Presenting the famous command line


The command line is something that scares a lot of people, while to the more experienced users it starts hidden passions. Basically the command line is something very simple and consist on nothing more than a cursor.

What is a cursor, you ask? Well is a simple line in the inferior part of a character, something like a character wide underline.

So why it scares a lot of people? Well basically is the simplicity and the lack of information. Users don’t have choice on what to choose and they have to know what to choose before typing. Logically for someone that has no idea what to put will send him/her running around screaming.

The opposite of the command line is the graphical user interface which is something that consist of a menus. Menus will give you options and items that will perform something on a program. This way is easier for people because even if they don’t know it by heart they can go arround looking on the different things they can do.

So let say you want to put a bold format to a text, you can logically look into a menu item called format and then another item call bold, in that process they will also see italics and underlining. Also GUI have pointers or commonly known as mouse which is a device that let you rapidly access these menus.

So if the GUI so superior why people still like command line? Well the advantage of the command line is that users that know what to put can perform tasks faster than GUI users, even with the help of a mouse.

Phisically, a user can type faster than move around a windows and get the necesary mouse movements to do the same thing.

How can they do that? Well let say you have two users with a piece of paper, user number #1 will have to type cat, while user #2 will have to draw a cat. Which one do you think will finish first? Think about how many hand movements were produced by the user #1 vs. #2.

So users that already know that they have to write the ‘cat’ program can start faster and also other key things can help users start multiple programs by just typing them on the same line. I wont get into specificts, but imagine doing 4 actions with one click? Some power command line users will write new commands that will launch many commands itself, and the execution becomes just typing 1 word to expand all the functionality that a GUI user will have to perform doing multiple clicks (like drawing a cat).