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The Text Pistols

Apr 25, 2007, 12:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Martin Howse)

"It's hard to argue that Unix is anything other than a textual environment. Commands are text-based and manipulate information primarily as text. Human and machine readability overlap with a clarity unknown to users of other OSes. So how well do GUI 'desktops' or desktop environments play with this fundamental Unix approach? One could well envisage some kind of GUI which could follow the Unix model of pipes and information flow, and there may well be such a project buried deep beneath the sludge of abandoned projects on SourceForge, but the end result would still rely heavily on textual selection.

"Unix-based OSes, particularly with an overwrought and in some ways elegant GUI such as Mac OS X do have a tough time integrating the two approaches, and the command line is very much treated as a tolerated, yet rather distant older relative. The default terminal app seems clunky and washed out in comparison with the brighter, broader desktop..."

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