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Re: [tlug] Arcane command-line (Was: epcEditor)
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: [tlug] Arcane command-line (Was: epcEditor)
- From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <email@example.com>
- Date: 27 Mar 2002 14:29:53 +0900
- Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
- In-reply-to: <20020327091537.A4404@example.com>
- Organization: The XEmacs Project
- References: <200203262114.g2QLEFe01130@example.com><20020327091537.A4404@example.com>
- Sender: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Common Lisp)
>>>>> "Matt" == Matt Doughty <email@example.com> writes: Matt> I think that the power of the command line is in its Matt> berevity, You must just pine for TECO, then. Matt> and much like programming languages if you make it more Matt> readable/verbose you negatively affect their power (see: Matt> cobol). Interesting argument. But I tend to disagree. I like the GNU long options, because often I can just guess what the right options are. Eg, the other day I was mucking with ipchains for the first time in a while, and I wanted to shut out the guy hammering on port 8473. (It was generating a lot of log entries.) Without reading the manual, I hit on ipchains -A input --destination-port 8473 DENY Of course I then got a syntax error and had to read the manual anyway, but that's not bad for just guessing, is it? I think the real power of the command line is that it is _not_ "much like" a programming language, it _is_ a programming language. For example, Steve Baur wrote a BASIC interpreter in ksh once. The point is that it has a rich, expressive syntax. The weakness of GUI, as I realized well after writing my previous screed, is that current GUI tools provide no syntax beyond "collection of items in a box." With the single exception of the spreadsheet, there is no common GUI with an _input_ syntax beyond "collection". Sure, even Athena provides a tree widget, but it doesn't allow you to rewrite that tree. Glade just allows you to collect a bunch of widgets. Etc. Of course there's some CAD and CASE available, but not for the kinds of purposes that we use shells for. -- Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp University of Tsukuba Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN Don't ask how you can "do" free software business; ask what your business can "do for" free software.
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