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Old 11-28-2003, 04:21 PM   #1
DrD
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Why does most everything involve the terminal?


Why does installing nearly everything involve the terminal? Sure, it's great for digging around in the nitty gritty, but why use the terminal for say, installing macromedia flash? It's like giving the OS a fancy graphical interface, only to strip it of most all of it's usefullness.

Sure, I can dig around in the nitty gritty of my system if I have to, but when would I want to? I didn't get a computer so I could dig around in the terminal interface everytime I put a program into it. Why not something, hmmm graphical? Human? Practical?
 
Old 11-28-2003, 04:34 PM   #2
trickykid
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Re: Why does most everything involve the terminal?

Quote:
Originally posted by DrD
Why does installing nearly everything involve the terminal? Sure, it's great for digging around in the nitty gritty, but why use the terminal for say, installing macromedia flash? It's like giving the OS a fancy graphical interface, only to strip it of most all of it's usefullness.

Sure, I can dig around in the nitty gritty of my system if I have to, but when would I want to? I didn't get a computer so I could dig around in the terminal interface everytime I put a program into it. Why not something, hmmm graphical? Human? Practical?
That would take the fun out of it though..

Most of the time its just that there are so many different versions of Desktops, browsers, distro's placing directories and such in different places, it would just be near impossible or just make it difficult to make a program detect which one your using, install appropiately and so on..

Most of the time I can get things done faster using the command line rather than some point and click interface and a gui installer that craps out and does it wrong for me in the first place..
 
Old 11-28-2003, 04:35 PM   #3
Luantum
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The teminal gives you more power then the GUI. If you want pure GUI installs then use RPM System.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 04:37 PM   #4
Mara
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The thing is that the installer isn't always easy to write. Let's say the flash plugin: you can have many browsers, may want it only in one. Browsers may be in different locations (to make it automatic, the program must search the whole disk). Automatic choice will be wrong for many users. It means it'd be needed to ask the user to enter every parameter. The system owner should know better where to put it.

And there are other reasons...For example, many people still think about Unix systems as text-only.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 05:15 PM   #5
DrD
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Quote:
The teminal gives you more power then the GUI. If you want pure GUI installs then use RPM System.
I agree. My point is, not that the terminal is bad, whatsoever. My point is, when do you need that extra power and when do you not? I don't need that kind of power when it comes to installing macromedia flash, a simple web browser plug in. Nor do I want to use the terminal for installing anything else. Why use a "nitty gritty tool" to accomplish something so straitfoward?

It's like using a small scalpel to carve evey last thing in a gigantic rock sculpture. It has it's usefullness, sure! But who in their right mind would use that one tool for accomplishing everything? There are plenty of more practical means of getting more things done at a time, in more practical terms, then using a single - ultra picky tool - to do everything

Mara: I don't understand your argument. I mean, I agree... but how does what you are saying reffer to terminal vs GUI click and go wizard?
 
Old 11-28-2003, 05:22 PM   #6
Mara
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrD

Mara: I don't understand your argument. I mean, I agree... but how does what you are saying reffer to terminal vs GUI click and go wizard?
It's hard to write a good GUI installer. It's easier to write INSTALL file saying: copy it here, symlink this to that etc.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 05:54 PM   #7
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You say 'why does most everything involve the terminal,' but your example is installing MicroMedia Flash. How often do you install things like Flash? Then how often are you forced to use the terminal?

For the anti-technical user who dislikes the terminal, not that often. All things considered, you can do most everything with the GUI now. With GUIs for RPM and Webmin for administrative tasks, you don't need the command line.

However, if you can't stand using it, then you should consider running OSX or Lindows or like that.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 06:37 PM   #8
slakmagik
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Re: Why does most everything involve the terminal?

Quote:
Originally posted by DrD
Why not something, hmmm graphical? Human? Practical?
What's more human than *language*? What's more practical than issuing an explicit and direct command via the consistent interface of the prompt and keyboard rather than wondering if you need this box or that box and whether you check this or dropdown this or fill in this (switching back and forth from mouse to keyboard the whole time) and wonder whether you access it via 'edit' or 'view' or 'tools' or whatever? Graphics are way overrated. We've got smilies on this board but what are we doing here but typing strings from a keyboard? Why do people flip out when they do the same thing at a console or an xterm?
 
Old 11-28-2003, 07:48 PM   #9
DrD
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Most things can be installed via the GUI? What perhaps? I'm just curious, so far, here's a list fo what I've tried to install:

Macromedia Flash
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Zsnes

Zsnes not only required to operate everything from the terminal to install, but also required me to compile the executable myself!

