The best thing for CLI?

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Cammo
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Re: The best thing for CLI?

Post by Cammo »

xenopeek wrote: that is even a bridge too far for most...
While that may be true for some/most cases, surely that comes more from the ubiquity of the internet as a problem solving medium?

In fairness, often finding the GUI way of doing things in certain Mint programs is different to what Win users are used to, and things are therefore hidden away where one would simply not expect to find them (because Win does it differently). I'm not trying to say should be a free Windows, but rather that it takes time for people to adjust to new hiding places for settings. For example (although not a Mint change per se) Firefox hides its preferences under Edit -> Preferences. IE has it under Tools -> Options -> Preferences. A former IE user would never think of looking under Edit to find Preferences because they're used to finding it under Tools. Although my Preferences analogy is simple to find, consider a case (none from the top of my head) where the option in question is buried under several layers of GUI.

GUI can be just as complicated as CLI. I think that the major difference in the relative popularities is that GUI is prettier than CLI. It is easier (for me, at least) to visualise what's going on in the system if one can see a graphical representation of, eg, the files in a folder in Nautilus than by using a command like ls in the console (even if there are cool functions one can pipe ls into to tidy up the output).

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bjornmu
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Re: The best thing for CLI?

Post by bjornmu »

Cammo wrote: It's such a shame that learning the commands is such an exercise these days - I found an online encyclopedia of bash commands and it went for pages. No chance.
If that's your only resource I can understand it's daunting. BTW most of those are not actually 'bash commands' but independent programs that can be executed from the CLI. This is open-ended but there is a set of "core" programs that any Linux/Unix system will have. But most people have no need to know all the different system administration programs, all the complexities of sed or awk or every single command line option to 'ls' or 'ps'. So instead of an encyclopedia you should find some intro explaining the most common stuff. Sorry I have no link, I learned this before the WWW came into existence. :lol:

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xenopeek
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Re: The best thing for CLI?

Post by xenopeek »

I already shared a link for that in earlier comment :wink: The Introduction to the Command Line takes you through the basic set of commands that you mention bjornmu. Which is why I recommend that to people new to the terminal.
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Cammo
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Re: The best thing for CLI?

Post by Cammo »

bjornmu wrote:most people have no need to know all the different system administration programs
This is true! It also makes it easy for people like myself who come from a gui environment too.

That's something that I love about Mint - it makes you the owner of your computer. I've only recently come to realise how much junk comes with a Win install. A significant portion seems to be DRM junkware too - something open source OS's like Mint can avoid :-)

Another thing I've learnt is how underpowered the Win cmd prompt is compared to bash. I mean, it looks like schoolboy software compared to bash. There's just no comparison. There's also less need to go hunting around on the web for a program to do this or that in Mint - for the most part, tasks can be achieved by using the terminal or writing a script. for those who know nothing about such things, there's a terrific community who's always keen to help. And yes, xenopeek, I did have a look at your link. Thanks. I'm following the author's tutorials through, but I'm still only on very basic stuff. One day I'll get good!

I think it's time to update my original argument - that simple, toes-in-the-water type commands (like apt-get install) are the best thing for CLI - in light of all the comments. My new working hypothesis is that while simple commands and the ability to alias more complex ones is good, the best thing for CLI is in fact a helpful support community. Having an old hand to help you debug code, suggest solutions, or just plain pull you out the quicksand is brilliant. When I started Mint, the shell was demon-ware, the stuff of nightmares. Now, I'm not afraid to give things a whirl because I know that if I get stuck, there's a good chance someone else will have done the same thing before (or at least have ideas on how to fix it!).

What are your thoughts?

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