for). So, what's a "cook" supposed to do? In my estimation, you provide the knife, display the guts, and hand him the filet. If store bought fish on display in a bed of ice is all the "hungry" have time for, or ever cared for, what possessed them to take a "boat trip" with a "fisherman" in the first place? Curiosity? Yes, for some. How's the fisherman supposed to know? I hope you understand the indirect analogy and the two environments I'm referring to. That's in no way implying that the "fisherman" in his environment doesn't prefer (or use) store prepped filets either. Even the "fisherman" has been "hungry" before too, and even he doesn't know how to clean every "fish". But until such time when he can provide his own "store", that "fisherman" should teach others to be self-sufficient, and in time, "cook" for others. Afterall, isn't that what the OSS community is about?

The bigger question for me, as an active participant in this community who enjoys helping others (and being helped myself), is what responsibility (if at all) do I have when faced with providing two equally viable solutions to a question. CLI or GUI?...which is what I thought Poofyhairyguy was originally addressing by his post. To some extent, the question is philosophical, but the only answers I can provide...are the practical.

\\//_

weekend warrior
June 26th, 2005, 08:40 AM
I agree with highlighting the practical rather than philosophical aspect to this, which is why I chose that example of the language factor in CLI. For some users CLI isn't a practical (or desirable) solution and may never be so. In addition, if the goal of 10x10 is taken seriously, then the luxury of sluffing these users off, saying they can just go use a Mac if they can't accept CLI, no longer exists.

I think particularly for those like myself, whose computing journey began before the Macintosh or Windows existed and have plenty of typing under their fingers, or simply those who feel like fish in water around the CLI, this needs to be kept in mind. The type of assistance offered when both CLI and GUI solutions are available depends far less on the helper's own feelings on the matter and rather much more on the type of user you're helping, their current needs and their given background/situation.

az
June 26th, 2005, 12:12 PM
"The bigger question for me, as an active participant in this community who enjoys helping others (and being helped myself), is what responsibility (if at all) do I have when faced with providing two equally viable solutions to a question. CLI or GUI?...which is what I thought Poofyhairyguy was originally addressing by his post. To some extent, the question is philosophical, but the only answers I can provide...are the practical."

*Bing* You hit it right on the head.

I think you are doing users a bigger favor by emphasising the GUI solution. I beleive that will reach the greater number of users and retain them by using the existing GUI solutions.

Others are saying that it is better in the long run to learn the command line.

I think poofy would be right if this were three years ago. Back then, you probably could not avoid the command-line for much. These days, I think more than fifty percent of Warty users could avoid it completely, and probably ninety percent of Hoary users can avoid it.
I can only image what Breezy will offer... Things are really happening fast - I do not think it is realistic to say that users are going to _need_ the command line soon.

az
June 26th, 2005, 01:46 PM
"And Azz...I have to call you on something. Ubuntu doesn't really add any new GUIs to Debian. Thats what things like Xandros and Libranet do."

Actually, gnome goes into Ubuntu before it gets into debian. Most of the work the Canonical does goes upstream relative to debian.

This is unlike suse with YAST which is addon.

poofyhairguy
June 26th, 2005, 07:53 PM
Others are saying that it is better in the long run to learn the command line.

I think poofy would be right if this were three years ago. Back then, you probably could not avoid the command-line for much. These days, I think more than fifty percent of Warty users could avoid it completely, and probably ninety percent of Hoary users can avoid it.

Unless they need ndsiwrapper. Or to unmute their creative sound card. Or to fix xserver settings. Or many more things.

I'm not so optimisitc about that after my time here on the forums. I believe that the only way a person could avoid the command line in Ubuntu is if some else sets up the computer for them.



I can only image what Breezy will offer... Things are really happening fast - I do not think it is realistic to say that users are going to _need_ the command line soon.

I personally didn't think that Hoary had amazing new GUIs that Warty didn't. As far as I can tell, the most needed GUI isn't going to be in Breezy (I could be wrong).

This is a good thread though. I'm glad to get people's opinions. I think my resolve will be to create guides for the most common easy things you can do with a GUI, but tell people commands when its easier to compy and paste.

polo_step
June 26th, 2005, 08:28 PM
That's because Windows does not have a proper terminal. Window's "command prompt" is, at best, garbage.
That's true. The ability to cut & paste in Linux with the two-button click is very nice.

Still, if I have to actually WRITE a long command line, I'm in a certain amount of trouble, because I have bad eyesight and can't touchtype anyway.

I have seen processes described to new users in command line that would have been done faster and more foolproof by the GUI options that were described later on by other respondents.

Comand lines don't scare me -- I started out in CP/M and am used to the idea -- but GUIs are easier for me to see and work with in most cases.

People without my background find command lines totally threatening and "backward" when converting to Linux.

poofyhairguy
June 26th, 2005, 08:53 PM
People without my background find command lines totally threatening and "backward" when converting to Linux.

Some of these same people will call it a feature when Longhorn can do that. You can never make everybody happy.

aysiu
June 26th, 2005, 09:39 PM
Some of these same people will call it a feature when Longhorn can do that. You can never make everybody happy.

It would be a feature if Longhorn had it. However, that doesn't mean there's no need to create a fully independent GUI for those who are most comfortable with it. For Ubuntu, having GUI for most of the tweaking would be a feature. For Windows, having a functional DOS within Windows would be a feature. The most fully-featured OS would be the one in which you could do almost everything you need to do in GUI, and in which you can also do everything via the command-line.

It shouldn't be an either/or situation. Both options should always be available. That's what's so great about dpkg right now. If people want to type apt-get update and apt-get install someprogram, they can do that. If they want to click on Synaptic Package Manager, Reload, Install, and Apply, they can also do that. Having the freedom to use both methods is the ultimate "feature."

poofyhairguy
June 27th, 2005, 12:01 AM
It would be a feature if Longhorn had it. However, that doesn't mean there's no need to create a fully independent GUI for those who are most comfortable with it. For Ubuntu, having GUI for most of the tweaking would be a feature. For Windows, having a functional DOS within Windows would be a feature. The most fully-featured OS would be the one in which you could do almost everything you need to do in GUI, and in which you can also do everything via the command-line.

It shouldn't be an either/or situation. Both options should always be available. That's what's so great about dpkg right now. If people want to type apt-get update and apt-get install someprogram, they can do that. If they want to click on Synaptic Package Manager, Reload, Install, and Apply, they can also do that. Having the freedom to use both methods is the ultimate "feature."

I agree it would be nice if we could have both....but I'm a practical man...we don't have both in many cases. You can say that there SHOULD be a GUI way to do everything, but that attitude doesn't make a GUI ndiswrapper tool (or any GUI tool) magically appear. Only years of development do that.

Basically there are two kinds of new users in this regard: those that will use the command line and those that won't. Is it worth nursing those that won't use the command line when they would be more happy with Windows/OSX anyway? Should I spend the extra time helping them when they might just reinstall when they find out the truth- after a while you must use the command line in Ubuntu to do the neatest stuff.

Should I spend time on those people, or should I just say commands to weed out those people out so that I can spend more time helping these sorts of people?:

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=229907&postcount=5

I quote:



I have heard good things about Ubuntu and even if I was afraid of the command line I don't see the point in giving up at the first hurdle.


That sounds like a person that could be a happy Ubuntu user RIGHT NOW. Those people that NEED a GUI for every task to feel comfortable might not be happy with Ubuntu for another 3 or 4 releases.

I don't really care about the philosophical "is the GUI better." I think it is better in most cases. I prefer GUI tools. I like synaptic.

But I'm also a realist and I don't want to lead people along if in the long run Linux is not mature enough for them right NOW.

N'Jal
June 27th, 2005, 12:37 AM
**** this thread moved fast...

Personally it might have something to do with learning styles as well since there are people who need graphical aids when remembering things and others need to see the text written down to remember things, personally i like graphical aids however i find the command line very easy, i must be strange then o.O.

But im sure you all understand the point i am trying to make, either you need graphical tool's or you prefer the command line to do most things, or you really don't give a toss and use what get's the job done quicker, sometimes if it's just a tweak of a setting that requires a long, somewhat hard to remember command to activate, i'll use a gui but if it's using apt i just use the command line.

sapo
June 27th, 2005, 12:46 AM
**** this thread moved fast...

Personally it might have something to do with learning styles as well since there are people who need graphical aids when remembering things and others need to see the text written down to remember things, personally i like graphical aids however i find the command line very easy, i must be strange then o.O.

But im sure you all understand the point i am trying to make, either you need graphical tool's or you prefer the command line to do most things, or you really don't give a toss and use what get's the job done quicker, sometimes if it's just a tweak of a setting that requires a long, somewhat hard to remember command to activate, i'll use a gui but if it's using apt i just use the command line.

the main problem is that people are used with windows...

if they all had started with dos and windows 3.1 as i did (it was the top os in that time) they wouldnt mind using the command line.

but they even dont know a the folders tree structure, how can the understand the cd command? ](*,)

poofyhairguy
June 27th, 2005, 01:57 AM
if they all had started with dos and windows 3.1 as i did (it was the top os in that time) they wouldnt mind using the command line.


Actually those people might be worse. As a former Dos user, I remember when I saw the command line's heavy use in Ubuntu I thought "geez...thats stuff the Window's world left behind years ago." (I was of course wrong about this).

If someone haw never seen it...the command line could be "a revolutionary way to do things."

az
June 27th, 2005, 02:05 AM
Unless they need ndsiwrapper. Or to unmute their creative sound card. Or to fix xserver settings. Or many more things.

...


This is a good thread though. I'm glad to get people's opinions. I think my resolve will be to create guides for the most common easy things you can do with a GUI, but tell people commands when its easier to compy and paste.

If you cannot get onto the net(ndiswraper), or you cannot get into X(X server settings), you cannot cut and paste advice from the forums. You have to print it out and type it in by hand,

A colleague of mine who has been using computers for twenty years himmed and hawed about making a boot floppy for knoppix for a whole week. He had to use rawrite and type in a command with two arguments.

"I couldn't figure it out. I just wasn't sure"

This was not to partition his drive or anything, but to make a floopy! That demonstrates how you cannot rely on the command line solutions to retain new users.

As for the creative sound, that is a bug, no? It is something that obviously needs to be fixed.

If you are counting configuring advanced video card functionality, well, the only things that require 3d acceleration in the ubuntu base system are the bouncing cow screensavers. That is how I justify that 90 percent of people do not need to use the command line.

And, as I understand (I may be wrong) the newest ATI (proprietary) drivers come with a GUI installer...

sapo
June 27th, 2005, 02:07 AM
Actually those people might be worse. As a former Dos user, I remember when I saw the command line's heavy use in Ubuntu I thought "geez...thats stuff the Window's world left behind years ago." (I was of course wrong about this).

If someone haw never seen it...the command line could be "a revolutionary way to do things."

hum.. thats kind of the oposite point of view.. i liked dos... and i really missed dos when using windows.. sometimes i wanted to delete all .jpg files in a folder.. or watch a batch script to do something :roll:

thats why i love linux.. the gui and command line are both powerfull! :grin:

poofyhairguy
June 27th, 2005, 05:01 AM
If you cannot get onto the net(ndiswraper), or you cannot get into X(X server settings), you cannot cut and paste advice from the forums. You have to print it out and type it in by hand,

Better than the GUI way....which is none. Thats kinda my point.


Eventually, in Ubuntu at the level it is now you will hit a wall where the only tools availible are command line tools. Some people might not make it that far...but I doubt it.

I can't wait for a GUI for everything. I like the way GTK stuff looks....

poofyhairguy
June 27th, 2005, 05:19 AM
I just want to say I got what I wanted out of this thread. I have my answer. Its not the one I started with...but its close.

Thanks for the help.

Lasukie-kai
June 28th, 2005, 01:11 AM
I read the first few posts of this thread, I'm not even going to bother with the rest. I'm sure its either gone way off topic, or into some sort of argument of Windows vs Linux.

I will now offer my two and a half cents.


If you think that the CLI is the future, drop Gnome, get one of the first versions of the Unix Kernal, and knock yourself out. Most of you would be lost without the current GUI functions, whether you admit it or not, even I am, and I've started on CLI Unix Kernals, so don't give me your whiney BS about it.

Secondly, where does it say CLI is a "Feature of windows longhorn" I'd just like to point out one very interesting point, CLI is a "feature" of every operating system in existence, because CLI is the only base-point interface with any kernal.

On to the pathetic argument of "Oh its easier to tell newcomers to type into a box" yeah well, my friends, its just as easy for them to click a check box, argument is flawwed and invalid. Not to mention, Typo's. Linux's functions aren't exactly user friendly.

Now, a fully GUI interface yes, it is impossible, but look at Windows and OSX, they have a minimum of CLI elements, and on NT based cores its only a DOS Shell, not the full DOS system, as in previous versions.

And need I remind you, Most people is using what operating system? Hint, its not Linux.


I love Ubuntu Linux as stability
I love Ubuntu Linux as "Most" of its community members
I love Ubuntu Linux as its potential

I switched back to windows because:

It does what I want it to do, and nobody will do it in linux because their lazy/idealistic programmer fools

I can run applications easily

I can INSTALL applications easily

I don't have to spend three hours in a console getting what I need to get done, done.


I think a GUI is a damn good idea.

skoal
June 28th, 2005, 01:28 AM
If you think that the CLI is the future[...]
Didn't Dave try to shut down Hal with a keyboard, not a mouse. What about Data trying to prevent a core breach on the Enterprise using a bridge panel? Oh, and how about Bishop responding back home that the alien was safely "inside", chewing away at John Hurt's pancreas.

Until I see more futuristic movies using a mouse pointer, I'm still convinced that the CLI is the future...

but that's just me...hell, I still drive a '64 Impala 4 door sedan.

\\//_

Lasukie-kai
June 28th, 2005, 01:34 AM
Didn't Dave try to shut down Hal with a keyboard, not a mouse. What about Data trying to prevent a core breach on the Enterprise using a bridge panel? Oh, and how about Bishop responding back home that the alien was safely "inside", chewing away at John Hurt's pancreas.

Movies made in the 70's and 80's, your a real genius Skoal, you just made another invalid point "Wow, outdated movies use CLI" And for the record, LCARS is a GUI, not CLI, its run by specific buttons not by a keyboard.



Until I see more futuristic movies using a mouse pointer, I'm still convinced that the CLI is the future...

but that's just me...hell, I still drive a '64 Impala 4 door sedan.

\\//_


Would you like me to list several sci-fi movies involving GUI?

BTW, a 69 GT500 would destroy your impala four door.

skoal
June 28th, 2005, 01:41 AM
well, I'll admit I'm a little outdated...no argument there. Also, I'm quite sure you'd blow me away on your 69 GT5000. When I ride, I like to ease back, flip on the AM radio, and watch the pretty girls smile. That's how I roll...

I honestly don't know of any sci-fi movies that have used GUIs in them. I know this is kinda off topic (maybe), but refresh my memory. You're probably right, I just can't think of any at the moment.

\\//_

az
June 28th, 2005, 01:42 AM
Okay, this thead is heading off the deep end. If it does not change directions, it will be locked. Otherwise, let's continue intellient conversation.

skoal
June 28th, 2005, 01:45 AM
awww fiddlesticks and tarter sauce...

just 'pm' me Lasukie...

\\//_

Lasukie-kai
June 28th, 2005, 01:53 AM
Any Star Trek movie after #6 use LCARS, and this is thus a GUI (the functions are buttons over an interface, not direct input, plus look at the bridge of the Enterprise-C-E and Voyager, DS9 and all other ships beyond Reliant Class.

Star Wars, even the 1970 films used HUI (Holographic User Interface) as a huge part Thats still graphical.

Andromeda (Series) Uses HUI and GUI interfaces also.

The Computer Stations in Macross 7 and Macross Plus (Animes) used GUI.


Gui is an interface overtop of an interface (Graphical) its run by Buttons, which can be Touch Pads or Icons, but still Representive over top of the Kernal Code (Graphics)

Any movie or television series witch uses graphics as any form of intergral control unit is using GUI, regardless of the argument.

Secondly, many Sci-Fi movies don't use GUI for an incredibly simple reason, they can only use todays technology for sci-fi, they can't use tommorows technology yet, so their fundamentally representitive of what we can do now.


More Girls will look at a Cherry Red 69 GT500 with shavetop then a fourdoor Grandma Mobile ;)



EDIT: Sorry was Typing

skoal
June 28th, 2005, 02:01 AM
More Girls will look at a Cherry Red 69 GT500 with shavetop then a fourdoor Grandma Mobile ;)
lmao. well said...touche!

\\//_

poofyhairguy
June 28th, 2005, 03:05 AM
Secondly, where does it say CLI is a "Feature of windows longhorn"

Here:

http://www.pro-networks.org/forum/viewstory.php?t=57485



On to the pathetic argument of "Oh its easier to tell newcomers to type into a box" yeah well, my friends, its just as easy for them to click a check box, argument is flawwed and invalid. Not to mention, Typo's. Linux's functions aren't exactly user friendly.

Its not easier to go down a list inputting info into every box than it is to copy and past on the command line. The GUI isn't always easier.


Now, a fully GUI interface yes, it is impossible, but look at Windows and OSX, they have a minimum of CLI elements, and on NT based cores its only a DOS Shell, not the full DOS system, as in previous versions.

Actually OSX has a nice command line.


And need I remind you, Most people is using what operating system? Hint, its not Linux.

Just because something is popular doesn't mean its better. Britney Spears proved that.



I switched back to windows because:

I don't have to spend three hours in a console getting what I need to get done, done.

Thanks...you proved my point. People like you that won't accept that you must use a command line aren't going to be happy with Linux anyway (as it is NOW), so there is no point to try to tell you some things in the GUI if in the end you won't be happy and switch back to Windows anyway. I'd rather spend my time on a potential convert.

A few years ago I worked as a telemarketer selling long distance. Within three months I was the high seller. Why? Because instead of trying to convert every person I called....lying to them left and right like my coworkers did...I would ask the question at the beginning "I work for _____ company, are you a customer of ours?" If they weren't I would pratically hang up on them....I only tried to improve the service of those who were happy with my product as it was. By weeding out those that MIGHT not like my product, I got more customers in the elimited time I was trying...

Thats why I will continue to post command line fixes if they are easier to explain or do......if I scare people away then they would have been scared away at some point.



I think a GUI is a damn good idea.

Me too...doesn't make them magically appear.

Arthemys
June 28th, 2005, 03:26 AM
Quick input:

Matrix 2: Trinity used a terminal running SSH to shut down a power grid.

