[rescue] Adminning and the CLI (was: rescue Digest, Vol 83, Issue 18)

nate at portents.com nate at portents.com
Thu Oct 22 09:30:09 CDT 2009

> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 12:54 PM, Joost van de Griek
> the gui tools are the publisher's attempts to satisfy the customer's
> demands
> for a system that is cheaper to maintain.
> that is, pointy-clicky guys are always cheaper than cli guys.

While that's true to extent, it sounds a little oversimplified to me.

I think designing a really good GUI that has the same meta-linguistic
flexibility of a good command line environment is very difficult, so the
typical range of expression possible in most GUIs is lower than it is in
command line environments.  (There are far more bad GUIs than there are
bad command line environments because designing a good GUI is so
difficult.)  So because of this cost/difficulty in GUI design,
statistically speaking if a worker wants to maximize their ability to
problem solve and accomplish tasks, it makes sense for them to learn a
command line.  However the learning curve is initially steeper for most
command line environments, so someone who is either averse to that curve
or short on time will gravitate to the GUIs, which ends up creating the
two groups of IT workers you describe ("pointy-click" and "cli guys").

Of course this statistical reality in the distribution of the workforce
also feeds back into the economics of developing interfaces...

- Nate

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