[clug] Why do we do what we do in Linux? [was Re: Text editor]

Hal Ashburner hal at ashburner.info
Mon Oct 27 16:28:59 MDT 2014

On 28 October 2014 08:40, Ben Davies <bdcrux at gmail.com> wrote:

> Going off topic, author Neal Stephenson discusses some of those
> problems in his essay:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_The_Beginning_Was_The_Command_Line
> He makes an interesting analogy between Linux/Unix and an industrial
> power drill - the Hole Hawg. An annotated version of the text is here:
> http://garote.bdmonkeys.net/commandline/index.html
> Enjoy :-)

Just as a counter data point, I recall getting stephenson's in the
beginning as a recommendation when I was first using linux and found
it pretty disappointing. So I guess your mileage may vary. I'm
completely sold on the command line as a powerful tool, but that essay
didn't make the sale. GUIs are ideal for infrequently done, ad-hoc or
one off tasks because their commands are more discovervable and you
can get immediate feedback to see if it did what you thought it would
and undo it if not. When you find yourself repeating the same steps 3
or more times the command line wins, then being able to cut and paste
that command line command into a text file with any name you give it
and run it as a script - no gui can touch that. Recording VBA macros
in MS office is about as good as you can get in a GUI equivalent and
it's greatly inferior to intermediate command line usage for such

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