> I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which
> is no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out
how
> to copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info
on
> "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't
> what it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask
someone how
> to copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing
"cp",
> with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour it
> took me to figure out the command in the first place.

I know exactly what you mean, because "dir" and "del" in DOS are *so*
intuitive.  In fact, "copy" is also elitist; "duplicate" is even more
user friendly.

All sarcasm aside, I don't think anything short of a decent AI
interpreter will make the command line "user friendly".  There's a
threshold before which trying to make things more user friendly is
counter productive -- you don't really save most people any time
learning the system (except in a few edge cases), and you make things
more painful on a day-to-day basis for people who already know the
system.  Beyond that threshold, of course, a system *can* be user
friendly enough to make the extra typing worthwhile.  I'd *love* to be
able to tell my system, in plain English (or German, or French, or
Esperanto) "Open the most recent version of my resume in openoffice".
Anything less than that is just optimizing the syntax for a select
group, and Linux (and Unix) chooses that group to be people who use the
shell enough to appreciate the fewer keystrokes.

If you don't agree with me, odds are *really* good that you've never
played Zork.  I'm not the first to argue that that trying to make
things more natural is worse than not trying at all if you can't meet
that threshold.

--- SER