CLI is much more efficient for remote administration as it's easier to compress text than huge graphics. VNC / RDP vs. SSH

One of my many hats in my company is a Windows sysadmin. I had to recover an exchange database recently that **** the bed... MS's solution according to their official knowledge base was to enter into the CLI and type out some commands and run the database files through some CLI based MS apps. Albeit extremely slow and utterly painful, even MS still uses the CLI for some of the really down and dirty jobs. I'm kind of looking forward to the CLI in longhorn...

The CLI in 2000 and XP is greatly improved from their prior versions; such as tab for auto complete and using the up arrow to cycle through previous commands.

aysiu
June 28th, 2005, 04:13 AM
If people want full GUI Linux, they should use Mepis. I haven't found a single thing in Mepis that requires the command-line. I've used the command-line in Mepis, but it's not necessary--not to enable extra repositories, not to have numlock turn on by default, not to have partitions appear on the desktop, not to browse folders as root.

The only time you might need to use the command-line in Mepis is to edit the /etc/fstab file or the /etc/X11/X86Free files.

I happen to like Ubuntu as much as I do Mepis. I'm just saying... if people like GUI so much, there exists a point-and-click Linux, and that's Mepis.

The Producer
June 28th, 2005, 04:18 AM
Sad....

Well, I tried.

At least we have Windows/OSX. Let's hope this Linux "movement", doesn't ruin those for the rest of us.

Lasukie-kai
June 28th, 2005, 04:30 AM
Here:

http://www.pro-networks.org/forum/viewstory.php?t=57485



CLI is CLI either way you look at it, every OS has it, its not a FEATURE its a GIVEN regardless of how many easyfied functions are added.




Its not easier to go down a list inputting info into every box than it is to copy and past on the command line. The GUI isn't always easier.

Its not easier to type or cut and paste three lines of code, then double click. The CLI isent always easier.




Actually OSX has a nice command line.


Actually you missed the point. I said Minimum of CLI elements, not that it lacked it completely, clean your glasses.




Just because something is popular doesn't mean its better. Britney Spears proved that.

No, but more people will listen.




Thanks...you proved my point. People like you that won't accept that you must use a command line aren't going to be happy with Linux anyway (as it is NOW), so there is no point to try to tell you some things in the GUI if in the end you won't be happy and switch back to Windows anyway. I'd rather spend my time on a potential convert.

You reach a stalemate, without allowing leaniency who wants to convert? Essentially, thats a setup for a very big letdown.



A few years ago I worked as a telemarketer selling long distance. Within three months I was the high seller. Why? Because instead of trying to convert every person I called....lying to them left and right like my coworkers did...I would ask the question at the beginning "I work for _____ company, are you a customer of ours?" If they weren't I would pratically hang up on them....I only tried to improve the service of those who were happy with my product as it was. By weeding out those that MIGHT not like my product, I got more customers in the elimited time I was trying...

And in the market long run, you lost your company possibly a good chunk of market.




Me too...doesn't make them magically appear.


Maybe if you actually tried instead of fearing change.

skoal
June 28th, 2005, 04:38 AM
Whoa! This does sound like more of an ideological discussion. I think what's important to keep in mind is that a lot of us here are simply raising the question so we can better understand how to help you get what you need, with only the tools we can provide at present, or are familiar with.

Ubuntu is far far ahead of the game than most distros in that respect. Since most don't even consider such a thread important...

\\//_

Lasukie-kai
June 28th, 2005, 04:51 AM
What I do: I'm a 3d Graphic Artist and Video Editor

What I need: 3d Moddelling tools that are easy to use, in a stable enviroment, animation editing tools that are also easy to use in a stable enviroment, post processing tools, paint tools, and visualization tools that are easy to use in a stable enviroment.

What I have for this: Windows 2k, and Windows XP

What Linux can offer me: Uneeded headache

What Windows can offer me: uneeded headache, but ease of use in a relatively stable enviroment



I'm a mouser, I gave up on keyboard commands for simple tasks years ago. Windows accomadates this. I hope one day linux will reach a consensus and accomadate it as well. After all, if linux is about freedom, its my freedom to hope that maybe it can appeal to more then closet programmers.



I don't want to sound Ideological, but everyone here must realize, Linux user base is small, smaller then both the major OS's out there. It is to my understanding Ubuntu wants to remedy this. Or is it Ubuntu: For CLI using Human Beings?

Neither Linux (any distro) Windows or MAc OSX is what I want or need, but I make do with what I can use, and by doing so, Linux loses a potential convert because the responses I (and others) get are "Learn how to program it myself"

I have a job to do, I can't just pick up a coding in Linux book and make myself apps. Thats a programmers job. But Linux programmers seem to be getting lazier and more fearfull of change lately.

One of us needs to be more open minded.

The Producer
June 28th, 2005, 05:00 AM
What I need: 3d Moddelling tools that are easy to use, in a stable enviroment, animation editing tools that are also easy to use in a stable enviroment, post processing tools, paint tools, and visualization tools that are easy to use in a stable enviroment.

What I have for this: Windows 2k, and Windows XP

What Linux can offer me: Uneeded headache

....

I have a job to do, I can't just pick up a coding in Linux book and make myself apps. Thats a programmers job. But Linux programmers seem to be getting lazier and more fearfull of change lately.



Thank you.

Thank you from another animator, who has been on the search for video editing solutions on Linux.

From what I experienced so far being with Linux...this isn't a system I would want to work on, or tell others to use. It's not because of LINUX itself, it because of the attitude of some of the users and programmers.

And it's hard to avoid, due to the nature of Linux and the community, especially when your new. And honestly, i'm beginning to become tired of it.

skoal
June 28th, 2005, 05:07 AM
Gimp, blender, and even ImageMagick come to mind. 2 out 3 are all mighty fine GUI tools, and the last provides an easy alternative via the CLI to fill in the blanks the other two don't handle just as quick, or just don't handle at all. Moreover, they're all free.

Each has it's own "learning curve", which is no different than picking up a CAD 3D tool on a Win box for the first time, and which you shell out $500 each for. I guess I don't understand. What do you want? Manuals are there. The software is there. The only obstacle is time. In the end, we're all here trying our best to minimize that learning curve (time spent) as best we can, with what we know.

What am I missing?

\\//_

The Producer
June 28th, 2005, 06:06 AM
To be honest, those programs you mentioned just don't stack up, compared to Windows solutions.

Period.

And video editing...

And at least I just want get my work done, without having to find some "workaround" because the tool I want is not supported....or won't be supported because it's proprietary. I can careless about supporting the open-source movement. I just want to get stuff done, even if I have to pay money for it, because chances are, that $1500 I spend on Lightwave is going to help me reach that goal.

The same goes with Ubuntu. I just want to get stuff done, installed and running, preferabily without having to type code into a black box, without having to take time out of what I want to do to create my own programs to satisfy that. But it seems as if no one wants that to change, seeing from the responses in this thread.

I think everyone should really, really reconsider where they are trying to go with this. From the way things are going, I think Linux for the most part should stay for the techinically inclided, because I know friends and family who would give up using computers entirely if this is what they had to deal with, just so that they wouldn't get anymore viruses and the such.

Arthemys
June 28th, 2005, 06:55 AM
I really hate to sound spammy about this but... Novell is trying to change what linux is for at least the business world and get businesses interested at ideally converted. They're trying to have an image of professionalism behind linux so that they can make sales on the linux based products over their netware based products.

I'm not starting up a flame of "Novell is better because" I'm just providing some insight as my company... Multi-facetted as it is, is a channel partner of Novell... They realize the future of the linux platform, and are moving very fast in my opinion with their products. Though they still do not have a fully "smooth running" desktop OS yet, this will take some time as due to the nature of linux and open source.

What needs to be done is what most people are realizing now, that an agreement needs to take place on say... What X server to use or what package type to concentrate on for example, or what should be used for scanning available wireless networks. There's so many different aspects and uses for linux that turning it into a product like Windows (used by so many) will take a dedicated team of developers. Why do you think Novell and MS pay their developers? To make a solid product and agree on a standard.

Final example: One employee sends out emails in plain text with on signature, one sends out emails with HTML and images with a fancy signature, and the boss sends out plain text with a basic signature. From a client standpoint, if you're dealing with each employee, you'll notice the inconsistencies quickly. There needs to be an agreed upon standard for just about every aspect of linux. And that requires developer time.

aysiu
June 28th, 2005, 06:58 AM
I don't think video editing software is what's going to win people over to Linux or Ubuntu. With GUI solutions, Linux is far more likely to get the email/internet/word process crowd, which is a far larger base.

poofyhairguy
June 28th, 2005, 07:12 AM
Maybe if you actually tried instead of fearing change.

Ok. I'll bite. Show me that GUI ndiswrapper tool in Ubuntu. Show me the GUI Xserver reconfig tool. Show me the GUI fstab editor. These are the most popular basic jobs that pretty much have to be done using a command line in ubuntu. If anyone knows an easy to install GUI for these, I'll tell people to use them. Till then you miss my point.

RickSGM
June 28th, 2005, 07:13 AM
Well, back to the subject. I'm a total newbie to linux. I tried installing other linux distributions, and was told about ubuntu.
I like the command lines you give, for it helps to get the job done. It's not going to kill anyone to go to terminal and copy and paste a command, or to even retype the command if viewing from another pc. The help on the ubuntuguide.org and the help here has been great, and in my opinion, stands second to none. I've used windows since 2000, and found some apps in windows that don't have as good help as ubuntu.
Keep the good work up! \\:D/ =D>

poofyhairguy
June 28th, 2005, 07:22 AM
The same goes with Ubuntu. I just want to get stuff done, installed and running, preferabily without having to type code into a black box, without having to take time out of what I want to do to create my own programs to satisfy that. But it seems as if no one wants that to change, seeing from the responses in this thread.

No one? Where is this majority that says they want no more GUI tools? I don't see any.

Sure some people prefer the CLI, but most want to use a GUI. In many cases we don't have one. We might in a couple years when things are more developed, but for now many tasks are command line only. I think 90%+ percent of Ubuntu will like the GUI tools when they come. I might finally use my broadcom wireless card if a ndiswrapper tools comes down the pipe. I want these thing too. But we don't have them today, and to say anything else is not realistic.


I think everyone should really, really reconsider where they are trying to go with this. From the way things are going, I think Linux for the most part should stay for the techinically inclided, because I know friends and family who would give up using computers entirely if this is what they had to deal with, just so that they wouldn't get anymore viruses and the such.

I don't get it. What response did you want? "Its a crying shame we don't have more GUI tools and because you mention it we all are going to start cracking on new ones?" Thats not realistic. Some people do help fix this problem, our third party section has some GUI tools made by users. But there are still many gaps.

Do I wish they weren't there? Sure...but I'm not going to ignore it. I'm not going to lead people on and try to dupe them into not seeing the holes.

This thread is getting out of hand. People are getting their feelings hurt because they think the community doesn't care for new GUIs. Thats so far from the truth. This thread didn't establish a conspiracy against GUIs. All it did was assess where we are AT THIS POINT IN TIME. We are at a place where we lack many GUI tools. Hopefully Azz is correct and it will get much better soon. I say two releases before the devs and the community fill up the biggest holes. Till then, I'm straight shooting with people when they need help.

poofyhairguy
June 28th, 2005, 10:44 PM
Recently I have been getting some PMs that I ended this thread abruptly. I am posting this as a better explanation of my actions and to get across the point of the thread.

I created this thread because I spend a large amount of time helping new users in the Beginner Forum. Recently I was told that it would be better if I would give directions to do tasks in a GUI along with the usual directions in command form- even if the GUI way is harder to explain and do. I thought about this to myself for a while and I decided personally that this was not the best thing to do- to "shelter" new users from the CLI- because I personally believed that eventually in Linux some CLI use is needed and I thought that I would be wasting my time with a person if all it took was some commands to make them run back to Windows (or OSX, whatever).

But I did not want to make this my official line without some peer review- so I posted a thread to understand my position better. In the course of this thread, I learned that I was wrong. My original position was flawed in the following ways:

1. As Azz pointed out, there might be a chance that some people can get by without using the CLI in Ubuntu if we help them in that goal. Maybe if there was a good graphical howto to explain how to add the extra repositories in synaptic a certain percentage of users might not need to use the CLI. I thought that eventually they would have to....but then I remember some people only have basic requirements when I comes to an OS. For these people I hope to make this guide soon, and I hope once its made it will be linked to when people ask "where is codecs/java."

2. Even if my original conclusion was correct and it is impossible to avoid the command line, I learned that it does take some time to get used to it. A person that I might scare off with a command early on could later be a CLI wizard once they get used to it. I was a little arrogant I guess, so I apologize and I hope to give GUI suggestions when I can.

Of course the command line still has its place and I will probably continue to give out some commands because of the low risk of error (and because sometimes its easier). But this thread showed me that some basic guidelines should be followed. I suggest that if you want to help out that you follow them as well:

1. Try to explain command when you can. Just giving commands teaches the user nothing, but if you explain them then maybe they might like the command line (and Ubuntu) more overall.

2. But sure to actually give the command. Instead of saying "you need to edit this file" say
" enter this command- sudo gedit /place to edit/." Don't assume that users can make original commands early on- more specific info is always better.

3. Give suggestions to fix things in the CLI AND the GUI if possible. Don't lean heavy on the command line if you can't.

All of this was a great learning experience for me (and I hope others). I thank all that participated.

Unfortunately this thread was getting less and less productive. Instead of helping us assess the viability of my hypothesis, some people wanted to turn this into a GUI vs. CLI thread. It seems that a few posters (who must have skimmed the thread instead of reading it) assumed that I was anti-GUI and assumed that the community was not sympathetic to the needs of those that prefer the GUI. Somehow these posters got the impression that I or the community doesn't want new GUIs to be created, and began to chide Linux users for their OS's lack of GUIs.

That is not a productive or on topic tangent. From the way these posts were written (aka the way they didn't comment on the actual subject) it makes me believe that a few people who were disappointed with the lack of GUIs (for a while now) in Ubuntu saw the title of this thread and decided to voice their complaints despite the fact that these complaints didn't apply here. When we didn't all say "yeah Ubuntu sucks, we refuse to use it until its like XP and everything can be done in a GUI" (or something....I guess I don't know what response they really wanted and I don't really want to find out) these people got bent out of shape. This tangent began to bring down an otherwise productive thread, and I decided to close it so that the thread wouldn't morph into the unofficial place to bitch about the lack of GUIs in Ubuntu.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone in my path to test my hypothesis. I think my answer is more rounded now.

With this long explanation done, I will unlock the thread. If we can get back on topic there is some issues that we can discuss in reasonable terms. For example:

What is the best way to make a GUI guide? What areas of configuration really need GUIs, and what have other Linux's done to fill these gaps? In what areas do CLI command excel, and in what areas do GUI commands excel?

These are all on topic, productive stuff. I swear to God that if people try again to turn this into a "poofyhairguy or Ubuntu VS. GUIs" again I will lock the thread for good and that will be that . THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT!!!! Thanks for your patience...it took my a while to write this up...now that I have been very clear I hope that we can continue as adults and discuss the issues at hand.

Takis
June 28th, 2005, 11:04 PM
My turn:
Do we tell people we're helping to use the command line because that's what we're used to? I can't remember the last time I opened Kate, for example, and selected File->Open with the mouse (actually, I remember now, it was back when I started).
It certainly doesn't help that, in many cases, support answers involve editing root-owned files. From here it's a bit of a Catch-22: to avoid using the command-line, you could create an in-line shortcut so that you right-click a file and select "Edit as root" - which would help new Linux users, but at the same time can be understandably seen as a security no-no. How do we get around this? I don't know the best answer.

As a moot point, I seem to remember being told by one of my lecturers that the inventor of the mouse also created a second keyboard to be used in conjunction with it. It consisted of five keys which allowed a combination of 31 (2^5, minus the no-key-pressed combination for slightly obvious reasons) key combinations. This never took off because it was too hard for people to learn a second keyboard, let alone the first. The point is, though, that the mouse was never intended to be a stand-alone tool.

aysiu
June 28th, 2005, 11:10 PM
Thanks for the clarification. I don't think I'm one of those people you're talking about, but I definitely misunderstood the original intent of the thread.

I'd say the best way to a guide is to have two columns for every task. Column one is the GUI way to do it. Column two is the CLI way to do it. Sometimes column one might be empty. Other times it might have something in it.

This may also be a good way for people to get to know the command-line, too. If the two (GUI and CLI) are placed side-by-side, people may make easier associations about "Oh, that's what Chmod does" or "That's what sudo gedit means."

aysiu
June 28th, 2005, 11:15 PM
My turn:
It certainly doesn't help that, in many cases, support answers involve editing root-owned files. From here it's a bit of a Catch-22: to avoid using the command-line, you could create an in-line shortcut so that you right-click a file and select "Edit as root" - which would help new Linux users, but at the same time can be understandably seen as a security no-no. How do we get around this? I don't know the best answer.

In Knoppix and Mepis (which is Knoppix-based), there's an icon for browse in super-user mode. I can't imagine it would be that difficult (of course, I'm not a programmer, so I wouldn't really know) to create a similar icon in Gnome. Right?

poofyhairguy
June 28th, 2005, 11:17 PM
I'm glad I could clear things up. That was my intention.



This may also be a good way for people to get to know the command-line, too. If the two (GUI and CLI) are placed side-by-side, people may make easier associations about "Oh, that's what Chmod does" or "That's what sudo gedit means."

Columns are hard to do on this forum (I know I have tried) but you point is excellent!! Maybe make the steps the same or something.

And now I always try to tell people when a GUI tools is a wrapper for a command . Such as synaptic and apt-get.

poofyhairguy
June 28th, 2005, 11:18 PM
In Knoppix and Mepis (which is Knoppix-based), there's an icon for browse in super-user mode. I can't imagine it would be that difficult (of course, I'm not a programmer, so I wouldn't really know) to create a similar icon in Gnome. Right?

Well...both of those have a root user, something we lack.

The way to make GUI things super user is to preface it with gksudo.

Is it as bad as the command line to tell poeple to put "gksudo something" in the run dialoge box?

aysiu
June 28th, 2005, 11:28 PM
I don't know if it's as "bad" as the command-line. I suspect it isn't. What other choice do we have? I think if the GUI solution's available, that should be presented as an option; otherwise, you do what you can.

aysiu
June 29th, 2005, 01:56 AM
Well...both of those have a root user, something we lack.

The way to make GUI things super user is to preface it with gksudo.


Actually, I just created a new launcher on my Ubuntu panel called "browse as root." I just right-clicked the panel, selected "Add to panel," then "Custom Application Launcher." I put "Browse as Root" as the name and "sudo nautilus" as the command. Of course, whenever I click the launcher, I'm prompted for the password, but that's as it should be.

