Avoiding the Command Line

GavinW

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On my desk I have 3 computers. They all use ARM CPUs. I can run three operating systems, two of which are Linuxes. Frequently, in using my favourite OS, from start to closedown I never touch my keyboard, and it remains covered by its plastic dust-sheet. Of course, in writing a program I do have to use a keyboard and a text-editor, but to use the program, once it is written, I do not. The text editor has the pleasing feature that I can modify a piece of text using an already written script (e.g. in awk or Lua) without use of the keyboard, simply by using the mouse.

Can anybody point out to me a Linux GUI that can serve me in the same way? Of course browsers have developed as a convenient tool for doing many things without touching a keyboard, but doing stuff in the Cloud is not a practical option for me, as my broadband connection is not brilliant.
 


f33dm3bits

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I"m a bit confused by your question because most of the common Destkop Environment's(DE's) have tools built in that you can update the system by clicking your way through. So you could look at MATE, Xfce, Cinnamon, KDE and others, does it matter to you if it's a lightweight Desktop Environment or not? How do you browse the web without a keyboard, screen keyboard?
 

GavinW

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Yes, I can update Manjaro-ARM without touching the keyboard. In Raspbian, I have to open a taskwindow, or whatever it is called, and type in
Code:
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
> How do you browse the web without a keyboard,
Click the browser's icon (on the toolbar in Raspbian, in the iconbar in RISC OS) - it opens a window. Click the bookmarks icon, go down the bookmarks pseudo-filing-system, select a URL, click on it.
If I have to provide a username and password, the browser will present me with the relevant data and all I have to do is click.

When it comes to executing a program or a script, I can usually do that by clicking on an icon. When it comes to executing a program or script with arguments it gets trickier. If an argument is a pathname of a file, at least in RISC OS I can drag the icon of the file in question from its filer-window to an icon, or into a window, owned by the task which is to fire up the program or script - presuming it has been written to take note of DATA-OPEN messages. A way of dealing with multiple arguments is to drag a directory. But outside of RISC OS I do not know which GUIs offer a message-passing protocol that enables the dragging of icons between windows to be exploited by the user. Granted filers usually let you move or copy files by dragging, but often this is only to or from the clipboard. I disapprove of the way clipboards are usually implemented, because they omit the necessary visual feedback necessary for a good UI. In RISC OS to move a file I need a single movement of the mouse - no clicks. In Raspbian and Manjaro-ARM it is a more clumsy procedure: point, right-click COPY, move mouse, right-click PASTE. Not so ergonomic.

As one might guess from my gravatar, I am an aficionado of Lua. There is an obvious relationship between certain Lua objects and filing system objects. A table corresponds to a directory, its keys to the leaf names of filer-objects within the directory, and the values can represent the data within. What makes Lua special in this regard is that its syntax for labelled-records can be directly interpreted, without special parsing; an artefact of Lua's origins as a tool for data-collectors without programming experience. I like to speculate on whether this metaphor can be usefully exploited or extended.
 
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f33dm3bits

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Yes, I can update Manjaro-ARM without touching the keyboard. In Raspbian, I have to open a taskwindow, or whatever it is called, and type in
Code:
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
> How do you browse the web without a keyboard,
Click the browser's icon (on the toolbar in Raspbian, in the iconbar in RISC OS) - it opens a window. Click the bookmarks icon, go down the bookmarks pseudo-filing-system, select a URL, click on it.
If I have to provide a username and password, the browser will present me with the relevant data and all I have to do is click.
How do you type in the update/upgrade commands without a keyboard?
Code:
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
Do you open a screen keyboard and click it together? I'm pretty sure Manajro doesn't use apt ;) Yes bookmarks are easy but what do you do when you have to look something up in a search engine? Also I'm not quite sure what you are asking, you are looking for a DE where which you can mostly control with your mouse so you don't need a keyboard? I'm pretty sure all modern DE's can do that?
 

Alexzee

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How do you type in the update/upgrade commands without a keyboard?
Code:
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
Do you open a screen keyboard and click it together? I'm pretty sure Manajro doesn't use apt ;) Yes bookmarks are easy but what do you do when you have to look something up in a search engine? Also I'm not quite sure what you are asking, you are looking for a DE where which you can mostly control with your mouse so you don't need a keyboard? I'm pretty sure all modern DE's can do that?
Agreed, Manjaro uses pacman:-
 

GavinW

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No, one cannot dispense with a keyboard altogether. My preference for using a mouse is only an ergonomic one. And partly, I confess, my naming of this thread is an unkind dig at a certain kind of command-line machismo. GUIs deserve more attention and more originality, particularly their ergonomics. Obviously people like best what they are used to, but even taking this into account I do feel that there is plenty of room for improvement. Furthermore, use of the keyboard amplifies human typological errors. Much better to copy and paste (or better, sweep and drag).
My favourite text-editor lets me have multiple windows open wherever I want on the desktop, of multiple (or the same) texts. I can copy selected text from one window to another or to the same. I can modify a text with a script (awk, Lua, ... ) by dragging the icon of the file containing the script onto part of a text-window. I have long been looking for a Linux text-editor with this functionality.
 

Nelson Muntz

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Command Line should be learned and not avoided.

A user can accomplish task from within the terminal which cannot be accomplished using a GUI.

I prefer a GUI however have no problem navigating the Command Terminal.

Like anything else the more one uses the Terminal the more one learns how to do from the terminal.
 

sam444

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I've used CMD in Windoze, so it's only natural to use the Terminal in Linux.

You don't have to be an expert and can do so much more with the Terminal in Linux, apart from installing software. I have a list of safe Terminal commands that come in very handy for checking things on my system.

I don't have any repair commands because Linux Mint doesn't break, unlike Windoze.
I don't use the Terminal that often as everything now is point and click, many people think Linux is Terminal based and you must use it...not true. The Terminal comes in very handy if you want to know things like...Hard Drive Info, CPU usage, System Info, DNS used, How much Ram is installed, Swap, Wine Version and many more.
 
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dos2unix

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There are always "some" things you can't do in a GUI, that you "Have" to do in a CLI.
For the most part, most popular newer distro's have tools to install software from GUI's.
You can get away with never using a CLI on some of them for casual use.

On servers, we never install GUI's. (but some people do).
 


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