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Einmal CLI, immer CLI. ;)

Does this choice imply that I'm a hopeless relict from the past, a dinosaur who can't deal with the changes that took place over these three decades? Not at all. It is my conviction that the CLI is the only complete and consistent interface between computers and humans that has been developed to date. Nobody has expressed that better than Luke in his insightful entry on the Command Line and User Friendliness:

The CLI is much closer to the way we operate in real life – it is a conversational user interface. You “speak” to the computer and it responds back to you. It is the most intuitive, most natural and easiest to grasp type of UI we have invented so far.

Focusing on the command-line and command-line based applications has a beneficial side effect: it's good for my health. Many users get all excited about changes in the GUI of the OS or the applications they are using. Think about Windows 8, or MS Office and the ribbons. Or KDE4, Gnome 3 and Unity in the open-source world.

I usually don't care about these changes at all. I don't have to, since I don't depend on GUIs: I do all essential things using the shell and an editor. My last publications, in particular, were produced by LaTeX and pylab, with code I wrote: in an editor.

Whenever I have to open figures created by coworkers in Origin, I get a lesson in anti-computing. I won't dwell on the fact that the virtual Windows 7 needs to update at this very moment, and exhibits the responsivity of Siberian honey from the stone age. No, just Origin alone is fascinating enough. If we had a contest called "Maximize the number of buttons per dialog", the developers of Origin would win single-handedly. In any case, these excursions drive me crazy within minutes, and I'm eternally grateful that I usually don't need to click a hundred buttons in a dozen different sub-menus, but can simply type what I want.

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