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Author Topic: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user  (Read 8012 times)
kidd
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2007, 06:53:57 am »

CLI junkie here,  so my opinion may be biased (whose is not Smiley.
GUI interfaces are more 'user friendly' than CLI,  that's for sure, but having to trim what appears on the menus make imossible doing some specific things. Without knowing where to find the correct checkbox, hidden inside a tabbed 'option' window with 10 tabs inside (MsWord Tools->Options...).

Unfortunately, most GUI applications are designed only with a 5 minutes learning curve in mind, so if you plan to use a program intensively, you cannot do much to improve your experience apart from learning all that Alt-someKey (Photoshop users use that all the time).  As you get more 'professional' with a tool, you tend to memorize the actions and their relations with keybindings, that's the way everybody does.  But here, some problems arise:

- Your function does not have a predefined keybinding and you would like to have it. (I remember me doing things like Alt-i,o,Return,Tab,Tab,space,Alt-F4)

- Version changes, interface changes.

CLI apps, seem to be more robust, and the hability to script them is a great feature for me.
As CLI is made with keyboard in mind, programs seem to be more configurable, so you can say CLI is more flexible than GUI (Strange assertion,eh?)

Linux Command line may have 2500 commands, but you rarely need more than 20. If you don't use them, they don't bother you. However, GUI shows you 'all the fish', and you have to visually choose what do you want to do.

As said, at first it's intuitive and easy, but for me I prefer to minimize my usage of the mouse because I find it being the bottleneck in my Human-Computer interface.  Example:

You want to start firefox.
Option1: Fetch the mouse, click the right menu button (every distro has its own 'menu logic'), glance the menu for available options,click submenu, find the right icon (if it's iceweasel, the icon will be blue, ff has the red one), click.
Option2: Alt-F2, firefox, Return

Once you get used to it, CLI is pretty fast, and once you learn it well, you can change distros without decrementing your productivity.

As said before, tab helps you a lot in the console completing files (and more if you have it properly configured), man will help you with commands and flags.

An example to pick out your interest (try to do it in a GUI):
Say you want to get every pdf file in a given url, following the links to other urls (deepness 1) , spanning domains, but without going to parent site (only go down), and leaving your files only in one directory (not spanned in the different directories it finds the files).  Being a polite websurfer, we'll wait 5 seconds between our download requests.

wget -r -l1 -H -t1 -nd -N -np -A pdf -w5  www.foobar.com
 
Credit goes to jeff veen ( http://www.veen.com ) and fravia (http://www.fravia.com)

Obviously I don't remember this string by heart, but knowing it can do those amazing things,  is good to start diving into it.

Hope it hasn't been too long .

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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2007, 11:46:03 am »

Well, like GrannyGeek, I both use Vista and am disinclined to bash it (truth be told, I love it - it works beautifully and looks even better) but there are times I despair its lack of CLI, which I have become quite fond of in VL.

Have you tried Run...cmd? Vista actually has a pretty rich command line that goes way beyond the old DOS command line. I know people who are real Vista command-line junkies. I'm not among them, but if CLI is your thing, you can do more with it in Vista (and XP) than you might expect.

Even with my limited use, I've discovered that the XP/Vista command line does autocomplete (by tab) and history ( up arrow key), which are basically all I care about. Also copy and paste, but that's been available since Win 95 at least.
--GrannyGeek
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 11:57:27 am by GrannyGeek » Logged

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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2007, 11:53:36 am »

And I'll be darn if I have ever been able to remember the flags needed to extract the different archive formats from within the CLI. I actually solved that by making a script called <howtar> which echo's a list of options. And the next time I'm gonna extract an archive I'm gonna test my homebrew script <atar> which decides which flags to use automagically. *sigh* I just can't memorize them...

I just highlight the file in Midnight Commander, hit F2, and it's easy from there. I don't have to remember anything.
--GrannyGeek
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2007, 12:06:02 pm »

Have you tried Run...cmd? Vista actually has a pretty rich command line that goes way beyond the old DOS command line. I know people who are real Vista command-line junkies. I'm not among them, but if CLI is your thing, you can do more with it in Vista (and XP) than you might expect.

