From another "consumer"...
Apr 29, 2005
1:17 PM EDT
|Great post. It took me a couple of years to get to my present comfort level with Linux ("informed" consumer, non-guru). Lots of effort that most people do not have the time or inclination for. Things are certainly better now than they were three years ago, and headed in the right direction, but we are not there yet.
There should always be a command line, but it should be an option, not a requirement.
Now if we could just get the major computer makers to offer pre-installed Linux. That would really help. I doubt that 1% of Windows users could install and set up Windows on their own.
Apr 29, 2005
1:58 PM EDT
|One recent suggestion I made was to add something to the command line that would make it far simpler to find things, but it would require a concerted effort for the GUI command line systems to detect, identify and classify the programs available. The idea is to provide something a bit like you see in Windows IDEs. You right clich for a context menu of 'categories', which you can select a commands from. For example, lets say you want to compare two files. First right click and go to the 'files' category and see something like:
Files |-... |-cmp Compare two files |-...
Select that and then you can right-click again to get a list of options, or type - and have the same context menu pop up showing the ones you can use (and also a description of what it is for). Keep typing if you know it, or use the mouse to select it. Also on the same list would be 'pick first file', which would give you a file dialog, followed by 'pick second file' the next time. Same with other common commands. Its not 'quite' as good as having a complete GUI for every command, but it would make it easier to find 'which' command they want and what options to use. There are 'some' things that can simply give you a list of all commands, which you then have to look up to find out what they do and what the options are for them in MAN files. This seems perfectly reasonable to me and letting the power users switch it off solve the annoyance of having it there if you don't need it. But.. The forum I suggested it on I got the usual Guru response, "We have something already that 'sort of' does that." And at least on of them, called LogicalDesktop, shows promise, but its not 'quite' as logical imho as it could be.
May 01, 2005
1:52 PM EDT
|I'll point to another existing solution (There's already something that sort of does that) which is MC (midnight commander). See http://www.ibiblio.org/mc/images/transparent.png for what I mean. MC has a GUI, which is the Gnome GUI for MC. It's unmaintained at the moment, but it has indeed menu's showing up for files, then you can choose chmod, a new box pops up and you can choose options, and then change it. MC also lets you work with the command line. MC isn't really usable for me since I don't know all the keybindings, but a GUI could take away this problem. The solution you mention should be something like this I think. I also like to see something like that (really miss the GUI Windows Commander / Totalcmd which I had in XP), but my programming skills are way too bad to make something like that. Maybe you should try to find the people who worked on the Gnome GUI MC version (mc_at_gnome_dot_org), and find out why they stopped development. This is kind of close to what you're talking about.|
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