Idea for graphical command tool

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Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Nick_Djinn on Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:09 am

I had an idea of a 'command line' keyring, and a new terminal interface. You program your commands by copying and pasting them, then you label then with names and a number code, and you can string them together by typing in the code or the name, and it would also allow for strings of commands in sequence to be activated after the last one finishes in order, OR would allow you to create applications with a purely graphical interface by copying or writing lines of CLI code and dragging and dropping the icon next to the code next to buttons that you can also drag and drop and label.......You could easily create your own applications with graphical interface using graphical interface, only knowing the commands without having to know a computer language.....Or you could just use it to execute lines of code with drag and drop or by clicking on the button, then it automatically pastes over into the new terminal interface.

I offer this idea to Mint devs, since I will probably never do it. I believe this would be a revolutionary step forward in making the CLI more approachable to the common user. It would also allow people to create applications with exceptional ease, for themselves, but if a tool existed to export these apps created with the CLI that would be awesome
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Elisa on Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:44 am

U can install Cli companion instead...
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Nick_Djinn on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:24 am

I might have inspired this if its younger than 4 years old. When I talked about this on the Ubuntu forums a few years back a bunch of developers jumped on it and said they were going to make it happen. I never returned with that account though.

It doesnt really do everything I was talking about. It wont let you create apps with drag and drop or even let you execute commands with a button. This program is nothing more than a fancy clip board next to the terminal.....Its actually a good first step, but it lacks drag and drop, and more importantly it lacks the tools to import and export programmable commands.

My idea is a lot more powerful. It would allow you to execute a SERIES of command lines that would execute in sequence. I was thinking that people could create applications and pass them on to others.You can already do this with sh files, but they are a real pain in the ass, and "navigating to the directory or folder of the file" is beyond the skill level of most noobs, not to mention slow and cumbersome and rather primitive for 2011. This would allow the same functionality of a saved SH files (hopefully Im describing what I think I am describing), except programmable and executable with a single mouse click. I think a lot of Linux geeks under estimate how intimidating it is to navigate to a folder just to execute some command code.

The end result would be that you could create a page with a standard layout and create a front end to burn DVDs for example.....lets say you already have a CLI program that will burn DVDs. You can drag and drop some graphics, create a nice looking button, label it with something that tells you what it does like "Burn".....left click on the button and the command line or series of commands that were programmed would execute and burn the DVD.

At its basic level it might look a little like this program, but the first thing to add would be the ability to drag and drop instead of cut and paste. The next thing to add would be the ability to execute a SEQUENCE of code rather than a single line. The thing to do after that would be the ability to save these commands and files and export them or install them. After that you would work on a graphical GUI template that allows you to drag and drop the commands and attach them to buttons......Additional readout information could act as a front end for Conky or volume or other readout information. The program template would probably have to be a front end for more than just the command line, but that is the most important part.


Thanks for sharing that though. It might be a good starting point.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Elisa on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:38 am

Well, then you could start to learn python 3 and to create such app by yourself ;) I am sure it'd be possible to do in python :)
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Nick_Djinn on Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:20 pm

I would really like to. If nobody does it within the next year or two while I learn it, I might take a stab at it......Ive never made an app before. Is it ok to start with their work and add to it?

If anyone else wants to help make this happen, contact me.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Roken on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:41 pm

You could probably do this with bash and zenity.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Habitual on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:11 pm

Nick_Djinn wrote:Is it ok to start with their work and add to it?


If it's OpenSource, then yes, it is okay to do so.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Nick_Djinn on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:10 am

Roken wrote:You could probably do this with bash and zenity.


Are you recommending this?
Im brimming with good ideas, but Im not a programmer yet. At most Ive taken some digital graphic design and absorbed info on Linux forums. Ive gotten a lot of support for my idea.

The app suggested to me is actually pretty cool, but its not the full scope of what I envisioned. I want it to be really user friendly and for everything to work without a keyboard in the later stages.....all touch screen and hand gestures, and with nothing but that you can create applications or run virtually every terminal command, or if you trust somebody they can write you a script and package for this application, sending it by email no bigger than an .sh document + the wrapper, and if written properly with no unexpected hiccups it should do everything the noob was afraid of doing.


Or if you are really good at the command line but have sloppy fingers and have lots of typos, you just need to do it right once and you can insert commands as fast as you can drag and drop.....maybe a animated flip book like a phone number book for tablets and meego phones.

Even if you dont have trouble with this command line, this could really speed things up for you and allow you to get more done faster. It could use branching pop-ups, totally optional to your taste, to narrow down the command you want, even if you dont know what command you are looking for....maybe an entire encyclopedia of commands could be in there.

Maybe it could be an external app that loads from USB unto an already installed installation.


I really think this is going to be the future. The command line is powerful, but we can retain 100% of its power while making is accessible to the 60th percentile, while making it even faster for experts.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Elisa on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:29 am

But I doubt if such app si really so much needed :|
Maybe for some noobs but do u wanna be a noob all your life? :o

And if you stuck on using this (even stuck in CLI companion) you never cross over your shadow and never get into Linux know-how, IMHO... :|

Your vision app seems to be like a window$ user's view how Linux should/could look... :?:

In CLI copanion I just select command and run it. If any command is not in that db yet I'll add it once and next time just recall it. Why to use drag&drop GUI (except noobs but as I mentioned such noob will stuck in the noob status all his life :))
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Nick_Djinn on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:12 am

That is really negative and a bit rude.

