>I think I may be earning myself a reputation as a user-friendliness
>Nazi, but I see no reason why a CLI can't be *very* user friendly. For
>example, if someone types in "copy", it could spit out some
>context-sensitive help about the right way to do a copy. These are the
>nice little touches that take a product into the realm of maturity, in
>my opinion.

Since the CLI is mostly used by developers, hard core users, wannabe geeks
and system administrators i don't really see the need to make the CLI this
user friendly. Not everything is meant to be a all in one jack in the box
with instructions on how to crank the lever. Would you like ASCII drawn
color images next to give the uesr a visual cue as well?

>When it's so well designed, and so well understood by the
>designers, that it's designed to help you get to where you're trying to
>go, even when you're not exactly sure how to proceed.

Ok, the last place I want an end user is on the command line. They might
hurt themselves or the machine. And if you don't know how to use a product,
operating system, programming language, etc... RTFM.

As operating systems upgrade they may include all of these nice step by step
guides and procedures on how to do  something, but since everything is
merely a perspective away I think that it causes more of a problem then it
solves. One person may like "cp", another "copy", another "duplicate",
another "clone" , another "copyfile", and the list can go on and on. To
support every variation would be a waste of developer time. And if you say
dont' support them all only support "copy" then you are being selfish and
only looking at this from your perspective. At some point someone had to
make the decision for it to be consistent across the board and I applaud
them. I have never used any languageset besides the default english one that
comes with any OS, but I would be interested to see if the spanish version
changes "cp" to "~cpiol" or some variation. If commands are consistent
across languages then I even more so disagree with you.

>Most people argue that, if you've got the gumption to use Unix, you've
>got the gumption to hike the learning curve - And if you need to have
>your hand held along the way, you're better off with a GUI'd OS anyways.

Only insecure people who like to feel like they are 1 step higher then
others on the food chain do this. It makes them feel like somehow they are
better, smarter, more intelligent! Computers aren't innate, nothing in
technology is. Everything you know you have learned. You don't have a two
year old who innately knows how configure a syslogd server one day.


>All of that may be true, but it's beside the point. The point is that
>the paradigm is all wrong. To intentionally make things cryptic, and
>then to leave them that way for decades on end is deplorable, and speaks
>volumes about the direction that The Powers That Be are headed in.

Cryptic? cp to do a file copy isn't cryptic. An MD5 Hash of cp to do a file
copy is cryptic.

>Is it a crime to make a powerful and sophisticated software system easy
>enough for children to use?

No let's put a giant red button on each machine that says format, so they
can go push it. Anyways that is why children start with LeapFrog when they
are young, then they progress to using a computer. Then they learn on how to
use the computer.

>Is it so bad if all the complexity is tucked
>away under a nice interface until needed? (Be it command line or GUI, or
>who knows what else). MacOSX seems to be a hit with Mac users.

And Linux is a hit with Linux users, BSD is a hit with BSD users and Windows
is a hit with uneducated users. ;)  MacOSX and MS Windows are the only OS's
where the Apple or Microsoft tried to reach every age, child, race and
religion of computers. Linux/BSD/UNIX were never intended that way. You are
taking the problem that Linux/BSD/UNIX solve and trying to reshape it.

>Apparently, shoving all the sophistication under the rug has worked for
>them. *nix OS's are a decade behind in the UI/user-friendliness
>department, and there's no good reason for it to be like that.

Again the *Nix OS's were never intended to be an all in one jack in the box.
That is Windows and OSX's job. And although Windows and OS X are very pretty
they run much slower then my CLI nix box and because they have nice pretty
icons ticks me off, especially when the icons by default in Windows Longhorn
are half the size of my 21" monitor.


> The
>hardcore hackers don't need to lose anything if Timmy The Five Year Old
>has an overlying interface to Unix that makes sense to him, so why the
>incredible opposition to user-friendliness?

There are distributions of Linux that aim for this sort of thing. Maybe you
should google for it or check it out....http://www.linuxiso.org

>My beef is with *nix people who think user-friendliness is a bad thing -
>A threat to their way of thinking. It's utter nonsense. Software is kind
>of a commodity these days, in that oftentimes, you can't even give it
>away. That which isn't used, has no value. That which is used more, has
>more value.

User friendliness is not a bad thing, but realize most *nix people don't use
*nix for UI's and GUI's. Most *nix users won't have a need for a intuitive
all in one UI and GUI. So why would they want to support it, if it doesn't
necessarily benefit them? And there are distro's aimed for UI and GUI
friendliness, go look at the link I gave you and browse the different
distros.

When you go buy technical books do you look for the popup books? If so I can
totally see where you are coming from and why you had so much frustration
finding "cp".

Also if you would have moved from Unix to Windows, you be asking where "cp"
was and wtf "copy" was there.

Zach





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