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Hey all,

I'm currently studying at Glamorgan Uni in Wales and am about to start research on a paper about the Command Line Interface and it's use in the Modern OS. The lecturer mentioned that while talking about our specific award is the way to go, it would be useful to research other jobs / tasks to get a better feel of how important (or conversely, unimportant) the CLI is.

I'd like to get a broader perspective as to what questions I should be asking and what roles people still depend on it for. My initial plan of asking people in the street seems like it won't work unless i'm giving away cans of Lilt, and I tried calling local business to ask their IT guys and I suppose understandably so they had more pressing matters.

If you have a spare 5 minutes and could fill in this survey, i'd appreciate it!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L6HNLPV

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Last Post by sloan31
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I've filled it out and yes a command line interface is still existant in today's society as for instance when controlling remote servers, it is impossible to set them up and configure them without a CLI. Even if you had something like remote desktop (which would require CLI to setup) then it would all be pixulated due to internet speed and would slow down the network. Also it is a lot simpler to program a command line interface than it is for a graphical user interface there by making the majority of CLI's more powerful than GUI's. This is like Unix vs Windows. Unix would win because since it can be tweaked and modified with its advanced CLI it can outperform the Windows CLI which can't be tweaked and set as efficiently due to the amount of code that would be required to make all of the tweaks there by making a CLI based operating system with a GUI plugin (eg Linux) a much better alternative.

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My personal opinion is quite similar to yours, and going by the 50 or so responses to the survey (thank you all) it seems like the "perfect" operating system isn't one that requires no CLI, but is one that absolutely has to have one.

Thank you for the detail cwarn!

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None taken! Though if you'd possibly read a little more you'd realise the survey wasn't based soley on the Unix Terminal (which I have used).

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That's why i mentioned Linux.

On streets and from companies you will get totally different answers.

People working on Windows have left CLI long back, many newly trained freshers don't even know what DOS is and how to use it.

Just yesterday I had a friend (working at a big printing company) calling me to help him out. He had been using Windows all his life, must have clicked on "Command Prompt" under Accessories accidentally, and he was scared to death. Told me "something happened to my windows, all black screen with just a C:\". He was so scared and believed his machine is dead and all data lost. After I helped him to get out of command prompt, he asked what was that and what was C:\ . And he has been using windows for more than 8 years now.

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I am on the other side of the fence. Soon we won't be using keyboards and commands won't be but buttons, drop down menus and stuff like that.

Let's not forget that no matter how powerful or not DOS was it's the GUI that made computers popular and easy to interact with. Users - not admins but users - don't want to remember commands and switches and they don't want to type for hours. They want to click while talking to the phone or something.
Excel nowadays has autofill for your functions, as if the f button and typing vlookup or whatever wasn't enough.

Let's face it the "Men do it by the keyboard" days are over. You can get GUI on your mobile and click away. It's not like we still connect to the internet with 9600bps.

PS: Don't get me wrong. When I started dealing with computers Basic was considered an OS (Commodore 64k)

Edited by adam_k: n/a

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I am on the other side of the fence. Soon we won't be using keyboards and commands won't be but buttons, drop down menus and stuff like that.

Let's not forget that no matter how powerful or not DOS was it's the GUI that made computers popular and easy to interact with. Users - not admins but users - don't want to remember commands and switches and they don't want to type for hours. They want to click while talking to the phone or something.
Excel nowadays has autofill for your functions, as if the f button and typing vlookup or whatever wasn't enough.

Let's face it the "Men do it by the keyboard" days are over. You can get GUI on your mobile and click away. It's not like we still connect to the internet with 9600bps.

PS: Don't get me wrong. When I started dealing with computers Basic was considered an OS (Commodore 64k)

In saying that intel and ibm are currently working on brain wave recognition technology where you can implant a chip into your brain and computers can read what you think to respond to your thoughts. Quote from intel "Emagine browsing the web with the power of your thoughts". Then I thought, what if I thought about something naughty coincidently while reading up on some biology text. Would the computer automatically search that in google images and bring back some nasty results. Makes it difficult for brain recognition technology to function correctly.

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I am on the other side of the fence. Soon we won't be using keyboards and commands won't be but buttons, drop down menus and stuff like that.

That "we" won't be all computer users, far from it. Many things professionals do every day are just a lot faster using a commandline, and always will be.
And for professionals, that speed counts.

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That "we" won't be all computer users, far from it. Many things professionals do every day are just a lot faster using a commandline, and always will be.
And for professionals, that speed counts.

Tell me about it. No matter what you can't convince me that it's faster to type net user username /whatever /domain instead of having the domain users and computers window minimized on your taskbar.

I'm a professional and because speed counts I use GUI - on Windows OS -. It's that much faster and you can't fat-finger a 500 characters command.

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Tell me about it. No matter what you can't convince me that it's faster to type net user username /whatever /domain instead of having the domain users and computers window minimized on your taskbar.

I'm a professional and because speed counts I use GUI - on Windows OS -. It's that much faster and you can't fat-finger a 500 characters command.

Guide me how to do this in Windows GUI

copy file1.txt file2.txt
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Is this what professionals do? I'll keep it mind and stop copy/pasting, drag&dropping,dragging with right click, having software (including commercial or scripts) doing this type of "professional work".