What on earth? There's nothing idealistic about that. It's as if the GUI says at this point "Oh, I'm nice loking, but if you want to accomplish something, it's none of my buisness, go back to the terminal". It's like the GUI is a slave to the terminal, rather then a really user-centric interface that the user can accomplish most things, indepenent of the CLI.

And why throw the terminal away? Don't! You don't have to lose anything by keeping the terminal, keeping the efficant file structure, etc, etc. Keep um! You can still use the terminal with a really good object oriented graphical desktop - it just makes it nicer. The focus is all on the terminal and not on the user!

There ARE isntances when a CLI is ideal... but they're extremely limited. A web server for instance, has little reason to use a graphical user interface, it's point of being is that it remotely serves other interests, and it doesn't revolve around the user configuring it in nearly any way. It just needs the minimum user interface neccisarry, because it's purpose isn't to serve the person configuring the computer.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 07:58 PM   #10
mac_phil
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You seem to think that graphical program installers just appear out of the ether. It takes work, real human work, to make a program install graphically. You're kvetching that someone hasn't done this work for your free program? C'mon, man! If you want a graphical installer for Flash, complain to Macromedia. Adobe Reader? Complain to Adobe, or simply use XPDF which you probably have installed.

3 programs? Supposing you have a typical workstation with about 1,000 packages installed, that's .3%.

What you ask for is idealistic. It is probably the future of Linux; it certainly is not the present.

Last edited by mac_phil; 11-28-2003 at 08:04 PM.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 07:59 PM   #11
DrD
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Quote:
What's more human than *language*?
Plenty of things.
Humans are more gemotrey oriented then langauge oriented.
When you do anything, anywhere, what do you use, more then anything? Your eyes.
When you drive a car, when you take a shower, when you pick things up and put things down, how do you accomplish these tasks? With your eyes, with geometry.

That's, BTW, is why being blind sucks. What would you rather do my friend? Issue commands from a wheel chair, with no use of your arms or legs or anything else that work with your eyes and the natural world?

That's why GUI is so much better for accomplishing most things then the crude termianl interface.
Your saying, ideally, you wish your computer screen was black most of the time? Your saying you wish you had to tell it everything to do, all the time? You wish it hardly interacted with the user? That's so backwards.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrD

That's why GUI is so much better for accomplishing most things then the crude termianl interface.
I agree with you that the GUI is better for the typical desktop user when it comes to installing software. But it is not better for everything because it limits your actions to what the designers of the GUI intended.

Quote:
Your saying, ideally, you wish your computer screen was black most of the time?
Either you know this is not what he is saying, ideally, or you have little experience with the command line. Blackness is completely orthogonal to this issue.

You may not be aware that there are fullscreen window managers for the console. Man screen. I'm responding to you and running ten other programs in this one terminal; how does that correlate to blackness?

Quote:
Your saying you wish you had to tell it everything to do, all the time? You wish it hardly interacted with the user? That's so backwards.
Many times you have prompts and menus in the console, so I don't know where you got this strawman. Are you familiar with pipes and regular expressions? You'd be amazed how easy it is to tell it what to do, and how much power it gives you. It is faster than using a GUI.

Last edited by mac_phil; 11-28-2003 at 08:12 PM.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 08:13 PM   #13
slakmagik
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Yep. Really progressive to be using hieroglyphics again.

Hawks and eagles use their eyes pretty well too but they don't talk or write a whole lot.

Whatever. You're not asking a serious question - you should have phrased this as an imperative: 'I want graphical installers'. The only question seems to be 'Why won't people give them to me?' If you want them, code them. Y'know - coding: strings you type.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 08:15 PM   #14
DrD
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Quote:
What you ask for is idealistic. It is probably the future of Linux; it certainly is not the present.
mac_phil: I couldn't agree more. In fact, you kind of summed up my thoughts.
You're right. What concerns me is that there is some sort of hovering clouds of non-advancement, and talking bluntly, people who wish the user interface wouldn't evolve in any way, shape or form from a completely terminal point of view.

The terminal is cool, but don't fall victum to bigotry! There ARE better things out there, better ways to accomplish big tasks in simple ways. A terminal is just a reliable system tool. IT IS NOT what an OS should be oriented around when it comes to user desktop systems. It SHOULD be oriented completly, in every way, around the user who's computer it is.

Thats my 2 cents, anyone agree? At all? I'm not trying to start a flame war or anything.
 
Old 11-28-2003, 08:19 PM   #15
DrD
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Yep. Really progressive to be using hieroglyphics again.
Yeah. YEAH. That's exactly what I meant. Comon, you're smarter then that.
 
  


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