I've used them and, while the addition of tab completion is better, it's still not as good as the possibilities of bash or zsh. For example, the extra bash completion that comes standard on Knoppix (and should on Vector, IMO) will circumscribe file completion matches to the kinds of files that are used by the program. So, for example, 'gv' would match .ps, .ps.gz and .pdf files IIRC. The syntax for programming constructs in the Windoze shell is also pretty tedious compared to (relatively) compact forms like for i in list; do yada; yada; yada; done.

Linux Command line may have 2500 commands, but you rarely need more than 20. If you don't use them, they don't bother you. However, GUI shows you 'all the fish', and you have to visually choose what do you want to do.

Yes, I would much rather think about a concise language where the images are in my head and thus easier to manipulate than pick them out on the screen. That's one reason I stopped using LyX in favor of straight LaTeX because formatting mathematics is a major pain in the ass in LyX. I'd enter the Math Menu, click on the integral sign, click on super-script, click on...arghhh!!!! and then get something that didn't look right at the end. Ironically, with LaTeX I get a high-level overview of how the document will look in DVI or PDF form and so can visualize the result without much distractions.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 12:18:11 pm by hanumizzle » Logged

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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2007, 12:53:29 pm »

You want to start firefox.
Option1: Fetch the mouse, click the right menu button (every distro has its own 'menu logic'), glance the menu for available options,click submenu, find the right icon (if it's iceweasel, the icon will be blue, ff has the red one), click.

That is certainly the worst-case scenario. I hardly ever use the desktop menu ("Start" menu). In fact, I remove it from the Panel. In XFce's Settings manager, I set up a margin on one side of the screen for Fullscreen so that a sliver of the desktop background shows there. Then when I need the desktop menu for something I don't use much, I right-click on the background sliver. I also remove the Pager because a middle-click on the background sliver shows the Workspaces and what's running in them. I remove the Show Desktop icon because Control-Alt-d toggles to the desktop and back. In XFce I use what amounts to a QuickLaunch bar. All the applications I use regularly are under 8 icons of my choice on the left of the XFce Panel. The way it comes by default in VL is pretty much a waste of space unless you never use anything but Thunar, a text editor, and the default browser. But if you add your applications in the proper category, you just click on the main icon or on the little arrow to the right and then on the desired application's icon. No right clicks, submenus, yada-yada. Easier than Alt-F2. It takes a few minutes to set up your launch bar to your needs and preferences, but once done you don't have to do it again.

If I'm using the same version of VL on another computer, I just copy my ~/.config directory from one computer to another after I've customized it on the first computer. I do this *before* I start XFce for the first time and it comes up all set with my preferred background and settings already in place.

Just as there are ways to get good with the CLI, there are ways to make the GUI more efficient and more suited to the way someone likes to work. A lot of users just aren't very good at customizing their graphical interfaces. They don't know keyboard shortcuts and don't know how to organize things so it's easier to find what they're looking for. I'd rather spend a few minutes learning how to customize things to my liking than suffer every single day because the only thing I know is how to point and click.

Quote
An example to pick out your interest (try to do it in a GUI):
Say you want to get every pdf file in a given url, following the links to other urls (deepness 1) , spanning domains, but without going to parent site (only go down), and leaving your files only in one directory (not spanned in the different directories it finds the files).  Being a polite websurfer, we'll wait 5 seconds between our download requests.

wget -r -l1 -H -t1 -nd -N -np -A pdf -w5  www.foobar.com

Well, I can't envision myself every needing to do such a thing. Smiley However, on the nonexistent chance I might want to, I'd copy that elaborate command to a Tuxcards file I have with computer tips. Then if I need to use it, I copy it and paste it into a terminal. Not only saves me memorizing or figuring out the syntax, but prevents typing errors.

The CLI commands I use the most are df -h, locate, man, mcedit, installpkg, and wget. I use Midnight Commander for most file management, including copy, move, chown, chmod, rename (same as move), extracting archives, looking inside files, making directories, and making symlinks. I haven't found any graphical file managers I like as well as MC.
--GrannyGeek
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Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
easuter
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Posts: 2160



« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2007, 01:04:28 pm »

Quote from: GrannyGeek
Well, I can't envision myself every needing to do such a thing. Smiley However, on the nonexistent chance I might want to, I'd copy that elaborate command to a Tuxcards file I have with computer tips. Then if I need to use it, I copy it and paste it into a terminal. Not only saves me memorizing or figuring out the syntax, but prevents typing errors.