First of all, this has nothing to do with Windows. Why are you even mentioning Windows? Microsoft has nothing even remotely similar to what I am talking about. Nobody has anything even remotely similar to what I am talking about. Why did you even mention Windows?


What if I dont feel like mastering the command line? Seriously, its not that I wouldnt like to be a master of the command line, but what if Im not a programmer or a computer geek and really dont enjoy tinkering? What if learning the command line is not a priority in my life compared to mastering Aikido or mountain climbing, and I just want stuff to work when i need it to without spending excessive amounts of time figuring out my software?

Also, what if I have a problem with my hands? I have a medical condition that later in life could really slow down use of my fingers. It sucks and its really depressing sometimes, but an application like this could allow me to utilize the power of the terminal without being limited by my hands....Lots of people have limitations that you might have no regard or sympathy for......Carpal tunnel. Diabetic Neuropathy. MS. Nerve Damage. Dyslexia.

Can this program really do everything thats needed? Its cool and a step in the right direction, but its missing a lot.

1. Hardly a significant number of commands.
2. No available libraries of commands. Adding them is not feasible for noobs who dont know what they are looking for.
3. Lack of efficient ways of navigating extremely large numbers of commands. There should be branching lists of options. I guess there isnt necessary with only 12 choices though.
4. Lack of ability to simply the execution of .sh files
5. Copy and paste is still slower than one click or drag and drop....its 'sufficient' but its not as fast.
6. No ability to make GUI applications.


I strongly disagree with your claim that such an application would hold people back. I think it would help people learn faster......Sure, if you are born to be a linux geek maybe this is the 'easy way', but I would counter your argument by stating that the vast majority would never master the command line without this tool anyway, but they may learn to use the command line FASTER because of this program rather than be held back by it. They would do it the 'easy way', but if they do it the easy way enough times they might start to absorb the commands by osmosis just by sheer repetition of it flashing in front of their eyes.

And if people dont want to learn to use the command line, why do you care? Does it offend you personally? Nobody is forcing you to use it. If somebody needs help, it would be that much easier to help them.

Some people will just never learn the command line, but they may use this. It doesnt mean they are stupid either, it just means they have different hobbies or a social life, or that they actually enjoy spending time with their family.....Not that everyone who is a geek doesnt, but people only have so much time and we cant all be a master of all things. Why not make things easy for people who dont want to learn every linux command in existence?

Finally, there is the issue of speed. Maybe some advanced programmers would use this, not because they dont know HOW to do it, but because its faster. Having a folder full of .sh documents is really sloppy compared to my idea. Being able to automate tasks, hand coding it ONCE then executing it with a few mouse clicks rather than 12 minutes of typing, can really save time......Or what if you want to get up and have some coffee while the process is automated rather than sitting there glued to the screen to prevent things from getting stuck? An SH file could do this, but again, thats really sloppy to have a bunch of loose files sitting around.

Last but not least, stop living in the stone ages. A lot has changed since the 1980s. Not everyone needs to know how their computer works. Some people just want it to work. If it does what they want it to do, why should they care whether their method of doing it is up to your moral standards?
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Asterisk on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:28 pm

Bump request received.

Nick_Djinn wrote:Or what if you want to get up and have some coffee while the process is automated...


Sounds like another excuse to slack off at work besides "It's compiling."

I do like your idea. I've taken several classes at my high school on writing programs and taught myself a few basic commands. I think that this would be useful, as you said, to not only the noobs like me who could do a lot with simpler commands, but to advanced programmers like my dad who just don't really have the time to sit there and type away.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby GeneC on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:31 pm

What if I dont feel like mastering the command line? Seriously, its not that I wouldnt like to be a master of the command line, but what if Im not a programmer or a computer geek and really dont enjoy tinkering? What if learning the command line is not a priority in my life............................................., and I just want stuff to work when i need it to without spending excessive amounts of time figuring out my software?


+1
I agree . As a "newbie" :? I only use the command line to cut and paste commands I see suggested. It may be easy for those well versed in linux/unix. But quite often I find GUI ways easier and less apt to get things wrong (How may times have you typed in something wrong? Be honest. :lol: ). Would I learn CLI by using it more. Sure! But, Why? I am not a programmer, I just want things to run right. I'd bet that many new people feel similar.
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Re: Idea for graphical command tool

Postby Habitual on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:14 pm

Nick:
and what if you had to work on your code/project on a system that had no desktop? Then be you'd be pulling your hair out wishing you knew your way around the keyboard.

"This program is nothing more than a fancy clip board next to the terminal.....Its actually a good first step, but it lacks drag and drop, and more importantly it lacks the tools to import and export programmable commands."
Rome wasn't built in a day.
Bash is FULL of "programmable commands"
"...a good first step..." - Run, don't walk.

"It wont let you create apps with drag and drop" is a Windows mentality.
"but it lacks drag and drop" - Windows mentality.

Stop complaining about the answers people are giving or ask different questions.

Have a nice day.

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