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coding for the proletariat since 1977

CLI vs. GUI

Since 1997 or so I’ve been working on Unix of one flavor or another. When I say working on Unix I mean that my employment engagement at the time included Unix servers, and I had to interact with them on a daily or weekly basis in order to complete some part of my assigned tasks. For the most part I enjoy Unix; there is a certain elegance in the arcane set of commands one uses to view processes, edit files, or print hard copy.

All of these engagements have provided workstations that were Windows based, usually NT 4.0, and more recently XP. I spend very little time in the command line interface (CLI) when I’m working on a Windows workstations. I do some things there, like run backup scripts or the occasional ant build file.

Now, as a Mac user, I find that I do some activities via the Aqua interface (GUI) and some via the CLI. Installing, managing, and configuring open source development tools like Apache, Hibernate, or Spring is something I do exclusively via Terminal. In fact looking at that part of the file system (usrlocal) through the GUI Finder makes the files there seem alien and out of place. While I can install graphic applications through CLI I tend towards Aqua – it only makes sense.

What I find so interesting about this is the paradigm alignment going on in my head. Unix, be it AIX, Digital, or Darwin, is a command line interface world for me; stripped down, lean, green phosphor on black background. Commercial applications are windowed, Aqua decorated affairs.

So which are you? CLI or GUI?

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Filed under: Unix

2 Responses

  1. Piet Nirvana says:

    when you say it’s ove. Piet Nirvana.

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