There must be a gold mine of knowledge in those Tuxcards by now  Cheesy

Quote from: hanumizzle
I stopped using LyX in favor of straight LaTeX because formatting mathematics is a major pain in the ass in LyX. I'd enter the Math Menu, click on the integral sign, click on super-script, click on...arghhh!!!! and then get something that didn't look right at the end. Ironically, with LaTeX I get a high-level overview of how the document will look in DVI or PDF form and so can visualize the result without much distractions.

I also dropped LyX (and latex for that matter, for now). I simply use OO's math editor. MathML is pretty easy. You can click to get what you want, but after reading a few tutorials and seeing some examples, its a lot faster to simply type the stuff by hand.

This takes a few seconds by hand:

Code:
size -1 {%sigma = sqrt {{%SIGMA csup N csub i=1 (T_i - T csup "_")^2 } over {N(N-1)}}}

I wouldn't even bother trying if I had to point and click to get that done!
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2007, 01:21:06 pm »

This takes a few seconds by hand:

Code:
size -1 {%sigma = sqrt {{%SIGMA csup N csub i=1 (T_i - T csup "_")^2 } over {N(N-1)}}}

I wouldn't even bother trying if I had to point and click to get that done!

It looks a little redundant, but I guess that's nice. Good luck with university courses!!
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Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
easuter
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2007, 01:52:39 pm »

Yeah, its just an example. I haven't had to do any very large scale typesetting (yet!)  Wink
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BlueMage
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2007, 04:34:10 pm »

Well, like GrannyGeek, I both use Vista and am disinclined to bash it (truth be told, I love it - it works beautifully and looks even better) but there are times I despair its lack of CLI, which I have become quite fond of in VL.

Have you tried Run...cmd? Vista actually has a pretty rich command line that goes way beyond the old DOS command line. I know people who are real Vista command-line junkies. I'm not among them, but if CLI is your thing, you can do more with it in Vista (and XP) than you might expect.

Even with my limited use, I've discovered that the XP/Vista command line does autocomplete (by tab) and history ( up arrow key), which are basically all I care about. Also copy and paste, but that's been available since Win 95 at least.
--GrannyGeek

Quite aware of that - I use it fairly frequently, espeically when network debugging.  And yes, I know it's expanded from Vista to XP.  I guess I've just gotten used to how further "expanded" CLI in linux is.

But then, as I'm sure I've mentioned, I also like eye-candy, so the GUI gets plenty of love from me.
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toothandnail
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2007, 05:31:01 pm »

I just highlight the file in Midnight Commander, hit F2, and it's easy from there. I don't have to remember anything.

 Grin You do like to do things the hard way. I just highlight an archive in MC, hit return so I can navigate through the files using MC's virtual file system. I can then use F3 to view a file within the archive, or highlight a file and use F5 to extract it to the path shown in the opposite pane.

I don't know how anyone can survive without MC. Well, certainly, how anyone as lazy as I am can survive without it...

paul.


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rbistolfi
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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2007, 05:36:12 pm »

I love mc as well, but I want to point is a gui, it just not needs X, and is very keyboard friendly, but the concept of the user interface is graphical. A damn good one, btw.
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2007, 07:45:43 am »

I love mc as well, but I want to point is a gui, it just not needs X, and is very keyboard friendly, but the concept of the user interface is graphical. A damn good one, btw.

MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.
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kidd
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2007, 08:04:09 am »

MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.

I used vifm for some time, but finally went back to pure bash/zsh file managing system Smiley
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2007, 02:39:21 pm »

MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.

Explain, please. I don't know what a virtual file system is (and I think I don't want to know, either Smiley ). I've also never noticed such a thing in Midnight Commander.
--GrannyGeek
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Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Triarius Fidelis
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Domine, exaudi vocem meam


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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2007, 04:05:59 pm »

MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.

Explain, please. I don't know what a virtual file system is (and I think I don't want to know, either Smiley ). I've also never noticed such a thing in Midnight Commander.
--GrannyGeek

It's a very masturbatory description of how a file manager can treat a file as though it were part of the file system. MC can use tarred files in such a way.
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
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