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Thread: Terminals and GUIs

  1. #21
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    Re: Terminals and GUIs

    Hmmm I think a bunch of you missed the point. Maybe not everyone read my entire original post? Or maybe I didn't word it the best way? Not entirely sure. I've been using linux for 10 years, I'm no "expert" but I've picked up a few things along the way. Yes, I know the command line is extremely fast and useful in many ways, and neither one is better per say (the title I put on the thread was sort-of tongue in cheek in a sense, probably a bad idea on my part).

    I wasn't discussing whether we should eliminate the terminal or if we should have only one distro where everything is standardized. I was talking about in general terms, for a regular user, and sometimes even for a power user, the GUI tools available in linux are usually lacking as far as complimenting the terminal based tools.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with using a GUI for anything, it is just a preference. At the same time though, for 99% of users, a terminal shouldn't need to be used. And no, just because it's "linux" or "unix-like" isn't an excuse for that. There is no inherent excuse for someone to need the command line to perform some sort of fix on their system.

    I get that it is easier to just post a command rather than step by step instructions, but often times there just aren't GUI tools for a certain task or the one that exists is horrible or not friendly.

    I wasn't trying to say anything like "linux sucks, windows or os x are better" or anything idiotic like that, I was just bringing up a hypothetical and wanted some constructive arguments.
    Last edited by user1397; February 25th, 2016 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #22
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    Why do you say the terminal shouldn't ever need to be used? I've seen several people say this, but never with any real explanation. In many cases, it's the best tool for the job, so that's your "excuse." And, has been stated already, even in Windows and OSX it's necessary to use the CLI sometimes to fix issues.

    Personally, I don't need developers wasting their time making GUIs for every obscure system function under the sun when it could be better spent fixing important bugs or bringing new software technologies to the desktop. It also increases clutter and reduces maintainability, which is bad especially for open source projects because there's always uncertainty about whether there will be enough developers around at any given point in the future.
    Last edited by montag dp; February 20th, 2016 at 04:34 PM.

  3. #23
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    I've just written another script in powershell.

    It's very powerful and the best thing Microsoft has done for years.
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

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  4. #24
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    So, I'm the guy ubuntuman001 had the debate with - and it's not completely about GUI vs Terminal. Let me clarify, a CLI is absolutely a necessity for automation and administration. All of my work with cloud computing setups and servers has been through a SSH'd terminal, no complaints there.


    The debate is about context. Ubuntu has several flavors, this includes several desktop flavors - one of which is considered primary. If this flavor is meant for the same crowd as Windows and Mac OS, then it stands that it should have a comparable offering. This offering should include some level of similar functionality paired with a consistent look and behavior. Now, I hear a lot of rambling about Linux and how do we standardize across all distros? We don't. At this point it's silly to look at Ubuntu and abstract back to linux in general. Don't build for all of Linux then, build for Ubuntu Desktop; there's no way to build for all targets unless you build for the lowest common denominator (which is CLI).


    I realized I was about to ramble on for a long time, so I broke the points down into a more pithy bullet point format:


    On command line vs GUI:
    * There is no contest, they are for different purposes.
    * Terminal/CLI is for administration and automation.
    * GUI is for the average user that thinks opening up a terminal is "hacking" (thanks TV shows...)


    What about consistency and standardization?
    * I keep hearing about how that's impossible to standardize GUIs across Linux. Okay, but this is Ubuntu, more specifically this can be done with the flavor of Ubuntu that is actually recognized as "Ubuntu Desktop" by the public. We can build GUI tools specifically for the look, feel, and behavior of one flavor.
    * I have a separate gripe about config files, mainly the same lack of standardization.


    But Windows and Mac also have issues with standardization, and you sometimes have to use CLI with them too:
    * And? Because they have a problem it's okay for Ubuntu to have it? in any case it's an advantage and an opportunity to gain market share if Ubuntu can fix something that other OS's can't see might be broken. The limitation of a product for financial gain is that whether a task is done will always depend on whether it makes sense monetarily to fix. This is an OS for people, by people, not for profit. We can build a better OS.