If users could figure this simple procedure out, it'd make editing files a lot easier for the CLI-fearing. Editing /etc/apt/sources.list would mean simply navigating to there, copy and pasting an icon (for backup) and double-clicking it to get it to open for editing.

Of course, browsing as root... is dangerous--that's kind of the reason Ubuntu wants people to sudo everything, but it's also a lot less intimidating for some people.

poofyhairguy
June 29th, 2005, 07:26 AM
Actually, I just created a new launcher on my Ubuntu panel called "browse as root." I just right-clicked the panel, selected "Add to panel," then "Custom Application Launcher." I put "Browse as Root" as the name and "sudo nautilus" as the command. Of course, whenever I click the launcher, I'm prompted for the password, but that's as it should be.



It should be gksudo....and I tell people to use it all the time....it is dangerous though,

poofyhairguy
July 4th, 2005, 04:50 PM
I was just informed by a community developer the other day that a GUI ndiswrapper tool is being made. No promises it will be in Breezy...but at least someone is working on it.

If we add that tool....I could almost believe that Ubuntu doesn't need the CLI at all (for many people). If we have that tool, there is only one thing we lack.

If any developers are reading this: we need an xorg configuration tool. A way to edit xorg without touching a CLI. Now we have that dpkg-reconfigure deal...but that is no GUI.

SOOOO many people have xorg problems. People that need to enable nvidia and ATI drivers have to touch the xorg file as it is. If we had an xorg tool that works...then I would say that maybe 50% or more users wouldn't need to touch the command line.

Another GUI tool that would be nice is a FSTAB editing tool. That would be nice for all the people that want to mount a window's partition. But the need for it is nowhere close to the need for an xorg and ndiswrapper tool.

I was very happy to hear about the ndiswrapper tool. As it is now (according to the many Linux related websites I read), Ubuntu is considered to be a medium hard distro. We might never be considered the easiest (distros like MEPIS that don't pay attention to the legalities of including codecs will always be ahead) but we could reach a point where it is as easy as it could be.

I guess that brings up the question- besides what I mentioned...what other GUI tools do we currently lack? What specific tasks?

Kyral
July 4th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Time for my two cents :D

Personally, I love the CLI for most system admin things (editing conf files, moving stuff, etc) And I would ALWAYS prefer using apt-get over Synaptic (hell I removed Synaptic), 'cause I find it MUCH faster to do a "aptS (my alias for apt-cache search) <package>" and then do an "aptI (Guess) <package>"

But then again, I would be completely lost without my GUI. I need things like my GDesklets, my GAIM, my Firefox, my Azureus, etc.

So....the CLI will always be there for me, and the GUI. Its all about a balance :D

aysiu
July 5th, 2005, 04:01 AM
It should be gksudo....and I tell people to use it all the time....it is dangerous though, You know, when I type gksudo in the terminal, I get this error: "Missing command to run." Is that a program I have to install through Synaptic/apt-get?

codejunkie
July 5th, 2005, 05:00 AM
You know, when I type gksudo in the terminal, I get this error: "Missing command to run." Is that a program I have to install through Synaptic/apt-get?

because it is a way to launch programs with root privileges not a command to be use separately example:
gksudo nautilus opens nautilus file browser with root privileges or
gksudo synaptic opens synaptic package manager so if you just typed
gksudo you would get that error because you did not specify the application to run with root privileges.

aysiu
July 5th, 2005, 05:09 AM
How does gksudo nautilus differ from sudo nautilus? I've been using sudo nautilus, and it seems to work fine.

poofyhairguy
July 5th, 2005, 10:09 AM
How does gksudo nautilus differ from sudo nautilus? I've been using sudo nautilus, and it seems to work fine.

Using regular sudo with graphic programs (except for gedit for some reason I recently discovered) might mess up your permissions file making it very hard to get back into Gnome after you log out.

I got bit by it...now I only use gksudo nautilus and everything else....

johnistpropaganda
July 5th, 2005, 10:42 PM
An idea I haven't seen mentioned is pointing begginers to a good book or three (please list some!). I have found this to be invaluable, along with these forums (which are outstanding btw), and would potentially cut back on the number of reoccuring questions. The two books I own, which aren't great, cover both GUI topics and command line essentials.

And I'd like to share a mildly interesting experience:
A friend of mine is dedicated Mac user. When he showed me his new ibook, I decided to open up a terminal and see if it was true that bash commands would work in OSX. I typed the only one I could think of on the spot-"top" and he was amazed. "Dude, thats @#!%in' awsome! Show me more." I didn't know that many commands at the time (and still don't), so I told him to go find a good book on the subject.

Of course there is hardly a need for the CLI in OSX %99.9 of the time, but I have heard it said that to truly become a power user one needs to learn the command line.

Hopefully one day in the not-to-distant future the same will be said of Ubuntu.

Obi John Kinobi

Kvark
July 6th, 2005, 01:23 AM
I'd say the best way to a guide is to have two columns for every task. Column one is the GUI way to do it. Column two is the CLI way to do it. Sometimes column one might be empty. Other times it might have something in it.

This may also be a good way for people to get to know the command-line, too. If the two (GUI and CLI) are placed side-by-side, people may make easier associations about "Oh, that's what Chmod does" or "That's what sudo gedit means."

This is a very good suggestion. Even if a new user would always use one of the ways, it is still best to have them both next to eachother. Because they explain eachother. If you see both ways to do it then you learn so much more then by seing one way. This is a must have for ubuntuguide.org!

For places where columns are hard to do, like the forum, add them after eachother. like:


I got a problem!


You need to do something.


CLI:
smtg -dwyl /path/file

-or-


GUI:
menu -> something -> checkbox for opiton

Sye d'Burns
July 6th, 2005, 01:45 AM
An idea I haven't seen mentioned is pointing begginers to a good book or three (please list some!). I have found this to be invaluable, along with these forums (which are outstanding btw), and would potentially cut back on the number of reoccuring questions. The two books I own, which aren't great, cover both GUI topics and command line essentials.

One of my favorite CLI tutorial sites has to be LinuxCommand. (http://www.linuxcommand.org/index.php) It gives the CLI in small bite sized chunks. Very handy.

az
July 6th, 2005, 01:50 AM
"OOOO many people have xorg problems. People that need to enable nvidia and ATI drivers have to touch the xorg file as it is. If we had an xorg tool that works...then I would say that maybe 50% or more users wouldn't need to touch the command line.

Another GUI tool that would be nice is a FSTAB editing tool. That would be nice for all the people that want to mount a window's partition. But the need for it is nowhere close to the need for an xorg and ndiswrapper tool."

Most people I know do not care about hardware acceleration. So, Xorg is properly configured out-of-the-box. What is not is a bug (like improper color depth or incorrect hardware detection). As for the ATI acceleration, it is available out-of-the-box on most older ati cards.

The nvidia-glx package is improperly made and should have a debconf option which switches on (nvidia-glx-config enable) acceleration by default (why else would you be installing the package?) That is a bug. Perhaps someone with an Nvidia card can file that?
(bugzilla.ubuntu.com)
(yes, I mean you!)

You can add ftab entries when you install by adding the partitions to your partition table and assigning them mountpoints. You just say "keep existing data". This functionality is present and adequate, but will probably be better used in a graphical installation environment. The hooks are there and you can use them already.
So, when you install, you tell the partitioner to add /windows to your fstab and keep existing data....





better than nothing....

aysiu
July 6th, 2005, 02:01 AM
For places where columns are hard to do, like the forum, add them after eachother. I like this idea better than my original columns proposal. Apart from the fact that columns are more difficult to do, they'd also appear rather imbalanced, as the command-line command would probably be one or two lines, whereas the GUI instructions would likely have a number of screenshots and a lot of descriptions. Ideally, the guide would start with the disclaimer, "We have CLI instructions for everything, and--where possible--we've put GUI instructions underneath. We hope that this will help users configure their Ubuntu installation in the way that best suits them, as well as help users understand the relationship between the command-line and the graphical user interface."

super
July 6th, 2005, 03:27 AM
i think the command line is important to learn first. that way every thing will seem easy afterward. besides if your xserver screws up at least you can still get stuff done. thats why i always install command line programs like nano, links, etc just in case.

btw, this is the first time i've heard about that sudo problem with graphical apps, guess its gksudo from now on.

poptones
July 8th, 2005, 09:27 PM
I'm willing to sacrifice security to not be prompted for a password 100 times per session.

then log in as root - and don't complain about how much linux sucks when you blow up your desktop.

AFAIK root accounts barely help anyway since attackers use buffer overruns to execute code when you run a program, after it has permission.

Most buffer exploits like this only end with the attacker running at the same permission level as the person who initiated the attack. So if I send you a JPEG and you are running and unpatched libjpeg, my "attack" will only be running with whatever permissions YOU may have.

Now, if you are logged in as root because you are too lazy to type a passsword a few times when doing administrative stuff...

Also, I hope someday we can ditch synaptic and use something like autopackage.

Why? In synaptic I type in a password one time and I can install anything. Is it really so "spooky" to have your computer verify that you actually WANT to change its core functionality? If you take your car to the shop do you want the mechanic to replace the engine without even bothering to ask if you want a new engine or telling you why you need a new engine? What if he decides he wants you to have these cool new tyres.. that only work up to 50MPH...

I talk to lots of non-geeks about computers. Linux is still a "cult OS" too "hard to use"...

If these are "non geeks" then they know nothing about computers, only perceptions from the media. I know a housewife near here who cannot get her head around the command line to save her soul, but she uses mandrake and has for a long time - and won't talk of going back to windows. She realizes she's lost when doing command line stuff, but also remembers how equally lost she was having a computer that was constantly sick with infections nad having to "wipe" everything every few months to reload.

I think these are major reasons. The problem here is you are asking a bunch of Linux nerds (no offense! ) whether we should abstract away from the CLI. I know Linux folks swear by it, but you don't see windows users swearing by DOS nearly as much.

That's because windows doesn't HAVE a command line. DOS is not like the linux command line in any substantive fashion. You simply cannot get the functionality from the windows command line you can get from linux, because windows applications are all "hidden" from it. In linux I can do nonlinear video editing right from the command line. In windows the best you can do is use the command line to launch a video editor program.

For someone switching to Linux, it takes WAY too much effort to learn all those weird commands. Yes friends, it DOES scare them back to windows or mac land.

Ummm... Macs are now based on a *nix. That means they have command line interfaces as well. I guess you have not seen all those books for MAC users? The ones teaching them how to "tap the power" of that mean and scary command line?

poofyhairguy
July 9th, 2005, 05:53 AM
better than nothing....

I agree.

poofyhairguy
July 9th, 2005, 06:34 AM
Right. "Administrative" as in moving files around or editing a simple text file? No, I call this "everyday use". If I had to say, change video drivers or make sweeping changes to system files I might see the justification. But this is supposed to be MY computer. WTF is up with it asking for passes when I do such basic things? A big turnoff for windows users who BTW never have to enter passwords.

Then make a root account and use it all the time. You can. Just please notice that this little "problem" or you part is the reason that Ubuntu is inherently safer than Windows. 90% of Windows security problems stem from the fact that most uses run as an admin all the time. Thats the only reason programs can install themselves and viruses can wreak shop.

This "turnoff" is because the alternative has too big of a trade off. The good multiuser system is THE BEST THING ABOUT DESKTOP LINUX!!

This is not a behavior Ubuntu will ever emulate (or I'll buy a Mac...I swear it....its uses sudo too....notice how these two desktop platforms lack any spyware).


That's how synapic works! Install one thing, and you end up installing 50 others for it to work. Then you get to manage all those packages.
It could be better.

A: It manages all the pacakges and dependancies...not you

B: There is no other way to do it in Linux. Unlike Windows or Mac the only common things are the kernels. EXE type things can work because EXEs in Windows assumes a lot of things are there. An EXE (or whatever) in Linux can't assume almost anything- do you use KDE or Gnome or something else? Do you have python or perl or neither installed? Do you have the version of another program needed by this program? An EXE in Linux could assume nothing - it would have to be at least the size of an install CD in order to package everything it might need. The package managers like synaptic make it all work. All autopackage does (or will do successfully) is make package managers easier to use....thats all that will ever be done.


Wow! She's the adventurous type. Too bad she's married, a girl like this is a rare breed. Now lemme guess, her husband is a geek. Or she has a geeky friend who helps her when things go bad. Otherwise she'd have gone back to windows long ago, or to Mac if she likes trying "new things".

Nothing wrong with that. I talked my sis into a powerbook after she didn't like Linux. Anything is better than a sudoless OS.


And be more productive since you'll have a more intuitive interface to the task at hand. Don't kid yourself man...things like video editing ARE easier with a GUI. Something's wrong if you disagree there. Do you also edit your 3D models on the commandline? I bet you do. :roll:

Not always. What if you need to edit 1000 files all the same way? A command line script is best for that. Use the best tool for the job if you can I say.


Of course. And mac continues to kick Linux's ass all over the desktop. Why? Is it because Mac has a more developed GUI, while Linux still relies on the commandline? :-|

No...because Mac has a very small platform to develop for. Its like making games on a Gamecube versus making a game for a computer- they know exactly what the hardware is. So its a lot easier for them. OSX would run like crap (or at least as bad as Linux) if it had to run on every Dell in the world.

aysiu
July 9th, 2005, 06:50 AM
Right. "Administrative" as in moving files around or editing a simple text file? No, I call this "everyday use". What are these "everyday" files you're moving around that require sudo or root privileges? I copy and paste files all the time and edit them without using sudo. The only files I need to edit (when I first install Linux) that need sudo are /etc/apt/sources.list, /etc/fstab, /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Other than that, once things have been configured I almost never need to sudo to edit files. What regular files do you need root privileges to edit? Please be specific.


That's how synapic works! Install one thing, and you end up installing 50 others for it to work. Then you get to manage all those packages. It could be better. Do you have dial-up? Is that what the problem is?


Of course. And mac continues to kick Linux's ass all over the desktop. Why? Is it because Mac has a more developed GUI, while Linux still relies on the commandline? :-| Actually, Ubuntu relies on the command-line, and it doesn't even rely on it that heavily (except when you're first installing it). Have you used Mepis? Have you used Linspire? There are distributions out there that require almost no use or knowledge of the command-line at all. These distros are a lot like OS X in this respect. You can rely solely on GUI if you want, but if you want to "tinker under the hood" with some UNIX-like commands, you can do that as well.

poptones
July 9th, 2005, 07:00 AM
Right. "Administrative" as in moving files around or editing a simple text file? No, I call this "everyday use".

Dude... I can edit "one of those simple text files" and now your computer calls mine every time you log in and sends me your password. with any given windows machine attached to the internet it's all too easy to gain this power with a simple pushbutton attack. You really think it is a liability that a piece of software says "hey, this is a really critical file you are editing and it could screw up your system or compromise your security. Tell me the password so I at least know you are the person who SHOULD be changing this file?"

Again: if you really don't care, log in as root. This is a non-issue because it is so easily overcome. It's a stupid idea, but as you say it's YOUR COMPUTER to screw up - knock yourself out.


A big turnoff for windows users who BTW never have to enter passwords.

Exactly. This is why we have spam. And why it is so easy for those who trade "illegal material" via p2p and usenet. If it weren't for those millions of easily owned windows machines sitting on phat pipes the internet would be a very, very different place.


"..do you want the mechanic to replace the engine without even bothering to ask if you want a new engine or telling you why you need a new engine?"

That's how synapic works! Install one thing, and you end up installing 50 others for it to work. Then you get to manage all those packages.

Ummm.. no. I do not "manage all those packages," that's what synaptic is for. I don;t even think about those packages until I have to download them over my dialup connection.

When I was using win2k, if I had to do a relaod it was easily two days before I could become productive again because Windows was such a nightmare of dependancies to install their "visual development tools." Apply this service pack, apply that installer patch - but wait, you can't do that until you install this other library patch. It was a tremendous pain in the ass, and if you have enver experienced this then you have never written code for windows.

Here is how I install the full development package in ubuntu: open synaptic, enter my password ONE TIME and it resolves the dependanices for me and installs what I asked it to install If synaptic "could be better" then windows is stuck in the stone age.


"I know a housewife near here...she uses mandrake and has for a long time - and won't talk of going back to windows.."

Wow! She's the adventurous type. Too bad she's married, a girl like this is a rare breed. Now lemme guess, her husband is a geek.

Bzzzzt. Her husband is a redneck who would throw the computer in the trash if he could.


Or she has a geeky friend who helps her when things go bad.

I installed linux for her. But I am also the one who was called when her windows install was so sickly that the machine couldn't even boot. It's been months now since she called me with a problem.


"In windows the best you can do is use the command line to launch a video editor program. "

And be more productive since you'll have a more intuitive interface to the task at hand. Don't kid yourself man...things like video editing ARE easier with a GUI. Something's wrong if you disagree there.

Aha! Thanks for taking the bait, my friend. If editing video with premiere is your idea of "productive" then you have obviously never had to deal with a large project. Do you think something like Fight Club is put together by a lone editor sitting at a premiere type workstation? Something like Premiere or Kino is fine for wedding videos where you have at most three cameras and the point is just to "remember the event." But with a larger project that type of software quickly proves completely unmanageable.

Being able to edit video from the command line means I can use all the tools at my disposal - grep, sed, awk, xml parsers and python and convert and layer and all those other tools that make linux so powerful. Natural Born Killers was a remarkable film at the time because of the massive number of edits. That was a decade ago now, and things haven't become any more subtle in Hollywood films. Care to guess what platform and what software most production houses use now for this sort of thing?

Editing a large production is done by cut sheets - textual timelines. It's how the pros do it. Those cut sheets may be generated by premiere type ionterfaces or they may not. When I want to make sure I get this frame like this and that frame like that I don't reach for a mouse - neither does anyone else who knows what they are doing.


Do you also edit your 3D models on the commandline? I bet you do.

Ayup, I sure have. And why not? Those models are just big text files. Sed and awk and grep and eval - that's what they are for. When you want to do it the way everyone else does it you use the "easy" tools; when you want to do something no one else has done, the only way to do it is to head for the command line.


Of course. And mac continues to kick Linux's ass all over the desktop.

Obviously... you haven't visited Hollywood in, like, five years... or ever?

poptones
July 9th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Dude... I can edit "one of those simple text files" and now your computer calls mine every time you log in and sends me your password.

Really? Somehow I doubt this.

