The command line interface is back

John Avis by | April 28, 2017 | Web Development

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s I considered myself a bit of an expert at the MS-DOS command line interface and knew all the commands and all of the options for each command.
Command prompt

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s I considered myself a bit of an expert at the MS-DOS command line interface and knew all the commands and all of the options for each command.

Then Windows 3.x came along and things started moving away from the command line until Windows 95, when the command line was no longer needed by the average user. Everything could be done with a GUI.

You could then administer most functions of the computer, even set up the operating system without the need to type in any commands.

I was a late adopter of Windows, but became comfortable in a GUI world and was happy to be free of the command line interface.

But slowly things have been regressing back to the command line interface.

I blame Linux. Even today, some familiarity with the command line is essential for using a Linux operating system.

But unfortunately, the return of the command line interface is not just limited to using a Linux OS.

As a web developer, I am now inundated with various command line interfaces, some of which offer no GUI alternative. I appreciate that most people in this profession are most likely to be advanced computer users and not afraid of command line interfaces, but for how many purposes is a CLI really better than a GUI?

Source control systems, tools for installing add-ons and dependencies, and even configuring some applications now often requires typing of commands and editing of text-based configuration files.

Can we go back to the future now, please?

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