You are right, you can't copy files without command prompt. In fact I'm going to uninstall Windows 2003 Advanced server and install Dos 6.22 with telnet so that everybody can type copy file1.txt file2.txt. I'll even go the extra mile and tell them to del file1.txt

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You have not answered my question.

Besides it depends what profession you are in, so "Is this what professionals do?" is not a valid question.

And you don't have to uninstall your Windows if you are happy with it. I am happy with the mix of it.

If you really go out and see how people work on computers, you will be shocked, majority of people go to google and then type the domain name in the search field and then click on the result to go to the site.

But then there is a big minority of users too who knows how to use different technologies old/new to do what they want while saving time and having more control.

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Uh yeah professionals copy files from one place to another... because they need them there.

It's certainly a lot easier with the command line than opening up a couple of windows with the GUI, making sure they don't overlap, and navigating to the folder and dragging and dropping. Or opening an SFTP client... lol.

No you just cp x y and you're done.

Or you scp foo@bar:~/path/to/x y . Instead of opening a bunch of windows and being an all-around slowpoke.

The main benefit of GUI features is for graphical output, not graphical input.

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Yes and if you are a fast typer then you are fast at performing CLI operations provided you have the knowledge unlike GUI where you need to find where that 1 inch button is on that two meter screen.

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So in a real life situation it's faster to write:

cd documents
dir
dir /ad 
cd visual studio 2010\
cd visual studio 2010
cd projects 
dir
cd warehouse utilities 
dir
dir c:\users\username\documents\visual studio 2010\
copy *.* p:\admin\IT stuff\adam_k\VS backup\warehouse utilities\

Than to open an explorer window click on documents (not to mention a shortcut) click on visual studio, click on the warehouse utilities folder select all files, press the back button go in the back up folder and pasting?
Or do you remember all folders you've created and you don't need dir? Are

About the overlaping windows: Pull the 1st one on the left side of the screen, pull the second one on the right side of the screen. Job done.

Anyway, this is just me. I don't care what you guys say I'm not going to copy files by cmd anytime soon.

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So in a real life situation it's faster to write:

cd documents
dir
dir /ad 
cd visual studio 2010\
cd visual studio 2010
cd projects 
dir
cd warehouse utilities 
dir
dir c:\users\username\documents\visual studio 2010\
copy *.* p:\admin\IT stuff\adam_k\VS backup\warehouse utilities\

Than to open an explorer window click on documents (not to mention a shortcut) click on visual studio, click on the warehouse utilities folder select all files, press the back button go in the back up folder and pasting?
Or do you remember all folders you've created and you don't need dir? Are

About the overlaping windows: Pull the 1st one on the left side of the screen, pull the second one on the right side of the screen. Job done.

Anyway, this is just me. I don't care what you guys say I'm not going to copy files by cmd anytime soon.

An administrator of a system should already know where his or her files are stored so shouldn't have to keep on doing dir all the time. You should only have to do dir once or maybe twice in the entire process of opening a file and that's if you get lost. The proper command would be as follows:

cd documents\visual studio 2010\projects\warehouse utilities
dir
dir c:\users\username\documents\visual studio 2010\
copy *.* p:\admin\IT stuff\adam_k\VS backup\warehouse utilities\

or

cd documents\visual studio 2010\projects\warehouse utilities
copy *.* p:\admin\IT stuff\adam_k\VS backup\warehouse utilities\

Edited by cwarn23: n/a

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One thing that I have experienced is , when I moving one linux distro to
new one [epically
with different desktop environments, Ex- Moving GNOME to AfterStep or some other
*nix like mac OS], it's easy to deal with the command line than reading the docs
and dig out how's it to be done with the GUI which is specific to it's desktop
environment.

In other words "If you know CLI you know linux,but if you know RedHat you know
RedHat".

For this reason GUI will never die. It's uniform across most of *nix.

and using a tool like CVS/SVN I really felt it's better to install just the
command line tool. And also writing the shell scripts to automate things in
*nix , when you manage lots of servers and clusters , you need to know
CLI.

In Windows CLI was not dead or it's same as old 16-bit version, it's command
shell, not "command.com" or DOS.Nowdays windows have powershell, which is more
civilized and compatible with the *nix interface.

CLI is worth studying as well as GUI.
I have seen some guys who are strict to the CLI,it's also bad, he very rarely
using the X-windows,that's also a dead end.

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@NicAx64: Your friend that only uses CLI is either old school ("Men do it by the keyboard" was a very popular slogan for those UNIX experts against GUI back in the day) or can't find his way aroung GUI.
The old timers would use strictly CLI in order to avoid using resources that they don't need (designing new forms and stuff).

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There is just simply some jobs where using the GUI is better and other jobs where using CLI is better. It's as simple as that. Using the GUI as the best approach holds more often in the Windows world because the system is designed to be used that way.

In the Linux world, if you don't use CLI more the GUI for your work...I can tell you are not a Linux admin. On the other hand, you might use Linux as your desktop of choice for leisure and spend most of your time in the GUI there.

So, in the end...it all comes down to what you are doing.

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