Then you really need to get some education before you are in a position to offer a meaningful critique of this stuff. I'm not telling you this to insult you and I damn sure have nothing to prove, but the arguments you are making are a bit.. uninformed. It reminds me of the story Charles Nelson Riley once told on a talk show about his terrible experience with a Mercedes. He had never had a car and didn't realize the need to put oil in the engine. You can imagine how the story ended.

You're probably right though.. spam, p2p, usenet all stems from bad security in windows, and everyone running w1nd0wz is under control by l33t hackers.

Actually, they are if they are not well protected. And that doesn't just mean by Norton and such. I have worked phone support, I have had people tell me about their computer that stays on 24/7 and connected to their cox cable account, and how it was getting worse and worse and then one day "poof" it magically fixed itself! I've actually had that sort of story relayed to me more than once.

Do you believe their computer fixed itself? A geek had stumbled upon their very vulnerable machine while looking for well connected machines to root for a proxy network, and wanted to make sure that machine stayed well connected. It's in their interest to keep such machines running too, you know - if a well connected and otherwise reliable machine becomes so bogged down it is unusable, that's one less proxy on their list.

Laugh all you like, it happens. Here's just one snippet of proof from a well known perl "guru." This is from a letter Chip Salzenberg sent to his boss, a client company called "Health Market Science."


It has recently come to my attention that that HMS is continuing the illegal and immoral web harvesting operation that I brought to Rich Ferris's attention over a month ago, in a conversation including Tim McCune. HMS's continued harvesting operations are a threat to me legally, morally, and professionally.

That HMS systematically collects data from web sites without the express permission of their owners is well known (inside HMS). Some web site operators are not pleased when (if) they figure out that their sites are being harvested. They sometimes respond by blocking the network addresses of the harvesting machines. This was a common problem in harvesting when I hired on to HMS in December of 2002. At that time, the accepted strategy for getting around such blocks was to obtain multiple web hosting accounts to act as proxies for HMS's harvesting systems. I did not then realize that knowingly bypassing blocks placed by web server operators was illegal. (As a result of other research, detailed below, I now know that has been illegal all along.)

As bad as HMS's past harvesting practice was, current practice is worse ... much worse. HMS has taken a page from the spammer playbook and is, deliberately and under management direction, hijacking thousands of vulnerable machines all over the Internet, using them and their network bandwidth without the knowledge or permission of their owners as unwitting accomplices in HMS's data harvesting operation.

I have confirmed these facts in conversations with several people with first-hand
knowledge, including Tim McCune and John Marquart. I asked Tim McCune about
HMS's proxy hijacking in the presence of Rich Ferris, a vice president of HMS and a
company founder. In that conversation, Tim McCune confirmed to Rich Ferris and me that proxy hijacking was standard practice. Shocked, I informed Tim and Rich that proxy hijacking is very illegal and immoral. They were unmoved. I also have witnesses for other conversations.


And here's how such things can end (http://geeksunite.net/).

No, wait.. it hasn't ended yet. That's really how bad it gets just at the start.


"...I do not "manage all those packages," that's what synaptic is for"

What if a package is insecure? What if someone hacked my synaptic, or the update lists, to make it download all kinds of malware? How can I trust this thing that's always downloading odd files from the internet?

For one, you don't log in as root all the time.

Which side of this are you on? Just yesterday you were bitching about all the security built into the desktop that gets in your way. You said you would give up security for convenience. And now you're worried about a system level app that is, in any reasonable system, protected via password?

That text file I mentioned? There's one simple example on this wiki page (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EncryptedFilesystemHowto). if you're using windows I don't even need to edit a text file. All I need to do is get you to click on an activex control that installs my own spyhook.dll. Now I can not only eavesdrop on your traffic, I can initiate connections, force downloads - whatever.

How do you know you can trust synaptic? Read that article on the wiki about securing your system with cryptography. There's a script there (I need to update) that will scour your system and generate an MD5 hash of every single system file. Schedule it to run every night and you'll get a report on every single file it finds altered.

Leif
July 9th, 2005, 10:48 AM
I know enough thanks. You're lucky someone like me has the balls to come here and tell you this stuff instead of blindly agreeing with everything the community says. I hope more people will be blunt about what sucks about Linux, so people can start fixing it. :-|


Look, I'm going to put this simply : security will never go away. This is a good thing, even if you feel it is in the horribly arrogant I know what's best for you way. As others have said, go and login as root, but don't expect everyone else's security to be switched off by default because you had to type in your password to change the grub background, which of course we all do 20 times a day so the time saved is way worth it.

As for the having balls to complain... wow, bravo, because none of us have ever offered criticism. We all just mumble and nod our heads. You realize these are user forums right ? Not bugzilla. You want fixing, talk to developers, or better yet, do it yourself.


Anyway, if a true hacker wants in...nothing I can do will stop him and I accept this fact of life.

That's the best example of bad logic I've seen in a while ! Oooh, if a true thief wants to get into my door/car, he will, so I might just as well leave the door open.

brim4brim
July 9th, 2005, 11:00 AM
My point is that it's hard to put trust in what you don't understand. A new user has no idea what the 50 dependancies are that are being downloaded, where exactly they are downloading from, or if it's really secure. It's stupid to lock text files when he has to download tons of obscure files. At least with windows we go to the developers site, grab an installer, and can usually install and run the program usually without needing to download "extras". No passes, and we know where we got the file(s). It feels like you have more control.

I know enough thanks. You're lucky someone like me has the balls to come here and tell you this stuff instead of blindly agreeing with everything the community says. I hope more people will be blunt about what sucks about Linux, so people can start fixing it. :-|

" ...bla bla... I will hack you with activex"
Trust me I worry about viruses. Just maybe not as much as some people. I plug holes and update what I can, and leave it at that. I don't lose sleep over it. One of the first things I block is activeX though.. come on now. :roll: Anyway, if a true hacker wants in...nothing I can do will stop him and I accept this fact of life.

Now can we bring this back on topic, plz ?
To the guy who keeps saying he wants to use windows because it doesn't have to type root password everytime he does something.

Longhorn the new windows OS is taking this feature from Linux to make the new windows more secure. They will also be using Unix like permissions! Ms has realised that what they did was a security error and is the reason they have so many attacks from worms and such programs.

I think that a lot of Linux users including myself aren't aware beforehand if synaptic is overwriting or uninstalling libraries if it's entirely safe to proceed and if there is a way to find out what programs on a users system are currently using the packages that are about to be overwritten or uninstalled it would be very useful. As far as I'm aware this is how synaptic works and when I see the following libraries will be uninstalled I'm not exactly sure it's safe to continue.

Also for installing nVidia and ATI drivers I thought they had pretty much eliminated the command line except for editing one of the config files to point to the new drivers and that this more of a distro dependant thing is it not which is why they can't make an entirely GUI installer.

Now to get back to does Ubuntu need GUI instructions for users the answer I believe is yes but not at the moment. At the moment Ubuntu won't attract that audience so the current instructions are good enough and I've learned more about the command line using Ubuntu than any other distro I've tried because they are generally so command line dependant that with vague instructions that I give up and Ubuntus step by step guides work and give an idea of how the system works.

Also if GUI tools exist walkthroughs are generally not required because Gnome is pretty intuitive so users will generally find the options at the moment if they are there. An example is adding extra sources to Synaptics which I worked out how to do on my own because it just made sense for the option to be there in Synaptic. I didn't find it at first and checked Synaptics help and it says it somewhere in there about adding sources. Users find the GUI option if it's there. Command Line walkthroughs work for the moment providing they give a step by step instruction to the point where a user can just copy and paste without thinking if they so wish. Users generally learn as they go but some just don't want to and want to get it working and that's it.

At the momen I think drivers, hardware problems in general and software not in synaptic is the only reason users use the command line and while here I'd like to suggest a program for make file programs where you can select the source directory and select where you want to install it and click the install button and the program should build and install it automatically and collect any needed libraries from Synaptic as neccessary. If libraries required are not found in Synaptic then an error should be given to users asking them to download such and such a package or maybe a call back to Ubuntu so they know the library is needed by users.

As for drivers this is more the hardware manufacturers problem in that they don't provide drivers for Linux. If they do sometimes there are errors and in this case the command line is okay because in windows you sometimes find that you have to go edit files aswell in hardware problems or just download the latest drivers. There needs to be a way to install drivers without having to use command line similar to the .run packages ATI and nVidia drivers come in as that's pretty much perfect and I think more programs in general should be moving to the .run or firefox like installers. Saying the open sourced programmers don't have the resources to put into making installers or GUI's is crap in my opinion as there are thousands of programs for windows doing it right now that are free and made in spare time by individuals. If there was an open source installer (I don't know if there is already) that allows you to just tell it where to install the files and thats it and to ask for root permissions if neccessary (e.g provide the password box). Ubuntu can't really stop third party software from depending on the command line though. As for user interface controls over command line, it takes maybe five to ten minutes to setup a user interface using the drag and drop tools so it's more of a it'll do attitude rather than the tools not existing or a time constraint for a project.

Anyway those are my opinions as a new comer to Linux and Ubuntu is the first Linux I've kept for so long and the one I've learnt most about the command line from. One more thing though. I've used Suse and Yast and personally see little that it offers that Ubuntu is missing although I could just be missing something. Ubuntu also has the best hardware support I've ever come across in a Linux distribution and I've tried Novell's desktop Linux as I presumed it would have good hardware support but it detected virtually none of my Dell Latitude's D810 hardware. Also tried Mepis but said it couldn't detect my CD Rom drive for some reason even though it read from it to start the installer then told me it couldn't detect it. Anyway thanks to everyone working on the Ubuntu project and keep up the good work as this is by far the best Linux distribution I've tried.

poptones
July 9th, 2005, 11:28 AM
My point is that it's hard to put trust in what you don't understand.

And it's pretty obvious you don't understand much of either linux or windows. You make inconsistent arguments about "security" while talking up windows, then end it all with a shrug of the shoulders "oh well I am gonna get ow|/|zored anyway so what's the diff?"


A new user has no idea what the 50 dependancies are that are being downloaded, where exactly they are downloading from, or if it's really secure.

Nor do they when they go to c|net and download crapware riddled with spies. if they did, they wouldn't do it. This is not a linux problem, it's an education problem.


It's stupid to lock text files when he has to download tons of obscure files.

No. You still do not seem to get that those TEXT FILES CONTROL YOUR SYSTEM. Linux is based on unix, and unix was "invented" on the notion that everything is text. A great many of the features of your system are provided via text files - perl and bash and python scripts. Alter one of them and you alter the core functionality of the machine.


At least with windows we go to the developers site, grab an installer, and can usually install and run the program usually without needing to download "extras".

Only if you happen to be running the latest OS with the latest service pack and all the most recent patches. Otherwise you may very well be back in the boat with the rest trying to resolve some poorl documented dependancy. Only in windows you don't have a package manager to help you with this... it's google, the neighborhood geek, or give it up.


No passes, and we know where we got the file(s). It feels like you have more control.

It's a complete illusion. If you are using windows you have no control. Microsoft has control.


I know enough thanks. You're lucky someone like me has the balls to come here and tell you this stuff

What 'stuff?" You think ANYTHING you said has not been raised 100 times before? Dude, it's ignorance. Sorry, but that's really all it comes down to. There has to be some way to secure a machine. This is no longer an option. If you think it is too much to expect that a user "confirm" before altering their machine, fine - let them run windows. But don't think the windows you run in five years is going to be like the one you are running now. The government simply will not allow it. Yes, I am saying the government will stop it. Right now Microsoft is doing a good job of blaming the bad guys for all this, but it's a cold hard fact all those vulnerable machines are enabling the easy distribution of copyrighted films and music, and hollywood won't have that. They are enabling the distribution of all sorts of pornography the church ladies won't tolerate, and that means folks like the good congressman from Florida are going to be beating down the doors in Redmond if this problem isn't fixed, and soon. That's what Lonhhorn and TCPA and all that other crap is about: plug up the holes Microsot created with Millions of machines running an operating system that wasn't even designed to be used on a network.

You think it's too much trouble to type in your password when you want to add a program? Fine - run Longhorn when it comes out and let the two Washingtons dictate for you what your computer is allowed to do. Let's see how much you feel that security getting in your way when you can't even visit a webpage without first sticking a quarter in the slot.

poptones
July 9th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Users find the GUI option if it's there. Command Line walkthroughs work for the moment providing they give a step by step instruction to the point where a user can just copy and paste without thinking if they so wish. Users generally learn as they go but some just don't want to and want to get it working and that's it.

Actually, MOST of the stuff that is listed here as "step by step" so anyone could follow cut and paste could ALSO be done with scripts. Some of us have been working on this. Then you could just download the script, press return and let fly. In the case of things liek adding package repositories to synaptic, that could even be done from a weblink. But these things take time. right now ubuntu doesn't even have one of those smily happy GUI installers and I suspect you would agree that's a lot more important to making a good first impression than making it "click and run easy" to add a foreign repository to synaptic or encrypting your file system.


At the momen I think drivers, hardware problems in general and software not in synaptic is the only reason users use the command line and while here I'd like to suggest a program for make file programs where you can select the source directory and select where you want to install it and click the install button and the program should build and install it automatically and collect any needed libraries from Synaptic as neccessary.

Here's the thing: much of that software isn't yet ready for prime time. I'm not saying this about ALL of it, but you have to remember this is a single point of distribution for a LOT of software. it takes manpower to compile all that software into the proper packages and set it up on the server. Think of that as a first step in the "filter" process: if it's not on the server, then it's not ready to be supported. There is just as much windows software like this, it's just slightly easier to distribute unfinished crap because the point and click microsoft tools make it easy to wrap up a dozen libraries in a single EXE. What efect that program is going to have on your system or your data is another matter.

I do agree with you about the "these things will be removed." there needs to be a lot more detail paid t that because it does look scary, and you can hose certain features if you are not careful. Try to get rid of evolution server, for example, and you will end up with no desktop at all.. not a good thing. But if it is replacing evolution server and all the desktop files, then the old ones HAVE to be removed. Right now the system doesn't do a good enough job of figuring out what will be "lost" and what will simply be "replaced." It definitely needs to be better.

But before anyone jumps in about "that's why windows is better" consider this: those zip installers will happily overwrite your system files, and the actual installers have scripting capabilities that will also allow removal of files without replacement. And they aren't even required to tell you before doing it.


Saying the open sourced programmers don't have the resources to put into making installers or GUI's is crap in my opinion as there are thousands of programs for windows doing it right now that are free and made in spare time by individuals. If there was an open source installer (I don't know if there is already) that allows you to just tell it where to install the files and thats it and to ask for root permissions if neccessary (e.g provide the password box).

You just described synaptic. That's what it does. It's built in already.

If you've ever been infected with several virii and called MS for support, I guarantee you have seen plenty of that command line. I have spoken with clients who had spent HOURS on the phone (some calls four hours or more!) while the technican walked them trough typing this and doing that, installing dlls and stripping out text from files and all sorts of crap when they could have just reinstalled windows from the ground up in the same amount of time. With linux it;'s even easier; I just keep a backup of my deb cache so I don't have to download 200MB of stuff again if I need to reload. It might take an hour to remember all the stuff I need after a reload, but with ubuntu you can be back up and running after a "major event" pretty quickly. Not that most folks will ever need to...

brim4brim
July 9th, 2005, 12:39 PM
Actually, MOST of the stuff that is listed here as "step by step" so anyone could follow cut and paste could ALSO be done with scripts. Some of us have been working on this. Then you could just download the script, press return and let fly. In the case of things liek adding package repositories to synaptic, that could even be done from a weblink. But these things take time. right now ubuntu doesn't even have one of those smily happy GUI installers and I suspect you would agree that's a lot more important to making a good first impression than making it "click and run easy" to add a foreign repository to synaptic or encrypting your file system.


Well thats cool but what I'm saying is most of Ubuntu's users are willing to learn command line and most want to learn and this copy and paste allows us to see whats going on. I agree that the tool your developing is much needed and will make my life easier and I look forward to it but I also think the main advantage of it will be to attract a less techy audience for Linux which is where I think Ubuntu is trying to head and is where I'd like to see Linux head while sticking to it's open source and freely distributed roots which is why I choose Ubuntu and recommend Ubuntu to everyone who asks to try Linux.



Here's the thing: much of that software isn't yet ready for prime time. I'm not saying this about ALL of it, but you have to remember this is a single point of distribution for a LOT of software. it takes manpower to compile all that software into the proper packages and set it up on the server. Think of that as a first step in the "filter" process: if it's not on the server, then it's not ready to be supported. There is just as much windows software like this, it's just slightly easier to distribute unfinished crap because the point and click microsoft tools make it easy to wrap up a dozen libraries in a single EXE. What efect that program is going to have on your system or your data is another matter.


Okay I knew that was the general idea of Synaptic but I kinda like messing with other programs and I guess that anyone willing to do that is also willing to learn how to install using the command line which I've been doing aswell. Your right about all the important and I suppose polished open source software is in Synaptic except Real Player for the reason that they won't let ye as I understand it. I just finished installing it now and it wasn't the most fun I've ever had. ](*,)



I do agree with you about the "these things will be removed." there needs to be a lot more detail paid t that because it does look scary, and you can hose certain features if you are not careful. Try to get rid of evolution server, for example, and you will end up with no desktop at all.. not a good thing. But if it is replacing evolution server and all the desktop files, then the old ones HAVE to be removed. Right now the system doesn't do a good enough job of figuring out what will be "lost" and what will simply be "replaced." It definitely needs to be better.

But before anyone jumps in about "that's why windows is better" consider this: those zip installers will happily overwrite your system files, and the actual installers have scripting capabilities that will also allow removal of files without replacement. And they aren't even required to tell you before doing it.


Well I'm glad ye are aware of the issue because in other Linux distro's I have actually disabled my front end unknowingly while installing a third party app that I didn't think would touch anything near the front end for the OS let alone completely disable it. I havn't had any problems with Ubuntu yet but I can understand how it could turn other people off. I've kinda started to get used to what libraries are important to the core of the OS and Gnome which makes me feel a lot safer about using the package manager.

Well anyway overall it seems you've got the plans to put it together for the future and I think we've answered the topic starters question that it's okay for the moment but that your tool that will allow automating the current step by step process guides is pretty much the future solution in helping users without making them use the command line or having people describe how to do it via GUI interface because I've had to do that with users and screen grab of lotus notes, go into paint paste, cut the part I wanted, high light the option they need to use and then paste it back into an email and send it to them isn't fun and seeing as this entire service is free I wouldn't expect them to do it and I hope the new tool works aswell as you've described.

N'Jal
July 9th, 2005, 02:44 PM
Well a GUI installer will be featured in Breezy, so we are getting there.


