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Rant Mode Equals One: The Mighty Fine (Command) Line - page 4

Celebrating a Year of Ranting

  • February 15, 2000
  • By Paul Ferris

Most of the first few people that read the original version of this article corrected my grammar.

Then the next bunch pointed out bugs in the script at the end.

But the overwhelming majority of the quotes read like those below:

"I don't need to say much other than, good for you. I like bold messages that tell people to begin opening their minds and thinking on their own!"

"I discovered Linux only a year ago. I found it immediately attractive, not because of its technical prowess (I'm not a techie), but because the thinking of the community that surrounds it echoes principles I work with every day as a family therapist. I actually read the side of the (then) Red Hat 5.0 box and said, "I got it."

"Cute! I'll bet that horse made great glue."

"Right on the money except for one thing: Solitaire has crashed on me."

"Hi. Thanks for your great article! You made the point, very clearly and with the right tone: I understand your anger about those GUI-addicted users... I have to fight with 'em and their small brains almost everyday..."

"Here, Here!!! tell it like it is... I have to use windowz at work and management refuses to look at Linux at all. What a waist....."

"You're absolutely right: The command line is BETTER than a GUI for most purposes."

"I think it was at the Yerkes Institute for Primate Studies, or some such place, where they showed that chimpanzees can be taught to communicate, after a fashion, by pointing at colored chips glued to a panel. Sort of like a point-and-click, drag-and-drool computer interface. Human beings ought to be able to do better. You can teach a chimp to use symbols, but you can't teach it to use SYNTAX. That's the critical difference between the command line and a GUI. If you can deal with syntax, you can express ideas that you can't express without it. I think it was Bertrand Russell who remarked that, no matter how much a dog barks, he can never tell you his father was poor but honest. In the same way, you can say things through a command that you can never, ever say through a GUI."

"I hate to resort to movie analogies, but I can't help but think of Microsoft as "The Matrix," and the *NIX community as Morpheus. If you've seen the flick I think you know what I mean. The complacency of "fat, dumb and happy" Windows users is sickening--I can say that, I used to be one, but I woke up in a big tub of nasty-looking goo when I discovered Linux and I've never looked back. Eek, that was kind of sappy, but it works for me."

"Nice article, made a good laugh :-)

On the subject of teaching kids the "standard" in schools:

Back in the old days I was taught MS-DOS, because our school was not equipped with anything better than XTs.

After changing school some years later, they showed us Win 3.1. The thing was, in between I had got an impression on how a robust OS and a responsive GUI should look like (Amiga OS {2,3}.x and Linux 2.x). And compared to that Win 3.1 was a total piece of crap. But it was the standard at the students had to learn it because it was important for later life.

So now most of my class mates have finished school and started working. And hey - they even use Windows at their jobs. Win 95, 98, or NT. But they never saw that beast in school, so they have learn it all over again. Great. At my job we even use OS/2 Warp. According to what I learned in school, this does not even exist.

UNIX knowledge on the other hand does not outdate that fast. And Windows prevents many people from becoming hackers in the first place. They can go on for years without ever seeing a CLI. I'm wondering why the term "clickers" hasn't be coined yet :-) "

Variations, including a version of the rant mode filter in Perl:

"What the click-happy Windows users don't realize is just how horrifying things are just below that candy wrapper exterior with all those rows of pretty buttons....

There's an ugly little monster lurking in the quagmire at the heart of Windows, and its name is The Registry. Its form and contents are a hundred times more arcane than any part of UNIX. All the precious bits that make all those apps run are jostled up against each other with no supervision and no rhyme or reason, and the accepted cure for any misstep in the Registry, any minor infraction made by any app, is to reformat and reload the system from scratch....

Just for fun, here's a functionally equivalent copy of your rant filter, written in Perl:

#!/usr/bin/perl -pi
# Pathetic mail filter for rant mode equals one

s/gui/panty-waist interface/ig;
s/graphic/Lamer/ig;

And, since your filter might make that one unreadable, here's a copy it can't touch:

begin 755 rant_mode.pl
M(R$O=7-R+V)I;B]P97)L("UP:0HC(%!A=&AE=&EC(&UA:6P@9FEL=&5R(&9O
M<B!R86YT(&UO9&4@97%U86QS(&]N90H*<R]G=6DO<N='DM=V%I<W0@:6YT
?97)F86-E+VEG.PIS+V=R87!H:6,O3&%M97(O:6<
`
end "

Paul Ferris passes his working time as Editor of Linux Today and a Web developer for internet.com. A subtle, gentle, quiet kind of guy when rant mode equals zero (right), he can be flamed at paulferris@linuxtoday.com.

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