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The CLIophobia of the Linux Newbie

May 19, 2009, 19:32 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Emery Fletcher)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"We really know, deep down, that between the mouse and the desktop there's a great deal of electronics controlled by sophisticated programs, but until something misbehaves we've no reason to think about it. Even if something does go wrong, there's often some other GUI equivalent of a switch or a faucet that we can tweak or turn to bring things back to normal.

"But what are we to make of the CLI? Where is the real-world precedent for it, the place in everyday experience where we can achieve control over a physical event simply by using words? You might think of the equations of motion, or quantum mechanics, or electromagnetic theory, but that's nowhere near the same -- the power that equations give you is simply the ability to predict an outcome, not to make it actually happen. That's an important distinction."

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