I know enough thanks. You're lucky someone like me has the balls to come here and tell you this stuff

You want ball's? Go away and come back once you have learned something, i don't think im the only one who doesn't actually know what point your trying to make. To me you come accross as rather arragant and ignorant, and your arguments do not help this discussion. If you have a valid point please make it more clear.

N'Jal
July 9th, 2005, 06:49 PM
Most of you aren't new to Linux.

I am, i just followed the learning curve, i don't claim to be an uber geek cos simply im not one. I've not even been using linux systems for much over a year.

Frankly i am doing my bit, i am a member of the doc's team, actually working on the command line part of it, this is where i am learning, i am also learning C, to perhaps further development of programs when i get good enough, but it's easy to say I have balls because i suggested this, go out and make a difference, you didn't see bob geldof say go organize a concert... he did it himself and look he made a difference, perhaps you will, so stand up and be counted don't just sit around telling people what to do.

Lead by example

aysiu
July 9th, 2005, 07:24 PM
I, too, am new to Linux. I just come with an attitude ready to learn something.

And I still haven't heard valid critiques of Linspire or Mepis from Jr0. I happen to like Ubuntu better, but if you want to get away from the commandline and go full GUI, there are Linux options in that area.

And the splash.xpm.gz file is not an "everyday" file. Are you able to edit the Windows boot splash screen without administrator privileges? Do you even know how to edit the Windows boot splash screen?

garnertr
July 9th, 2005, 07:30 PM
PoofyhairGuy,

When I see your icon in the messages, I know that your about to give useful information.

Myself, I could care less HOW the information is presented. I think we are getting hung up on the idea of GUI and/or Command Line and that either one is the ONLY way to go and if your not using it then you are wrong and/or a dweeb...

Myself, I'd like to learn more of the command line; I find the screen shots w/ the command line instructions very useful and helpful, after all, I cannot messup something as simple as "uname" or "apt-get install xyz".

From my own observations, Linux ppl are so hung up on their world of this is the only way to do it, anything else is windows and therefore bad; which is not true (IMHO).

So, keep up the GREAT WORK, I look forward to your postings, keep them up, I'm learning from you; maybe I should say thank you more often, but I don't, but just so you know, this person THANKS YOU for your efforts!

garnertr
July 9th, 2005, 07:35 PM
Time for my two cents :D

Personally, I love the CLI for most system admin things (editing conf files, moving stuff, etc) And I would ALWAYS prefer using apt-get over Synaptic (hell I removed Synaptic), 'cause I find it MUCH faster to do a "aptS (my alias for apt-cache search) <package>" and then do an "aptI (Guess) <package>"

But then again, I would be completely lost without my GUI. I need things like my GDesklets, my GAIM, my Firefox, my Azureus, etc.

So....the CLI will always be there for me, and the GUI. Its all about a balance :D


Kyral,

Great post, can you amplify how you got rid of Synapic and how you made an alias and such in GUI...

This is interesting and I'd like to learn more! :)

aysiu
July 9th, 2005, 07:41 PM
Why do I need to critique Linspire or Mepis? Suddenly people value my opinion? :???: I don't like either, and one is non-free. No other distro calls itself "Linux for humans". I want to see Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Edubuntu live up to that. Because you said this before:
I tried them all (I'm on cable ) Ubuntu is the easiest. For me that is. I'm not saying Linux is terrible or I can't do work in Linux. I use it just fine. I just wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a replacement for windows, in any of it's current incarnations. If you say Linux isn't a good replacement for Windows in any of its current incarnations, you should be specific about why. I don't have to "value your opinion" to want to at least know why you have your opinions. Saying "I don't like either" isn't being specific. I happen to believe Linux is a good replacement for Windows, given certain assumptions: 1. people who allow large companies to pre-configure and pre-install Windows be forgiving of the fact that Linux, like any operating system, needs installing and needs configuring; and 2. people aren't using Windows-specific programs (yes, they do exist).

If someone just wants to check email, surf the internet, and do the occasional word processing, she or he would be perfectly fine with Linux as long as someone sets it up. And Windows is set up, whether you see the set up or not. Windows does not "just work" out of the box--I'm speaking as someone who actually has reinstalled Windows after having lost my "drivers and utilities" CD.

panickedthumb
July 9th, 2005, 07:49 PM
jr0-- it's touted as Linux for Human Beings, it's touted as desktop Linux, but it's never touted as Linux with no learning curve. Imagine using a mac for years and switching to windows, or using linux for years and switching to windows, etc, etc. There will always be a learning curve, and different ways things will function.

aysiu
July 9th, 2005, 08:09 PM
I gave my reasons. The reliance on the CLI. The focus on multiuser security, even where there is just one user. Package managment. I couldn't tell my sister to use Linux with a straight face. She can use windows just fine though. I might get her a Mac for christmas. I've never had to use the CLI in Mepis, not even to enable extra repositories, not even to browse as root (within my user account). And Linspire's default (even on its latest 5.0 release) is to make you one user, who is administrator (just like Windows).

Still haven't heard any valid critiques of Linspire or Mepis. I recommend Mepis to everyone who's afraid of cutting and pasting some commands. To everyone else, I recommend Ubuntu. Sure, Linux isn't for everyone, but neither is Mac or Windows.

N'Jal
July 9th, 2005, 08:16 PM
Ok, maybe I will! How do I get involved? Should I just start hacking up some GUI apps? But there's a problem, I hate python. If I could get Motif installed I'd be able to use the iup project from lua to make GUI apps very quickly. I have a nice iup framework already in place. I tried to install Motif, but synaptic installs the wrong version (and there's no choice!) while openmotif is broken. Fox GUI toolkit might work, I haven't tried it. There's also lua-Qt somewhere but I haven't tried this either.

I'd suggest rolling your own... but that's a command line thing...*shrugs*

OR

Try another distro that has the laset versions

OR

Work with your chosen project to port the latest versions

OR

Use Windows/Mac/SkyOS (though i wouldn't reccomend the latter yet, it's still beta)

OR

Learn a new language/IDE (My first language was MS Visual BASIC, im now learning C)

Or

Work with the autopackage guy's to port it, i find autopackage to be very good

There's a few things for you to try.


I do have other things I could/should be doing
Don't we all?

aysiu
July 9th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Really? I didn't notice. I found it annoying to use. Did I mention it's not free? That you have to pay a subscription fee to download packages? No thanks. Oh, I'm not saying Linspire isn't annoying to use, and I'm not saying it's free. I'm saying it is a good alternative to Windows (for some people), does not require CLI, and follows the one-user-as-administrator model.


I'll take another look at Mepis, but if this is true I hope Ubuntu devs will notice and consider adopting some of the same features. Part of it is Mepis including a lot of GUI stuff, part of it is KDE-stuff.

poptones
July 9th, 2005, 10:29 PM
My original point was, the command line does in fact scare off would-be new users. The FAQ does help, but it's not enough, and this is not the only thing scaring people off.

Redneck mom doesn;t seem to scared by it. She's glad it asks her - it tells her that something is going to happen that COULD screw up her machine, and she knows it's not going to do anything to screw itself up without asking her.

Fifth time the charm? If you don't like typing the password, log in as root. Make it your desktop. Live happy, die young.



Maybe they want to be able to do whatever they want on their machine, without it holding them back? There must be ways to keep the same security and reduce the hassle on the user.

if they want to do 'whatever they want" on their machine then they better learn to love linux, because Microsoft won't let them do that now. Someone has to be accountable for this, and if they are not willing to take on that very minimal responsibility then big brother will do it for them. the internet is a shared resource, a global community, and it is inevitable there will be laws and regulation to ensure people reasonable security while there. Some people will no doubt continue to walk around in ski masks, but the time is quickly coming when those who provide these ski masks - those users of hacked machines - will be regulated offline. They will be barred as "bad players" until they fix the problem. If they will not take on the minimal responsibility of doing for themselves then they will end up having to trust someone else - namely Microsoft - to do it for them. Then they wil be able to "do what they want" to their heart's content - just so long as they pay the monthly service fees and don't visit any of those "unsafe" sites big brother doesn't like.


I'm talking about every new user, not just myself. THEY may not trust synaptic. THEY won't want to enter passes to do basic things.[quote]

Ahh, those mythic "other people." Funny... none seem to be behind you.

[quote] In home systems I work on (because yes, I'm qualified to work on them) I never see multiple user accounts for Windows.

Then you do not work on many. I have dealt with literally hundreds of home users and a great many of them LOVE the "multiple desktops" functionality of XP. Mom has a desktop. Dad has a desktop. Sis has a desktop and mom dosn't have to look at either of them.

"Those other people" do not seem to have a hard time dealing with the concept of user accounts. These are the ones who, by and large, also do not have machines infected to the gills with crap. IOW those who have learned better.

As I said, this is not a windows/linux issue. It's an issue of education. And if you are not teaching your clients how to make use of these facilities and why it is important, you are not doing your job.


There are rarely times when a program has unresolved dependancies in windows

Not a gamer I guess...


and developers usually list them on their site.

And with ubuntu that's not even needed. If it's in synaptic it gets installed, no googling and no poring over the authors website FAQ.


Only poorly designed apps, hacker apps, or Microsoft's apps ever overwrite system files.

ROTFL. "Poorly designed apps, hacker apps, and Microsoft apps..."

Quite a community there.


Not everything I need is in Synaptic, and not always the version I need.

How do you know? If it's not in synaptic then you are trying to install unsupported software. If it's not in synaptic it's not there for a reason. So are you technically proficient enough to fix your system when unsupported software borks it? Are you certain it is not a "hostile app" that is just going to make your machine one more zombie for the whorde o spammers?

it seems to me the "freedom" you want is the "freedom" to bork your system without having to learn how to maintain or to fix it. That flew well when every desktop was an island - but this isn't that world any more. Like it or not, the days of freedom without responsibility are passed.

Leif
July 10th, 2005, 12:27 AM
This is for you too N'jal. Most of you aren't new to Linux. You haven't just switched over from Windows and you aren't having the experience most newbies will. Things you overlook as "how Linux works" may be the things that make desktop users not even want to try Linux. You're attitudes don't help people feel welcome to this wonder filled community. Linux for all, except if you offer advice on improving it that doesn't jibe with the elistists.

Wrong. I'm new to linux, I switched with ubuntu. Please drop the martyr act.



On whose part? Seasoned Linux geeks, or newbies? If these things "have been raised 1000's of times". What's the old saying, lots of people can't be wrong.

I'm a newbie, and I don't care if a million people complain about it, you can't do away with user accounts like that. If you want that, either login as root, or switch to another distro. And don't regurgitate that line about "oh isn't ubuntu for humans"; it is, but you can't make everyone happy, especially if what they're asking for is a bad idea.

jr0
July 10th, 2005, 12:58 AM
"Ahh, those mythic "other people." Funny... none seem to be behind you."
"Redneck mom doesn;t seem to scared by it."
One example. How about the rest of the 90% of desktop users who don't or won't run Linux? The fact that Linux is on 3% or less of all desktops actually does put many behind me. There is no viable, free, desktop Linux and people like you will keep it this way. At some point you have to ask... "why?". Why don't people like Linux? Does it smell? What's wrong with it? Can we fix it? Listen, if you live inside the box, you will also die there... don't forget that.

You're right, maybe I will switch to a different distro. Thanks for the insight. :roll:

az
July 10th, 2005, 02:08 AM
I hate it when users delete their posts and run away screaming.

What went wrong here?

poptones
July 10th, 2005, 02:18 AM
One example. How about the rest of the 90% of desktop users who don't or won't run Linux? The fact that Linux is on 3% or less of all desktops actually does put many behind me.

Not because you are too lazy to type a password. SEVEN times now: this is not a linux issue. XP has the same features and a great many windows users DO use them.


There is no viable, free, desktop Linux...

You can click your heels all you like, Dorothy, Oz ain't happening.


and people like you will keep it this way.

People like me? People who contribute code and documentation? People like me who take the time to educate clients instead of telling them the same nonsense as the rest of the corporate world?


At some point you have to ask... "why?". Why don't people like Linux?

Some people, as you have so well demonstrated, simply don't like it because they have an agenda. They don't like it because it is a threat to their dogma.


Yes there are problems with Synaptic and Ubuntu. You just ignore them, or you like them.

Bzzzt. I was just talking with someone in another discussion about the problems with synaptic. I was simply making the point that the arguments YOU were making were ill conceived.


OK... Now you work in IT AND you're a hotshot hollywood movie editor? Very ambitious. Oh and your a hacker too.

I am what I am (and I'm not popeye). What I do for money does not define who I am. But if you really want to know, yeah I have worked in Hollywood and elsewhere on production. I know what's relevant because I've been working with computer graphics systems more than a decade, I've even created teaching materials for college coursework. Is it really so hard for you to believe someone can have a scientific background, a reasonably high IQ, AND be artistically inclined?

Want to know how I made contact with those "hundreds of clients?" I took a grunt job in a call center - a call center where I had trained new employees when it first opened up and then quit to pursue other interests. I went back because I wanted to work the phones - I never got the chance the first time when I was teaching everyone else how to do it. And it was a bomb of a job, too: I got paid to sit on the phone all day and direct clients to open source solutions. When the other techs were handing out generic PIN codes so customers could unlock their outdated CD copy of Office I was leading them to OpenOffice.org and freedom. And they loved it - I had one of the highest customer staisfaction scores in the shop. I got paid to "fight the man."

That's "the kind of person" I am. I love to talk the talk, but nobody can say I don't walk the walk as well.

Now, let's see YOUR resume.

panickedthumb
July 10th, 2005, 03:14 AM
"And it was a bomb of a job, too: I got paid to sit on the phone all day and direct clients to open source solutions. When the other techs were handing out generic PIN codes so customers could unlock their outdated CD copy of Office I was leading them to OpenOffice.org and freedom. And they loved it - I had one of the highest customer staisfaction scores in the shop. I got paid to "fight the man.""

That. Rocks. Hard. I wish I'd had the mind to do that back in my days of phone support for the university.

RickSGM
July 10th, 2005, 03:36 AM
Quote from Poofyhairguy:

Is pointing newbies to the command line a bad thing?

1st: I'm a newbie to linux. Does the command line scare me? NO! This distribution is one of the best documented I have seen. It don't make a hoot if I have to copy and paste a little on setup. SOOO WHAT????

2nd: If I'm doing something to the system, I dang well should have to do some passwords, to be safe and sure. Hmmmm. Unless I'm updating the system, for example, adding a package or updating the security updates, I don't have to do another password after login. I'm not a big gamer, or anything like that, but most of mine is everyday common use of a computer. Office, check emails, go googleing, maybe a quick 5 minute game or so. Where's that bunch of times to type in the passwords in every day use?

3rd: I don't mind typing in passwords a couple of times to be more secure. I'm not a genius or guru on computers either, just for the record. Just an everyday user and learning.

4th: Sometimes, people can't be satisfied. I say this poofy, I think you've done a heck of a good job. The commands are good, accurate, and a lot of help. I've had very few problems with the ubuntu. Those I've had, I have found very good help. Try digging through the microsoft help site a time or 2. Yuck!!!! I commend all the developers and ones that run the forum here, for they have to be great people. Period. You won't please everyone, but this is one happy camper.

poofyhairguy
July 10th, 2005, 04:34 AM
At some point you have to ask... "why?"


Its easy. Because if a company sells a PC that doesn't have Windows on it, they lose their OEM licencing for desktop PCs.

MS is the main choice, but that does not make it better. There are WAY more Windows PCs than OSX boxes, and OSX blows Windows out of the water.

Too many people confuse popularity with quality. They are not one and the same.

poofyhairguy
July 10th, 2005, 04:36 AM
PoofyhairGuy,

When I see your icon in the messages, I know that your about to give useful information.

Myself, I could care less HOW the information is presented. I think we are getting hung up on the idea of GUI and/or Command Line and that either one is the ONLY way to go and if your not using it then you are wrong and/or a dweeb...

Myself, I'd like to learn more of the command line; I find the screen shots w/ the command line instructions very useful and helpful, after all, I cannot messup something as simple as "uname" or "apt-get install xyz".

From my own observations, Linux ppl are so hung up on their world of this is the only way to do it, anything else is windows and therefore bad; which is not true (IMHO).

So, keep up the GREAT WORK, I look forward to your postings, keep them up, I'm learning from you; maybe I should say thank you more often, but I don't, but just so you know, this person THANKS YOU for your efforts!


Thanks. I try my best to help people and I will continue to do so. This motivates me more.

panickedthumb
July 10th, 2005, 06:05 AM
RickSGM-- always good to read these kinds of posts. As poofy says, it's very motivating. Thanks very much!

Takis
July 10th, 2005, 11:00 PM
One example. How about the rest of the 90% of desktop users who don't or won't run Linux? The fact that Linux is on 3% or less of all desktops actually does put many behind me. There is no viable, free, desktop Linux and people like you will keep it this way.

I'd say most of them are viable, but obviously that's subjective.

In any case, an observation like this leads me back to my usual argument: if Linux (or some FREE OS + major apps) were to be taught in schools in place of (Edit: or better yet, alongside) proprietary (read: Microsoft) software, I think OSS market penetration would soar. I have plans in a couple of years to try and do this where I live, too - if I can find a school that'll believe it's feasible.

aysiu
July 10th, 2005, 11:19 PM
Schools are a great place to teach people Linux. Part of the problem is the vicious cycle that the Microsoft marketing machine has set up. Why teach Linux in schools if "everyone" uses Windows in the workplace? Why use Linux in the workplace if "all" the commercial software is written for Windows? Why write commercial software for Linux when "every" business and school is using Windows? See how Microsoft's dominance perpetuates itself?

It's hard to get Linux into schools with that kind of starting point. I'd love it if schools started using Linux, though. Presumably, schools are about education. If that's the case, ideally, Mac OS X, Windows XP, and some form of Linux should be taught concurrently.

Takis
July 11th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Well, where I live (Australian Capital Territory) people are pretty liberal, and the media is a real pack of piranhas if they judge something the government's doing to be unfair (e.g. endorsing a monopoly). Recently the media had a big speel about how public servants catching planes were all going with just one company, so the government had to turn around and say that public servants must catch 'the cheapest flight of the day', in order to encourage fair competition between airline companies.

I think it's possible to show the same sort of thing with Linux. I think in workplaces people use only Windows because that's what they've been taught, and it's definitely not worth the money to retrain them over to Linux or Mac or whatever. I think though that at least a couple of schools could be persuaded to run some OSS-based classes, which down the track would let companies and government departments implement something other than Windows.

Buuuut that's another topic. We're meant to be discussing the best way to help newbies, I think... :smile:

aysiu
August 23rd, 2005, 09:06 PM
At the risk of inciting a flame war, I'd like to give my take on the term "user-friendly."