    My Stance On Current OSs
    * I'm not a big fan of Windows, because with it, we have become the product. (Also, its current market domination was gained by entrenchment, which is lame)
    * I'm not a big fan of Mac OS, because with it, and every other apple product we step further into a walled garden controlled by a single entity.
    * Finally, I'm not a big fan of most desktop Linux distros, because they feel cobbled together and incomplete.
    * I have yet to see an operating system that truly inspires, and I've probably felt this way since 2005. I realize this kind of makes me terrible. I accept it.


    My Past With Linux, More Importantly, Ubuntu
    * I was a pretty die-hard fan. I gave out Ubuntu CDs, had copies of different distros for people to try out (mainly Ubuntu, Open SUSE, Fedora, Slax, Puppy), and even did some installs that breathed new life into computers that were getting dusty. I had a desktop quad booting windows 2000, XP, Open SUSE, and Ubuntu.
    * What changed? I realized that with every install, one way or another I ended up at the terminal within minutes or hours of it being finished. A piece of hardware that didn't work, some failure with installing a required piece of software, other small errors here and there. If you want to see someone's eyes glaze over, open up the terminal. At this point I stopped evangelizing, I felt it wasn't ready. I told myself that the day I could install a distro and basically not need to use the terminal, then it would be ready for the average user.

    Then Why Don't I Improve It?
    * Once upon a time, the community had some toxicity to it. I recall being called a noob for not knowing how to restart my window manager; I didn't realize that was knowledge I was supposed to be born with. Back then, why support a toxic community?
    * Now, the community doesn't seem toxic, but there's still denial that there's a problem. The fact that command line vs GUI became heated shows a general lack of understanding and acceptance of underlying issues that prevent Desktop Ubuntu from being a true champion in the market. Should I help an effort that can't recognize it needs help? As much of a cocky little **** as I was in my youth coding, I recognize now I'm simply okay, maybe even good, but not some kind of God or genie. I can't make change on that scale alone, moreso with the existing divisive mentality about GUIs.

    Why Care So Much About Market Share?
    * I seem obsessed with it right? Well, that's because there's a lot at stake. Market share is power.
    * Having market share increases hardware and software support, which increases adoption, which brings about entrenchment. Entrenchment in the right hands is great for users, and in the wrong hands turns users into a product or siphons money out of their pockets needlessly.
    * Market share means relative immunity to vendor lock out, which could happen through a combination of legal and hardware related shenanigans. This could leave Linux on the desktop crushed; only used by hobbyists or on virtual machines. It could mean death to ignore low adoption in a market.



    I still feel Linux, specifically Ubuntu has insane potential in the desktop market. Linux is already the winner in server and mobile markets. Ubuntu, in my opinion, has the ability to dominate the desktop market if we want to take it there.


    Please feel free to respond, even angrily if you'd like (understandable) publicly or through private messages. I'll do my best to respond. Also, if you have suggestions, questions, or other comments I'm open to them.


    There seem to be some pretty smart people on here, and maybe I'm all wrong about my opinions. If you think it's the case, let me know with a good supporting argument.


    I also have some ideas about how some issues could be fixed, or how additional market share could be gained, but that's off topic.
    Last edited by Hedzer; February 20th, 2016 at 07:31 PM.

  5. #25
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    Post Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    Quote Originally Posted by ubuntuman001 View Post
    Hmmm I think a bunch of you missed the point.
    I wasn't discussing whether we should eliminate the terminal or if we should have only one distro where everything is standardized. I was talking about in general terms, for a regular user, and sometimes even for a power user, the GUI tools available in linux are usually lacking as far as complimenting the terminal based tools.
    I think we get that.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with using a GUI for anything, it is just a preference. At the same time though, for 99% of users, a terminal shouldn't need to be used. And no, just because it's "linux" or "unix-like" isn't an excuse for that. There is no inherent excuse for someone to need the command line to perform some sort of fix on their system.
    Alright, that's your position. A bunch of us gave ours.

    What more do you want? For us to agree with you? Give arguments in how you are correct in your opinion?
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity: Knowing what one should do and doing differently.

  6. #26
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    Hedzer,

    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    I think I've been very lucky with recent installs, as I haven't had to open a terminal to do anything that can't be done through a GUI. I usually just jump in the terminal, because the tutorials I followed in the past wrote their instructions that way.

    In the past I used to create screenshots and post them to help users fix things in ubuntu. I have even created a few YouTube vids.