First things first: I think most Ubuntu users would agree that if we could have every single function and every single program and command accessible via both command-line and graphical user interface (GUI), that would be ideal. That's not the case, however.

I'd also like to mention right off the bat that I like Ubuntu because its general use is point-and-click, but its configuration usually needs the command-line in some way. There are other distributions out there that have graphical user interfaces for just about everything (I'd highly recommend Mepis for the GUI-dependent). If you think it's too bloated, use Mepis-LITE.

Last disclaimer: I'm not some freaky programmer who does everything from the command-line and thinks people who use GUI are wimps. I love GUI, and I use it just about every day. In fact, when I first started using Ubuntu, I was a bit turned off from having to use the command-line (I then went to Mepis), but after finding the Ubuntu Guide (http://www.ubuntuguide.org), I learned to love it.

According to Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=user-friendly), user-friendly means "Easy to use or learn to use."

Seems like a simple enough definition. The word easy makes things complicated, though. There are different kinds of easy, as far as I can tell.

1. One kind of easy is labor easy--you do one step instead of three.
2. Another kind of easy is thinking easy--you don't have to think; you just do what you're told.
3. The last kind of easy is memory easy--you have to think, but you don't have to remember.

The need for GUI relies on the last kind of easy. At every decision point, you have to think about what you're trying to accomplish, where you have to look, and what's the most appropriate button to press. It's not heavy philosopher thinking, but you do have to pay attention. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally clicked and ended up deleting files when I meant to copy them or clicking cancel when I meant to click OK.

The reason a lot of people think of GUI as "easy"--even if it's not labor easy (often you have to click many times) and it's not thinking easy (you have to pay attention)--is that GUI is memory easy. You don't have to memorize anything. Sometimes the hardest part of picking up a new "language" is its vocabulary. When people are new to an OS and already a little disoriented, the last thing they want to do is have to memorize cryptic commands (ls, cp, mv, make, make install, apt-get, gedit, sudo), especially if there seem to be many commands to memorize. This is why people are comfortable with GUI, even if it isn't easy in every way.

Another reason some people are more comfortable with GUI is bad typing. I've seen many times people saying they typed such-and-such into the console but got some funky error. What ended up being the problem? They had an extra space or comma where they shouldn't have had one. Or they forget to capitalize the X11 in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

There are a good many reasons to embrace the command-line, though, particularly for Ubuntu beginners. The command line often cuts down on labor. Much as I love Synaptic (and, believe me, I love Synaptic), if you happen to know the exact name of the program you want to install, it's far easier to open a terminal and type sudo aptitude install programname than it is to open Synaptic, search for the program, mark it for installation, and apply changes. Okay, that's not the reason beginners should embrace the command-line. That's after you've already gotten familiar with stuff. I would say getting help over the internet (these forums or the Ubuntu Guide) is the reason to embrace the command-line. This is easy type #2: you don't have to think or even pay attention. Just copy and paste into the terminal whatever people tell you to type.

Sure, GUI might be easier if someone were helping you in person. She could say, "Click on that icon. No, that one. See that? Click on it." However, short of doing screenshots (which are time-consuming and bandwidth-consuming), it's very difficult to help someone GUI style over the internet. It is very easy to help someone by saying, "Here, just copy and paste whatever I typed here."

So what does "user-friendly" mean in practical terms? Well, first of all, GUI will always be friendlier to most new users because most new users come from Windows and have never installed Windows (keep in mind that most Windows installations until Vista were text-only). The familiar is friendly in one way. GUI also requires very little memorization.

If you know how to control-c (to copy) and control-shift-v (to paste), you might want to consider opening up a terminal. It may not seem friendly at first, but the terminal is willing to be a friend to any new Ubuntu user.

P.S. This is all about configuration stuff. Once you're all set up, you should need only GUI to download things, surf the internet, word process, image edit, etc.

poofyhairguy
August 23rd, 2005, 09:18 PM
Great manifesto. More good PR documentation. I clap.

I would like to add that there is a smaller chance of user error when someone is copying and pasting commands (no matter if they understand them or not) then when they are fumbling through GUIs.

WirelessMike
August 23rd, 2005, 09:21 PM
Agreed. Point made, and made well!

caspar_wrede
August 23rd, 2005, 09:25 PM
I use the command line for almost everything. Sure I like eye-candy as much as everyone else, but think about these points:

1) It's extremely quick for one simple reason. With a mouse you have, say 4 or 5 degrees of freedom: one X dimension, one Y dimension and 3 or 4 buttons. WIth the keyboard you have 50 or so degrees of freedom (the number of keys on a keyboard). Just imagine typing text on a graphical keyboad with a mouse as opposed to typing text on a real physical keyboard. Which is quicker?

2) The really clever thing about the command line is that it inherently "logs" everything you do. You just need to scroll up or use the "history" command. The only way to do this with a GUI would be to make a video...

3) Scripting. To repeat a sequence of commands you simply bundle them together into a text file and then execute that. How would you do that with a GUI?



Think about it and then embrace the pure undliluted sexiness of the command-line. There are huge advantages to learning to use the command line.

Caspar.

Juergen
August 23rd, 2005, 09:25 PM
Probably not for real 'noobs' but after you reach the 'advanced user' state:
Don't forget the ability to script things.

For example, I have a script that burns my (daily, simple *.tgz, created with another script) backups to CD. It even determines if it has to start a new session.
I don't know of a way to automate this with any GUI for cdrecord (filenames change, since they have the date in it)

I probably sat 2hours before it worked, but now its 'memory easy' because I just have to start the script and don't have to remember all those options to mkisofs and cdrecord...

xequence
August 23rd, 2005, 09:28 PM
I do like sudo apt-get install ____________ very much, synaptic for me is if I need to search for something... But for most things I prefer the GUI. (Someone posted that mepis is more about GUI so I wanted to try it out, I only had 650 MB CDs and they needed 700 MB ones. Even mepis lite is 651 MB).

With the command line you dont need to learn how to use it. It is as easy as typing somehting in and clicking enter, and maybe putting the password in if you use sudo.

Let me use an example... Installing a .deb or .tar.gz file. I still have no idea how to do it nomatter how much I try. (No, I am not asking for help, this topic isnt about help :P Just an exemple). If I could just maybe right click and choose "install" and it would do everything for me, it would be great. In my opinion that would be easier then using different "sudo dpkg -i blah.deb" or whatever.

Anyway, my opinion aside, good article =P

And what I said doesent make any sense, sorry. I write something then change it then go all over it adding things and changing things. It often doesent make sense ](*,) Then it edit it some more and the final post is rambling on about CNN and americans having cheap gas.

aysiu
August 23rd, 2005, 09:30 PM
Probably not for real 'noobs' but after you reach the 'advanced user' state:
Don't forget the ability to script things. I'm stil in the newbie phase, so I may hold off on the scripts until later. Good suggestion, though.

aysiu
August 23rd, 2005, 09:31 PM
I do like sudo apt-get install ____________ very much, synaptic for me is if I need to search for something... But for most things I prefer the GUI. (Someone posted that mepis is more about GUI so I wanted to try it out, I only had 650 MB CDs and they needed 700 MB ones. Even mepis lite is 651 MB).

...

Let me use an example... Installing a .deb or .tar.gz file. I still have no idea how to do it nomatter how much I try. (No, I am not asking for help, this topic isnt about help :P Just an exemple). If I could just maybe right click and choose "install" and it would do everything for me, it would be great. In my opinion that would be easier then using different "sudo dpkg -i blah.deb" or whatever. You may just love Mepis, then. I know I did. Double-clicking the .deb files opens up KPackage (or Kynaptic--I forget which one) and prompts you for installation.

skoal
August 23rd, 2005, 10:13 PM
...pressing the envelope against his forehead, the great Carnack predicts an answer, "shell shock".

A hearty laughter to his side echoes forth, "HOOOH! HOOOOH! HOOOOOH!..."

Carnack slowly twists in his chair, cracks a smile to his assistant and slowly gestures to him this time, "sheLL.....................shocK......"

Although more subdued than the first, wry laughter from his assistant fades off this time, "HOOooh! hoooh! hoooo..."

Carnack wiggles his fingers and rips at the envelope. With a quick blow and unravelling of the paper, he reads the question, "What do you call a one armed linux convert?"

\\//_

Brunellus
August 23rd, 2005, 10:36 PM
at the risk of sounding silly, I <3 the commandline!

In fact, a lot of my favorite things to do are commandline:

1) Running "top", and seeing what my computer is doing at that given moment. Yeah, there are guis, but somehow I actually like top better. Last night, I ran top on nosferatu (the family web/email computer in the kitchen) to find some weird process hoggint a lot of CPU time. I asked my dad what he had been doing, showed him the output of top, and, when he said he didn't recognize the process or what it might have come from, I killed it. NO more sluggishness. (actually, it was really bizarre, since he had already logged-out, and the process (soffice, I think) carried on without him.)

2) ssh-ing to nosferatu from my upstairs computer, so I can do maintenance while someone else surfs.

3) lynx. just because it's badass, and a quick way to browse the web when I can't be bothered to do a graphical login.

4) apt. Yes, from the commandline. Synaptic is nice but seems SOOOOO slow compared to actual apt from the commandline. I'll only fire up synaptic if I'm in a "gee, I wonder what's new down at the repo" mood. If I want to install something, and I already know what I need, I just apt-get it.

Brunellus
August 23rd, 2005, 10:37 PM
...pressing the envelope against his forehead, the great Carnack predicts an answer, "shell shock".

A hearty laughter to his side echoes forth, "HOOOH! HOOOOH! HOOOOOH!..."

Carnack slowly twists in his chair, cracks a smile to his assistant and slowly gestures to him this time, "sheLL.....................shocK......"

Although more subdued than the first, wry laughter from his assistant fades off this time, "HOOooh! hoooh! hoooo..."

Carnack wiggles his fingers and rips at the envelope. With a quick blow and unravelling of the paper, he reads the question, "What do you call a one armed linux convert?"

\\//_
HOH HO HO.

YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR!

Johnny Carson. *sigh* now that was good TV.

Kvark
August 23rd, 2005, 10:57 PM
Yeah, the command line is kinda user friendly, in a way, uhh, what I mean is...

Something is user friendly if it fills one or both of these conditions:
1. It has only a small learning curve.
2. It requires only a small investment of time and effort.

The command line doesn't fill condition 1 so most people think it is complicated. But it often fills condition 2 very well so it is user friendly in a way.



BTW. What I love the most about the command line is to type the first 3 letters of a program's name + tab + enter to start it. The only GUI thing that is as fast as that is shortcuts on the panels, which I have for my favourites. But for all other programs navigating the menu would take ages longer. Only thing missing is a keyboard shortcut to focus the mini commander panel applet.

xequence
August 23rd, 2005, 10:59 PM
You may just love Mepis, then. I know I did. Double-clicking the .deb files opens up KPackage (or Kynaptic--I forget which one) and prompts you for installation.

Yea, I hope I can find a 700 MB cd. The community doesent looks as good... Mepislovers.org had 27 users online while ubuntuforums had 600.

They had a topic on the site "Mepis vs ubuntu". It was so biased! They were lying about ubuntu and stuff o.O Atleast on this site people arnt afraid to say if they like other distros :)

aysiu
August 24th, 2005, 02:23 AM
Yea, I hope I can find a 700 MB cd. The community doesent looks as good... Mepislovers.org had 27 users online while ubuntuforums had 600.

They had a topic on the site "Mepis vs ubuntu". It was so biased! They were lying about ubuntu and stuff o.O Atleast on this site people arnt afraid to say if they like other distros :) Yeah, the community here is one of the main reasons I switched to Ubuntu. Mepis's community's okay, but it's not that responsive or knowledgeable.

Kyral
August 24th, 2005, 03:02 AM
I <3 the command line. I mean, the more I can do without moving the mouse the better, 'cause I'm lazy like that. Its even more user friendly when you have a keyboard shortcut to the terminal so you can hit it (Scroll Lock for me), do what you need to do, Alt+F4 it, then Alt+Tab back to whatever you were doing :D

aysiu
August 24th, 2005, 03:18 AM
Its even more user friendly when you have a keyboard shortcut to the terminal so you can hit it (Scroll Lock for me), do what you need to do, Alt+F4 it, then Alt+Tab back to whatever you were doing :D Yeah, my keyboard shortcut is Control-Alt-T (for "Terminal").

Brunellus
August 24th, 2005, 02:43 PM
I <3 the command line. I mean, the more I can do without moving the mouse the better, 'cause I'm lazy like that. Its even more user friendly when you have a keyboard shortcut to the terminal so you can hit it (Scroll Lock for me), do what you need to do, Alt+F4 it, then Alt+Tab back to whatever you were doing :D

ctrl-alt-F($whatever) gets me to the virtual console. ctrl-alt-f7 brings me back to my X session. I've learned to love this feature--even though I orginally discovered it by mistake.

I have to remember to go back to X when I use the virtual console on my mother's machine, because she freaks out when she sees it.

jpkotta
September 7th, 2005, 06:03 AM
Hooray for the CLI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Beginning...Was_the_Command_Line). I used to use DOS terminals and write .bat files in windows, but only when I wanted to automate something or the program was CLI-only. Then I tried Unix and found a Real CLI and scripting, and never looked back.

Once you're forced to use a CLI (like I was at a job) you get good at it, you get past the steep part of the learning curve, and you realize it's not outdated or inferior. The fact is, NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS A GUI. Some tasks are better suited to CLIs, just as some are better suited to GUIs.

On user friendliness: Why are emacs and vi so popular amongst Unix users? They are certainly hard to learn (especially vi). But past a certain point, investment pays off and they become easier to use than, say, nano. The same applies to the command line. Well-designed GUIs are "easy" only because you can use them without reading a man page first. Personally, I think GUIs should really only be used for one-time tasks such as installation (Ubuntu's installer is graphical enough) and configuration, and for inherently graphical tasks, such as image editing and web browsing. CLI is for routine stuff like copying files and starting applications.

BoyOfDestiny
September 7th, 2005, 06:14 AM
Gotta agree.

It always mystifies me how some people complain about using the GUI, since you ALWAYS have the option of using commandline.

As somone who naviagted DOS while my age was still single digit, I enjoy navigating through command line. Being able to drag-drop long file/folder names from nautilus is a plus...

Haven't done any fancy scripts, just the commands I'd type to download zsnes from cvs and compile...

If someone know hows to make it return "" (for cvs anonymous pass...echo?). That would be great to know. :)

P.S & RANT command line does suck in windows server 2003. No F3 (as even DOS has had since as long I can remember), no up, no tab, and longfilename support blows... in that environment making .bat's is annoying, if you run by double clicking the batch file... command prompt dissapears... so you have to navigate manually without the features that make it a joy in linux...

GreyFox503
September 7th, 2005, 06:52 AM
Just the other day on slashdot, this article was posted about GUIs:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/06/1521252&tid=189

It makes some good observations, mainly about how GUI is good for beginners to learn all the functions of a piece of software, but after a few hours, the interface just begins to get in your way when you know what you want to do, but you have to go through several screens to accomplish it.

Rovenhot
October 17th, 2005, 08:16 PM
GUIs are considerably easier for beginners (I started using a (decrepid) Mac when I was 2 yrs. old). Also, though, they are best for the millions of casual computer users who would prefer to get started right away. If a Linux dev-team's goal is to be user-friendly to a large user base, (which seems to be the case of Ubuntu, according to the about page) its GUI, must thus, IMO, have access to everything necessary for normal use, i.e. front-ends to CLI utilities. From what I've heard, Ubuntu is not quite at the point of total GUI accessibility (although I haven't used Ubuntu yet, so feel free to challenge that). For those many who don't mind taking some time to learn a shell, beacuse it offers what they need faster (as I have learned), the CLI is great, but the GUI must have most of those features, with a shallow learning curve.

The reason I bring this up is that Linux is by far more secure and less bloated and convoluted than Windows, and that since it runs on the most widely available architecture, x86, it makes a good alternative. However, many people don't move to Linux because it isn't as easy to use (from their perspective; I personally like the CLI). If Linux (any distro) was more attractive, the internet would generally become more secure, which I think is an important goal, with the increasing number of internet-based scams.

Stormy Eyes
October 17th, 2005, 08:40 PM
I think this should be made sticky.

aysiu
October 17th, 2005, 08:51 PM
However, many people don't move to Linux because it isn't as easy to use (from their perspective; I personally like the CLI). If Linux (any distro) was more attractive, the internet would generally become more secure, which I think is an important goal, with the increasing number of internet-based scams. If that's the case, they should use Mepis or Linspire until Ubuntu makes a few more post-install configuration items all GUI. As it is now, Ubuntu's all GUI for use and somewhat CLI for setup and installation.

Lovechild
October 17th, 2005, 09:08 PM
lay off the crack pipe please, cli is in no way more user friendly than GNOME - try doing every day tasks for the average joe in cli, browse the web, check email, etc.

betterdesktop.org pretty much makes this clear, we need to draw on the brains spatial reconistion not abitrary command names to convey information.

Stormy Eyes
October 17th, 2005, 09:11 PM
lay off the crack pipe please, cli is in no way more user friendly than GNOME - try doing every day tasks for the average joe in cli, browse the web, check email, etc.

Tourette's or not, I don't agree with telling somebody who's made a good argument to "lay off the crack pipe" just because you don't agree with him.

Rovenhot
October 17th, 2005, 09:22 PM
If that's the case, they should use Mepis or Linspire until Ubuntu makes a few more post-install configuration items all GUI. As it is now, Ubuntu's all GUI for use and somewhat CLI for setup and installation.

If installation is the only problem, then Easy Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=64629), which I've just found, will fix that.

aysiu
October 17th, 2005, 09:27 PM
lay off the crack pipe please, cli is in no way more user friendly than GNOME - try doing every day tasks for the average joe in cli, browse the web, check email, etc. Please point out to me where in the original post I mentioned anything about using the commandline to browse the web or check email. Thanks.

Lovechild
October 17th, 2005, 10:17 PM
Please point out to me where in the original post I mentioned anything about using the commandline to browse the web or check email. Thanks.

You did call it userfriendly, which does indicate that your level is quite a bit above the average user - it might be more functional to you which is COMPLETELY different than userfriendly.

I use the commandline as well for some purposes and having used Linux for well over 7 years I've grown accustomed to some of the commands - but the command userfriendly - hell no, it's not translated, many commands are based on abbrivations of english words and man pages are horribly complicated if at all discoverable by your average user.

Now had you said that the command line made you more productive or it was more functional for you, I wouldn't have made any comment, but I care deeply about usability and HCI issues. In fact most of what I contribute within the community is related to these observations on basic human interaction and use. I use the GUI because I like the usability that GNOME offers in abstracting away hard to do things in my every day life, ripping a cd is one click, typing up a document with stylings is simple in Abiword, browsing the web and reading my email is equally common and easy to do tasks for me. Now I have had days in my life of telnetting to the smtp server and firing off commands to send mails, it was.. somewhat pointless but never the less kinda cute.

It's not that I find cli pointless, but I don't want the average user to have to rely on it - it's a powerful tool for power users, but as for usability, it's very low on the scale.

* In a stroke of deep irony, advocating the use of GUI's - my trackball started randomly moving around and clicking stuff - I guess it's dying from old age - I apologise for any odd stuff this might have caused, however it did teach me to navigate the forum using only keyboard commands for which the admins must get my praise as it works beautifully *

majikstreet
October 17th, 2005, 10:23 PM
asyiu, there should be a forum for only your posts :)

I <3 the command line also. You want to install gdesklets? sudo apt-get install gdesklets

Now, you call that hard? I learned commands by using them. I didn't sit there reading through miles of "command line help" documents, I just learned them as I went. People told me to do "ps -aux" and I did it. Later I learned more.

The greatest invention for the command line is "man". But, sadly, it is only useful if someone from the program wrote a good documentation. It's even better if they made it short, consice, and to the point.

The first distrobution I installed was Debian, which gave me a nice command line. Only problem was that I didn't know much about linux!

I believe that people should start with a gui, and familarize themselves with the terminal as they go along.

If I had never known how to use mount, cp, ls, cd, and other basic commands, I would never have been able to get X.org working. Imagine that! Then what would I have done, re-installed windows.

When you come from a Windows world, you don't know how to use the command line. If you are a little more advanced, maybe you know how to use ipconfig.

-m

EDIT:

Tourette's or not, I don't agree with telling somebody who's made a good argument to "lay off the crack pipe" just because you don't agree with him.
I really agree here, you shouldn't talk like that.

And to think that you, Lovechild, PMed me about an inappropriate comment, when _you_ are making inappropriate commends yourself! What has this world come to?

EDIT2:
Oh, and as far as I know, Tourette's syndrome does not make people make inappropriate comments. It makes people twitch and have "tics". While I understand that you have a medical condition, you can not use it as an excuse. http://www.mentalhealth.com/book/p40-gtor.html

I will tell you that I have a case of depression. I have felt suicidal at times. I have (used to be major) anger problems. I do not use these issues as an excuse for how I treat others. While I may say that I got angry and couldn't control myself, I will still apologize.

I am typing this calmly, I am not angry right now. I am not the type of person that types furiously at these type of comments.

And by the way, just because a person views differently than you doesn't mean that they are smoking crack.

Our world embraces difference.

Goober
October 17th, 2005, 10:26 PM
I like the Command Line as well over GUI. For me its mostly that GUI reminds me of Windows a bit too much, and the Command Line seems more, well, it just feels better, I can't explain it more then that. I generally use Synpatic to search for a program name, then use the Command Line to type it in.

Although, with the Command Line, it can get tricky when swtiching folders and all that when you are trying to install more complicated programs.

Rovenhot
October 17th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Ignoring the last post, since someone doesn't know what we're discussing, I'd like to make a point on the side:


Oh, and as far as I know, Tourette's syndrome does not make people make inappropriate comments. It makes people twitch and have "tics". While I understand that you have a medical condition, you can not use it as an excuse. http://www.mentalhealth.com/book/p40-gtor.html

I visited the link, as well as other medical sites, and discovered that Tourette's Disorder does in fact have several symptoms similar to OCD, ADD, and depression. It is reasonable for Lovechild to say that because of the disorder, the post may sound offensive. However, I would encourage him/her to try to refrain from using potentially attacking language.

Lovechild
October 17th, 2005, 11:42 PM
Oh, and as far as I know, Tourette's syndrome does not make people make inappropriate comments. It makes people twitch and have "tics". While I understand that you have a medical condition, you can not use it as an excuse. http://www.mentalhealth.com/book/p40-gtor.html

I will tell you that I have a case of depression. I have felt suicidal at times. I have (used to be major) anger problems. I do not use these issues as an excuse for how I treat others. While I may say that I got angry and couldn't control myself, I will still apologize.

I am typing this calmly, I am not angry right now. I am not the type of person that types furiously at these type of comments.

And by the way, just because a person views differently than you doesn't mean that they are smoking crack.

Our world embraces difference.

Being very very calm here, but it's one thing to make a baseless uneducated claim on usability (for which I referer to my earlier post) it's an entirely different thing however to make an uneducated statement on my medical condition:

Tourette's comes in 3 types muscular tics (the twitching you mention), Vocal tics (the profanity for which the illness is famous in pop culture) and various possible side illnesses like depression, ADD/ADHD, these would be actual chemical, and treatable imbalances in the brain where the previous two aren't really directly treatable aside brain surgery (for which I'm not a candidate currently).

Now the thing that causes the vocal tics, and thus also the thing that makes me unable to at all times account for what I type, is a mental shortcircuit in thinking a thing and getting it out - there is no concern as to conquences such as hurting other people or being socially unacceptable - it sorta just has to come out, think of this as the mental unease you might get if you think you left the stove on and you are compeled to go back and check, sort of OCD'ish, the same kind of unease is present if one tries to subdue the muscular tics btw. life just doesn't feel right untill it's done - I've gone back and read a lot of the stuff I've written and if you'll notice it my posts often contain edits because I have to go back and.. reevaluate certain statements, maybe type them up in a more friendly tone.

Now did I mean literally that the parent poster was smoking crack, no of course not, smoking crack is quite a common way of stating - you're wrong and you know it. I happen to have years of experience in usability and what was presented as usability was about functionality (which I don't disagree with at all, again see my earlier post). It is an area of computing I care deeply about and I don't want misrepresented, that is why I posted - not because I somehow have a personal problem with the person in question.

Now if anyone has a problem with my way of doing things, I would strongly encourage my account to be deleted because I am physically unable to change, I'm sorry that is the hand I was dealt by genetics - I am sick, I suffer from all 3 types of Tourette's, it is not a happy life - I get thrown out of busses for being rude to the elderly and just a small one of my problems - how easy do you think it is to get a job when you get the uncontrollable urge to call your boss a **** ant during the interview?
The very least of my problems is what people on a forum online think about me, I'm open about my condition because I know at some point no matter how hard I try, things like this will happen - I'm getting quite used to explaining this - it's hurtful on a personal level to admit ones flaws and to be put in a position like this but that is my life and no matter how much medical treatment I get or cognative thearpy I undergo little will change, all I can offer is what I do right now, add a disclaimer to my signature.
When you get to know me I'm said to be a fairly pleasant person (dunno about that one, you'd have to ask my friends - one of them who actually does do heavy amounts of drugs, and lemme tell you I don't recommend it, cli or no cli..).

Don't you think I would love to be friendly and well liked?

majikstreet
October 17th, 2005, 11:56 PM
Alright,
sorry.

And, I got you confused with someone else with PMing me.

poofyhairguy
October 18th, 2005, 12:29 AM
It's not that I find cli pointless, but I don't want the average user to have to rely on it - it's a powerful tool for power users, but as for usability, it's very low on the scale.


Tell that to me a year ago when I did magic stuff with my brand new (and first tried) Linux install by copy and pasting commands from google. In Ubuntu whole things that could take 100 or so clicks to install in Windows can be install with a single apt-get command copied from the guide.

You are correct its harder to learn the command line, but its not harder to use. In fact, its easier in some cases. For example:

Last night I had a friend of mine who needed help with a Linux box I set up. Her gdesklets were acting up and needed to be reinstalled. I started to try to tell her how to do it in Synaptic, but then instead I said "open up a terminal by click here" and " copy this into the terminal" then I gave her the apt-get reinstall line. Worked like a charm. She didn't know what the heck happened, but Synaptic is way over her head too. All she knows is that her desktlets work.

In the perfect world in which the Gnome developers live maybe situations like this should happen. Gdesklets should just work and not need to be reinstalled. But in the real world the command line is a great way for a new user to use the wisdom of the Linux super wizards without having to learn a bunch of GUIs that will just be used once. Instead its as easy as copying commands.

Rovenhot
October 18th, 2005, 12:49 AM
You are missing the point. The idea of ubuntu and many other distros is to give the user control, and if the user has to copy and paste a cryptic sentence to the command line that a techie gave him then the control is lost. A GUI, for an inexperienced computer user, gives him control because he knows exactly what he's doing by clicking the install button. (btw, installing something on windows is an inappropriate example...sometimes i think M$ wants to rid you of your spare time)

EDIT:
Such situations as those you described below only happen when the user fails to see the intuitive nature of the GUI, in which case you should tell them how to do it in the GUI so that they can do it again if they have to. Most people are more comfortable with GUIs, and will remember how to do something in the GUI if you tell them, more easily than they will remember a Linux command. Then, if it isn't the user's fault, it's the GUI's, in which case it should be redesigned.

poofyhairguy
October 18th, 2005, 01:18 AM
You are missing the point. The idea of ubuntu and many other distros is to give the user control, and if the user has to copy and paste a cryptic sentence to the command line that a techie gave him then the control is lost.

Not really. The user controls what command to copy and paste. At that level its more about how much you trust your source rather than what techinical knowledge you have. If I read the Ubuntu guide and it says to type in a line to get a desired effect, I have the control to copy and paste that line in there and get the effect. I control what features I add from that guide by what things I copy and paste. The Guide has thought about going to a screenshot GUI guide before, and it was mentioned that copying and pasting commands has a lower error rate (and less bandwidth costs). Does it give control in the stand point of "I know what that lines means in a broader sense?" No, but neither do GUIs.

Like lets say I set up a wireless network with the UBuntu Networking tool (which has the same options similar tools in other OSes have). What's DHCP? Whats a Subnet mask? Whats a gateway address? Whats a static IP? In the case of Ubuntu's GUI networking tool the blanks and choices given by the GUI are no less cryptic than command line commands. Thats becasue computers are complicated machines. A great GUI could be no better -those are the best terms for those techinical things. The best a good GUI can do is have sane defaults, and an OS does not need a GUI to do that. For my friend, being walked through synaptic is just as confusing as copying and pasting in the terminal when I can only help with AIM. For her it was more user friendly to copy and paste the command.

User friendly does not mean that low knowledge users can magically have all the abilities an experianced user has. No GUI on any OS is 100% easy for a non techinical person to understand. User friendly means it does not fight users when they try to expand their skills. It is friendly to them, and increases their knowledge.

And note I did not say techinical skills- those are over rated. Sometimes a better skill is to know what words to put in google to get that one page with an awesome list of commands that I can copy and paste and get things working. Thats an important skill too. Yet it can be applied to more things than learning how a single GUI app in one version of one OS lets you do blank. So more people might come in with knowledge of how to search google (and there by get a cryptic command to copy and make things work), then knowledge of what desktop metaphor will help you with you problem, what menu the tool you are needing is under, what tab inside what GUI is needed to get this thing to work. Even the best GUI tools in existance are harder to use than google for a webaholic.




A GUI, for an inexperienced computer user, gives him control because he knows exactly what he's doing by clicking the install button.

Not really. What if the button is hidden by a cryptic term? To use my earlier example of networking, where is the GUI button that says "just connect to my wireless box as it came when I bought it?" Its not there. The GUI task to do that is to mess with the terms DHCP and Static IP.

Only in a magical world do GUI make it so users know what they are doing. Experiance and knowledge makes it so they know what they were doing. Even the best GUIs have to have some nerdiness to work (my sister's Apple had a networking tool that still had the dreaded DHCP option). GUIs are not always easier than copying something from a trusted source in the real world.

aysiu
October 18th, 2005, 01:51 AM
I think a couple of people have missed the point here.
Originally all I was saying is that there are different kinds of user-friendliness, and that sometimes the command-line is more user-friendly; sometimes GUI is. They're different tools for different tasks. Ideally, you can have every tool for every task and be able to choose which one you use.

Use whatever works for you--that's the Linux way.

poptones
October 18th, 2005, 02:22 AM
play all my kate bush
slideshow my favorites from ATK
email joe@joeshouse.net from jim@thisisnotmydomain.com
list 50 most recent downloads
show all active torrents

In the very simple case of "play all my kate bush" I have to either:
open muine
select each album
add each to a playlist
hit "play"

or...

open xmms
open nautilus
open music folder in nautilus
open kate bush folder in nautilus
drag kate bush folder to xmms
hit play

I can't be the only person who is sick of having to constantly "locate" files, open a folder view and then select the actions with a mouse. I've become really, really adept at making FOR EACH loops on the command line because it's quicker than nautilus, but why should this power be limited to "power users" who groove on geek?

The command line IS the more efficient and powerful way to do things. Problem is, the legacy CLI isn't user friendly. Rather than trying to figure out how to cram more buttons on the dashboard, we need to be making the computer better able to understand simple typed requests.

Edit: BTW, the whole "just work" thing is true, but there are reasonable limits. If I want to send someone an email and I have an email client installed it should "just work" every time I want to send an email. but to say something like gdesklets should just be magically installed and "just work" is no more reasonable than saying my car should have new cylinder heads because I will it, or should have a custom paintjob because I waved a magic wand at it. It would be cool if the car *could* do those things, but to expect those things is foolish. Likewise, 8adding functionality* to a machine - even a computer - is not something that one can reasonably expect to "just work" every time. You cannot even get that sort of reliability when plugging together off the shelf consumer electronic equipment with RCa cables.

Rovenhot
October 18th, 2005, 02:46 AM
After a few minutes' self-debate...

aysiu is right. The best Linux can do is give different options for doing the same task (hmm...sounds like Mac) and let the user decide. If the user needs help due to configuration confusion, I suppose cut-and-paste is fine.

Brunellus
October 18th, 2005, 07:05 AM
The command line IS the more efficient and powerful way to do things. Problem is, the legacy CLI isn't user friendly. Rather than trying to figure out how to cram more buttons on the dashboard, we need to be making the computer better able to understand simple typed requests.


"you are in a maze of twisty tunnels, all alike."

bootlinux
November 11th, 2005, 03:05 AM
Most people will pick the easy way when given a choice. User friendly is what made windows number one. When I drive my car I just want it to start and go and most folks I know feel the same about there computers. When I'm on my computer I like to change and tweak the settings because it's an enjoyable hobby for me and not job related. Still I find myself going the easy route by copy and pasting on the command line. I make too many typing errors. I'm sure if I were more proficient with commands I would prefer it over GUI as it would be easier and quicker.
I am learning but for now I can understand the newbie's frustration with command lines. I haven't encountered this sense the old DOS days of Windows 3.1. What we have is top notch but if We want Windows converters then it will need to be easy as well. I don't see why folks can't have GUI if it works for them. There should be some good GUI tutorials for them.
I'll keep learning the command line though it has more power and flexiablity.

aysiu
November 11th, 2005, 03:30 AM
I don't see why folks can't have GUI if it works for them. There should be some good GUI tutorials for them.
I'll keep learning the command line though it has more power and flexiablity. Read this (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=59334)

Tulip
November 17th, 2005, 12:52 AM
Newbie point of view. I find the command line a scary thing, although I do appreciate its advantages - I love a quick fix as much as the next person. When I dont understand what Im actually typing or pasting (most of it so far), I worry that I'm entering the equivalent of format c:.

The questions that go through my mind are - have I entered the correct advice, was it out of date, what the hell does that jargon mean, why do they assume I know how to do that, was there a better solution 3 pages along, should I enter that better command when I eventually find it or will that stuff up the original thing I entered, where the hell did that command just go and what did it actually do and so on. Personally I won't be comfortable using it until I actually understand what I'm entering.

I think you could probably multiply these feelings of unease a few times more with someone who isn't familiar with computery geekery stuff.

aysiu
November 17th, 2005, 03:08 AM
Tulip, I can definitely sympathize with that nervous mindset. That's why you should always back up your work. I get nervous now when I read people's posts that say, "Yeah, I want to install Ubuntu and do a dual boot, but I can't back up the ten years' worth of files that I have that are super-important to me. Can I do it without losing my work?"

The answer, of course, is that if you know what you're doing, you probably won't lose you're work, but you're an idiot if you don't back up everything before repartitioning or installing a new operating system. Actually, you're an idiot if you don't back up stuff on a regular basis anyway.

No one's here's going to deliberately tell you to type in the equivalent of
format c: They may tell you to do something (well-intentioned) that screws something up, though, either because they misdiagnosed the problem, you misrepresented the problem, or you typed in something wrong, or they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Bottom line: back up your work.

That said, you can always ask questions. I tell people stuff like,
Type this in a termianl
sudo fdisk -l It's funny, but I've never had anyone question me on it. sudo is the root command--it gives you the power to really screw up your computer, and fdisk sounds a lot like format disk. However,
sudo fdisk -l simply lists your partitions. It's harmless. You can always ask, though, and you can Google commands people give you, too.

Takis
November 17th, 2005, 04:01 AM
No one's here's going to deliberately tell you to type in the equivalent of
format c:
We hope. It is, however, entirely possible that some git will answer with some equivalent of 'rm -fr /' (almost as bad as 'format c:\') just for fun. Good practice is to read the man page, even briefly, on a new command you're about to run (to read a man-page, run
man <command name>for example,
man rm will show you that rm means remove, so you'd be wary of using its powers.)
Alternatively, you may like to not act on advice given for a day or so, to give posts time to be moderated (or at least viewed by others) and bad advice will be commented on.

aysiu
November 17th, 2005, 04:05 AM
We hope. It is, however, entirely possible that some git will answer with some equivalent of 'rm -fr /' (almost as bad as 'format c:\') just for fun. Possible, yes. Of course, it's possible. It hasn't happened, though, ever, according to this Google search (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Aubuntuforums.org+%22rm+-rf+%2F%22&btnG=Google+Search). Your advice is good advice, though (man pages and waiting).

Brunellus
November 17th, 2005, 04:43 AM
No one's here's going to deliberately tell you to type in the equivalent of
format c:

Back when I was a newbie, someone the community of another distro which Shall Remain Nameless conned me into deleting the contents of my home directory.

Boy was I ever mad when I found out.

linkunderscore
November 17th, 2005, 07:59 AM
Back when I was a newbie, someone the community of another distro which Shall Remain Nameless conned me into deleting the contents of my home directory.

Boy was I ever mad when I found out.

BSD would be my guess ^^ ?