    I know that not everything can be done in the GUI and I think it'd be great to see a simple interface for things such as editing grub, restarting services, and configuring hardwares that can't currently be done in the GUI.

    Depending on which project you want to take on, you may be able to start a thread here on UF to get it started. There'll always be push back from users who prefer to do things in the terminal, but there is the likely chance that there'll be people ready to jump in and get it rolling.

    It'd be great to see more tools created and incorporated into the System Settings GUI, which to me is the equivalent to Control Panel in Windows.

  7. #27
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    I am under the impression that it's not so hard for devs to create a "FRONT END" which is just barely graphical and just helps the user to choose the correct command line and actually uses the command line in the background. On Windows, you can find some front ends for FLAC.exe or LAME.exe which are both command line programs. The front ends just help you to implement the commands you need by having choices in plain english instead of "paramaterese". I really don't see a problem with that approach.

    Of course Linux devs can do that too. And it doesn't have to be overwhelmingly complex for them. They don't need to create a GUI for every Linux distro, just maybe a few like Ubuntu (and by default it's flavors) and maybe Debian.

    A few Linux graphical interfaced programs have special settings fields where you can enter in console commands or parameters so it's not really such an abstract concept even if they aren't always as simple as front ends.
    May Peace Prevail for Life in all Realms of Creation --Masahisa Goi

  8. #28
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    uRock,
    I'd like to say thanks for actually taking time to read my giant response. Your attitude is pragmatic and positive, which I greatly appreciate. I talked to my friend (ubuntuman001) and mentioned the idea of maybe building some basic config tools.

    You're right, there are tasks that have a depth to them that would make the GUI harder to use than opening up a terminal. I like to think that, even if those tasks had GUI to manage them, the average person would still likely call an IT guy to come fix the issue for them. However, there are still plenty of things I'd like to see done with a GUI that the average person might be okay with doing. In the end, a user decides to stay with an operating system based on its usability, which is a broad and inclusive term for everything from performance and behavior to what software you're looking to run and is it available for your OS.

    I'm starting to wonder if maybe the GUI discussion is just a smaller part of a larger issue - one that maybe I can help solve if I open a thread for it here in Ubuntu Forums. We'll see, I'll have to first gauge how much time I can put towards a big cause. In any case, thank you for the suggestion uRock, it's much appreciated.

  9. #29
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post

    I don't know what basic operation requires CLI and is not available via GUI. last thing I ran from CLI on desktop was phoronix test suite and it was just because it was faster copying a command.
    note that I use KDE but:
    File management is covered, troubleshooting is covered, bug reporting is covered, drivers install is covered, networking covered, PPA's & software install is covered by GUI, systems settings have a GUI, backups have GUI, system upgrade has GUI, system install has GUI, logs overview has GUI... so I wonder what basic system function requires a CLI?

    CLI only programs do need CLI obviously. but it's the same thing in windows. and just like in windows you can run them from GUI.
    One example of a "basic operation" requiring CLI I've encountered is configuring the buttons on a wacom stylus & tablet and doing that through the terminal really isn't trivial. You're on KDE, afaik you have a GUI for that too but there isn't one for vanilla Ubuntu.

    I think that for an "end user" using the CLI is not really an option, what they end up doing is either copy pasting commands they find online without really understanding what they're doing (and there be dragons) or conceding that the configuration option they wanted doesn't exist when they can't find it in system settings GUI.

  10. #30
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    Re: Is command line usage really better than GUI? Terminal vs GUI megathread

    For the casual user, additional gui based apps for system mgmt & config are a total plus. Something like YAST (from Suse) on Ubuntu would be awesome in my view. Perhaps wrap that level of functionality with the caveat "for experts only".etc.

    However, for non casual use - - nothing even approaches the power, speed and flexibility of the CLI. I worked in one of the US's largest IT depts, where Linux rules all but the desktop . . . and CLI is the most common thing (besides IDE,s, Version Managers & Browsers) that you see on desktops screens all across IT. If I, as a Project Manager or Systems Consultant where to suggest increased use of gui in that environment, well, my rep would go down the proverbial toileten with a whoosh.

    EDIT: re increased use of gui config apps in Unity . . . my perception is that Canonical views that as not worth the risk . . . .
    Last edited by Geoffrey_Arndt; February 23rd, 2016 at 04:26 AM. Reason: typo
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