I am a relatively new user to linux, and I find myself more inclined to do things via command line than gui. Sometimes command line is just ALOT easier---I never thought that this could/would be the case. I was pretty timid with command line use at first, but I really really like being able to use it. I think that this is one thing that windows lacks. I enjoy learning command line and I hope that these forums continue to explain problems, issues, HowTo's, etc via command line.

It makes it incredibly easy to follow. And like you said, it IS really hard to $@%! up copy and paste.

RawMustard
November 17th, 2005, 08:28 AM
I was pretty timid with command line use at first, but I really really like being able to use it. I think that this is one thing that windows lacks.

Exactly, this is a power feature of linux and something windows can only dream of achieving, we should be trumping this up everywhere possible. People shouldn't think it's scary for new users. describing 100 steps in a gui when the same could be achieved by typing 3 words, is something newbies will begin to appreciate.

That's not to say GUI's aren't needed, new users find it much easier to discover things in a GUI than a terminal and this is where linux is lacking!

Malphas
November 17th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I must answer your first question with another question. Does Ubuntu ever WANT to reach the "lofty goal" of never needing the command line?
Of course. That way people have the choice of how to use their computer. People who're saying that they don't ever want Ubuntu to reach this goal are also saying then that they want to force users to do things in a certain way - the way they think is best. To me this seems to go against what Ubuntu - and even Linux in general - is about.

Stormy Eyes
November 17th, 2005, 04:34 PM
I agree with poofyhairguy: newbies should be introduced to the command line as soon as possible, and giving them commands to copy and paste into the terminal (with appropriate explanation) is IMHO a gentle introduction to the true face of Linux.

I'll admit that I'm somewhat old-school; when I first got into Linux, KDE 1.x was considered hot stuff. I am used to doing all configuration work (and most of my file management!) through the shell and with a text editor. It makes sense to me to get under the hood and tell the machine exactly what to do instead of clicking about a GUI that might not do exactly what I've got in mind.

Kuolio
November 17th, 2005, 09:05 PM
This is bit offtopic, but gotta say this..



... 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.


Hope you are familiar with these packages:

ndisgtk
ndiswrapperutils
ndiswrapper-source

because right after installing them via Synaptic, I have had GUI for ndiswrapper. Or atleast I have been able to install windows drivers for my wireless using a GUI tool.

The Windows Wireless Drivers Tool is integrated well (after installing them packages) on the gnome panel, "System" and there "Settings" right after "Synaptic Packages Manager" (im not sure what those places/menunames are in english, as im using different language). Using this tool has been simple and very effective: my wlan is working with 4 clicks with da mouse.

aysiu
November 17th, 2005, 10:28 PM
newbies should be introduced to the command line as soon as possible, and giving them commands to copy and paste into the terminal (with appropriate explanation) is IMHO a gentle introduction to the true face of Linux. I agree that newbies should be introduced to the command-line as soon as possible but for more pragmatic reasons--it's simply easier to say "copy and paste this command" than to try to describe clicking actions ("yeah, see that menu? Click on the second button that says cancel, then another window will come up...").

I was deathly afraid of the command-line (for some strange reason) when I started using Linux. It took me a good month to warm up to it. If someone had merely explained to me, "You can do it with point-and-click, but it's easier to copy and paste commands," I'd probably have started liking it earlier.

Stormy Eyes
November 17th, 2005, 10:33 PM
I agree that newbies should be introduced to the command-line as soon as possible but for more pragmatic reasons--it's simply easier to say "copy and paste this command" than to try to describe clicking actions ("yeah, see that menu? Click on the second button that says cancel, then another window will come up...").

I thought I'd try to use a justification that wasn't utterly selfish for once. But I do sometimes tell my wife, when she wants to fiddle with something, "The GUI for that is here if you want it, but it's easier to do the job with a few commands." Sometimes she goes for the GUI, and sometimes she goes for the terminal. I saw her reading my Custom X Session howto the other day and fiddling about.

ssam
November 17th, 2005, 11:56 PM
i think it would be a good goal to make ubuntu so that you could do everything from the gui.

do you browse the web with wget?

do you disable gdm and use startx to start x?

are you still using mutt for email?

if not why not? and why should you have to use vim to configure your network?

endersshadow
November 18th, 2005, 12:12 AM
i think it would be a good goal to make ubuntu so that you could do everything from the gui.

do you browse the web with wget?

do you disable gdm and use startx to start x?

are you still using mutt for email?

if not why not? and why should you have to use vim to configure your network?

Quite honestly, I have not found one task that I wanted to do that I couldn't with GUI, and I do a lot of fiddling. I use CLI a lot, definitely, but that's because my introduction to Linux was remote access to a Fedora Core server with no GUI. Just got used to the CLI. It's quicker a lot of the times.

Sometimes a GUI is better (Firefox instead of wget, for example). But when it comes down to writing a tutorial and troubleshooting problems, explaining it in terms of CLI is just easier and leaves less room for error. I've found myself copying and pasting commands even though I know full well what they do and I'm not afraid of the CLI.

In short, rock on poofyhairyguy. Rock on.

Brunellus
November 18th, 2005, 01:21 AM
i think it would be a good goal to make ubuntu so that you could do everything from the gui.

do you browse the web with wget?

do you disable gdm and use startx to start x?

are you still using mutt for email?

if not why not? and why should you have to use vim to configure your network?
...yeah. but I still use slrn for newsgroups, and the default editor is vim.

Let there be GUIs. Just don't *compel* me to use them all the time.

Stormy Eyes
November 18th, 2005, 02:17 AM
do you browse the web with wget?

I use wget to download ISO images and other big files.


do you disable gdm and use startx to start x?

As a matter of fact, I do.


are you still using mutt for email?

No, I use Sylpheed. Evolution is overkill for my needs.


if not why not? and why should you have to use vim to configure your network?

Why shouldn't I? I use Vim for just about everything else.

egon spengler
November 18th, 2005, 02:27 AM
i think it would be a good goal to make ubuntu so that you could do everything from the gui.

do you browse the web with wget?

do you disable gdm and use startx to start x?

are you still using mutt for email?

if not why not? and why should you have to use vim to configure your network?


You're arguing against a point that nobody has made. There are no calls for the complete removal of all gui elements from ubuntu. The whole thread is solely (or at least was intentioned to be) about whether or not offering cli commands when helping people fix problems is a good or a bad idea

poofyhairguy
November 18th, 2005, 02:30 AM
This is bit offtopic, but gotta say this..



Hope you are familiar with these packages:

ndisgtk
ndiswrapperutils
ndiswrapper-source

because right after installing them via Synaptic, I have had GUI for ndiswrapper. Or atleast I have been able to install windows drivers for my wireless using a GUI tool.

The Windows Wireless Drivers Tool is integrated well (after installing them packages) on the gnome panel, "System" and there "Settings" right after "Synaptic Packages Manager" (im not sure what those places/menunames are in english, as im using different language). Using this tool has been simple and very effective: my wlan is working with 4 clicks with da mouse.

I helped test this tool and cheered the day it entered the universe. But it did not exist when this thread started.

endersshadow
November 18th, 2005, 02:37 AM
When somebody tries to be helpful and makes somebody aware of their own work, I laugh. Thank you for that.

canuck45
November 26th, 2005, 04:00 AM
I am a new user and so far I have 'fixed' my messups by following the command line prompts one of the gurus supplied. This includes adding programs and undoing a real mess more than once. I installed realplayer by command line, is there a GUI way to do it. I had to create a ln -s in my mozilla plugin directory. Its actually starting to make sense.

Keep the command lines coming provided its less than a full book of instructions. Just glad my printer autodetected with no problem (lexmark) and I can print the instructions people give.

Malphas
November 26th, 2005, 05:17 AM
If a user is asking a question that can be resolved via the GUI alone then that should be the preferred method to explain to them, in my opinion. It may well be faster and easier for them to simply copy/paste something into the CLI but if they don't understand what it is they've posted then they've learned nothing and are no wiser than they were before; if they have to do something via the GUI then they should become slightly more familiar with the procedure and at least learn something subconsciously.

I agree that new users should attempt to get to grips with the basics of the command line but it takes a deliberate effort to do so and they're not going to learn anything by simply pasting text.

And of course if users get into the habit of copy/pasting anything anyone on the Internet tells them to, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

aysiu
November 26th, 2005, 05:26 AM
I agree that new users should attempt to get to grips with the basics of the command line but it takes a deliberate effort to do so and they're not going to learn anything by simply pasting text. That may be true by and large--I don't know. For me, it wasn't, though. Maybe I'm a freak, but I learned by copying and pasting. First I just want to know what the motions are. Once I go through the motions enough, bit by bit, I understand things more.



And of course if users get into the habit of copy/pasting anything anyone on the Internet tells them to, it's a disaster waiting to happen. Same for anything, though. Any time you ask strangers on an online forum for help, you risk borking your system. What's the difference of copying and pasting a command you don't know and clicking through some dialogues you don't know?

Malphas
November 26th, 2005, 05:31 AM
Same for anything, though. Any time you ask strangers on an online forum for help, you risk borking your system. What's the difference of copying and pasting a command you don't know and clicking through some dialogues you don't know?
No, there's a clear difference between copying and pasting something that you don't understand and going through a series of dialogues and confirmation screens. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.

aysiu
November 26th, 2005, 05:40 AM
No, there's a clear difference between copying and pasting something that you don't understand and going through a series of dialogues and confirmation screens. To suggest otherwise is nonsense. Touche. Nevertheless, I'm going to stick to giving people commands. If you want to explain point and click instructions, go ahead.

I've never seen anyone on these forums intentionally give damaging instructions to a newbie asking for help. If you or anyone else does so just to prove a point, I'll do everything in my power to get the offending party banned from these forums. Otherwise, everything's going just fine as it is.

If people are really paranoid, they shouldn't blindly be copying and pasting in the first place. They should, as people have suggested earlier in this thread...

1. Be asking the meaning of commands they don't understand.
2. Wait to see if other forum members respond and say, "Don't do that! That will erase your entire hard drive."

I see no reason, though, to disrupt the trust that has been honored so far as these forums have been active. People who don't have common sense will mess up anyway.

Fortunately, most commands (cryptic as they may seem to the uninitiated) give you a general sense of what they do. mkdir makes a directory. apt-get install programname installs programname.

Malphas
November 26th, 2005, 05:49 AM
Touche. Nevertheless, I'm going to stick to giving people commands.
I wasn't telling you to do otherwise, frankly I don't really care, this thread is asking for people's opinions on the matter which is why I posted mine.


I've never seen anyone on these forums intentionally give damaging instructions to a newbie asking for help. If you or anyone else does so just to prove a point, I'll do everything in my power to get the offending party banned from these forums. Otherwise, everything's going just fine as it is.
My point was that it's bad practice to encourage people to just copy/paste commands, and just because no-one intentionally gives bad advice here doesn't mean it won't happen elsewhere. Besides, supposing it did happen here, banning the individual would be too little too late considering the damage would have already been done, it's hardly relevant. And really, this wasn't even my main point, just a sidenote.


If people are really paranoid, they shouldn't blindly be copying and pasting in the first place.
I can't quite make sense of this bizarre statement, it's the people that aren't paranoid that are vulnerable, and what difference does it make whether someone is paranoid or not anyway? You're not more likely to be given bad advice because you're paranoid.

aysiu
November 26th, 2005, 05:53 AM
I can't quite make sense of this bizarre statement, it's the people that aren't paranoid that are vulnerable, and what difference does it make whether someone is paranoid or not anyway? You're not more likely to be given bad advice because you're paranoid. My point was that things work out as they work out. People who are paranoid will make sure they do not get misled into mischief. People who are blindly trusting always leave that option open to be misled.

There are only two points to argue: one is what the user should do, and the other is what the person helping should do.

The user will do what she does. If she's the skeptical/careful sort, she'll be skeptical and careful. If she's the trusting/careless sort, she'll be trusting and careless.

The person helping will also do what she does--give good advice or bad advice. It doesn't matter whether it's a command or set of point-and-click instructions. The only people who need to change are 1. the naive user and 2. the malicious helper. The naive user won't change because she is, by nature, naive. The malicious helper won't change because she is, by nature, malicious.

To have careful users and benevolent helpers argue about means of giving instructions doesn't change anything.

Malphas
November 26th, 2005, 05:56 AM
Well there's more points to it than that. Like I said that was more of a sidenote than anything else, my main point was that users are (in my opinion) less likely to learn anything by simply copying and pasting. There's also the issue raised at the beginning, that telling a new user who's never used a CLI to start typing commands may feel alienated, although personally I don't have particularly strong feelings over this either way, I've never been bothered by the command line, but then I had used computers for a while before I ever saw a GUI.

Xian
November 26th, 2005, 06:10 AM
This is not a cut and dry issue. It really depends a lot on the user, and what is best for them is not always so obvious to ascertain. For example, if a member started a thread saying that they wanted to create a new partition, and had used something like PM8 at work but didn't know that much about Linux, then I might direct them to the gparted application since that would be more in their realm of experience.

However, by doing this instead of giving them a set of commands they could just copy/paste, there is also the possibility they will make more errors by navigating through the GUI tool, and clicking the wrong option or action. A better guideline might be to asses the risk, and then offer some comments when using the command line method so they will gain understanding as they proceed with their task.

Based solely on personal experience, it is my opinion that there is overall less chance of making a mistake by copy/pasting sets of commands than from using most GUI tools which are currently available. Generally, if there is a problem with the command instruction it will just fail to execute, with no harm being done to the system. A few wrong steps in a GUI tool can be more damaging since it will execute any instruction that appears on the menu.

Sirin
January 24th, 2006, 08:49 PM
I try to get people that are DONE with Windows to switch to Linux, but they are scared of the damned command-line which will always be the "key feature of Linux". This is the age of the GUI. Linux has not made that much progression for ease of use to the home user. While you Ubuntu fanboys are gonna hate me saying this, why can't we use a GUI as the primary function and use the CL as the secondary? Java's really hard to install, and for the home user, the best thing to do is "keep a Linux geek around". Why won't we be the revolutionary distro and drop the need of a Linux geek with you? Linspire's done it. Ubuntu is aimed for the home/server user. If a home user just wants to run a desktop, we need to give them the freedom of using it without forcing them to use the command line 80% of the time? The command line might be easy for many people here, but for starters, it's hard as hell, especially for the people who missed out on the DOS generation. People don't want to spend 95% of their time learning Linux, but USING it. Look at WIndows, you don't need to use their command line except for converting FAT partitions to NTFS. I know you think Windows or Mac sucks, but look how they turned to the GUI. The answer to most questions related to ease-of-use on these forums are


LInux is not WIndows.

Does this mean that as long as LInux is not Windows, it will never be easy? We need change. We need to STAND OUT from those "other" distributions. It's good to be different, right? In fact, we should make ease-of-use and user friendliness our first priority. Britney Spears doesn't know how to compile from source. Why should we be forced to use a command line? Nothing has much changed during this decade, but hopefully Ubuntu can make a good change. Include a GUI installer, a GUI way of doing what we could only do with the Command Line. Do you think we need change, or should we keep it the way that it is now?

Vlammetje
January 24th, 2006, 08:56 PM
we should keep it the way it is now.

the fact that the command line is perceived to be this 'ugely incomprehensive complicated thing that you will never master', does not mean that it actually is.

In fact, I think anybody wanting to use linux should learn to use it well, and I think learning the command line (as I myself am doing bit by bit) is a vital part in that.

Finally. just because there's no GUI does not mean something isn't easy. These two just aren't synonymous. People need to learn that too. It's all part of the process imho.

SlugO
January 24th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Like the catchphrase "Humanity to others" says, Ubuntu is already aimed to be easy to use for everyone, beginners included. And it has succeeded pretty well.

And I find it hard to believe that most beginners would need many programs that aren't already in the repositories. Where did you get the idea that most programs need to be compiled in Ubuntu?

So I'd say no, don't change the course Ubuntu. Keep going in the good, easy-to-use direction that you're already headed to.

BSDFreak
January 24th, 2006, 09:03 PM
I try to get people that are DONE with Windows to switch to Linux, but they are scared of the damned command-line which will always be the "key feature of Linux". This is the age of the GUI. Linux has not made that much progression for ease of use to the home user. While you Ubuntu fanboys are gonna hate me saying this, why can't we use a GUI as the primary function and use the CL as the secondary? Java's really hard to install, and for the home user, the best thing to do is "keep a Linux geek around". Why won't we be the revolutionary distro and drop the need of a Linux geek with you? Linspire's done it. Ubuntu is aimed for the home/server user. If a home user just wants to run a desktop, we need to give them the freedom of using it without forcing them to use the command line 80% of the time? The command line might be easy for many people here, but for starters, it's hard as hell, especially for the people who missed out on the DOS generation. People don't want to spend 95% of their time learning Linux, but USING it. Look at WIndows, you don't need to use their command line except for converting FAT partitions to NTFS. I know you think Windows or Mac sucks, but look how they turned to the GUI. The answer to most questions related to ease-of-use on these forums are

So use Windows, seriously NOBODY CARES!


Does this mean that as long as LInux is not Windows, it will never be easy? We need change. We need to STAND OUT from those "other" distributions. It's good to be different, right? In fact, we should make ease-of-use and user friendliness our first priority. Britney Spears doesn't know how to compile from source. Why should we be forced to use a command line? Nothing has much changed during this decade, but hopefully Ubuntu can make a good change. Include a GUI installer, a GUI way of doing what we could only do with the Command Line. Do you think we need change, or should we keep it the way that it is now?

It means that Linux isn't Windows, it does not aim to replace windows for anyone, it's an alternative, some think it is better, they use it, some think Windows is better, they use Windows.

Britney Spears would contribute SO much to the FOSS community, right? She'd help others with their setups, report bugs and contribute patches, DAMN, we can't lose her or those like her, FOSS will surely suffer if we do.

That last part was sarcasm if you didn't catch it.

Read http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

Stormy Eyes
January 24th, 2006, 09:13 PM
Oh, jeez, not this nonsense again.

mstlyevil
January 24th, 2006, 09:14 PM
So I guess Automatix is not good enough for you. A new user can get Ubuntu up and running with everything they would want and need with only copying and pasting two commands in the command line. After Automatix is installed they will have the GUI based installer for Multimedia, DVD, Codecs, P2P, Java, Flash and the latest Firefox and Open Office. Even the sources list is taken care of by Automatix. Anything else they need is available by Synaptic and the Add Programs utility. These things already exist yet there are still complaints about the command line. Also some things are done better by the command line so learning a little bit about it is actually a way to make the operating system easier to use.

If that is still too hard for them then they need to stick with Windows or buy Linspire or Xandros since everything is already done for them at install. Linux is not for everyone and most computer users are still better off using something else.