freebsd as the basis for something better?

Nikolas Britton nikolas.britton at
Mon Jun 27 08:08:00 GMT 2005

On 6/27/05, Kurt Buff <kurt.buff at> wrote:
> Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> >
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> >>[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Nikolas Britton
> >>Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 8:10 PM
> >>To: el-sino at
> >>Cc: questions at
> >>Subject: Re: freebsd as the basis for something better?
> >>
> >>
> >>>a project where real unix would meet real life, or where open
> >>>source would meet open minds -- would have to make unix more human-
> >>>oriented rather than machine-oriented. and in addition to bringing
> >>>order to the chaos that was laid as the foundation for all unix
> >>>variants decades ago, it should also deal with new ways of
> >>>interacting with unix visually. for instance, in ways more
> >>>convenient than x, and its conventional graphical user interfaces
> >>>(though these won't go away any time soon).
> >>
> >>UNIX is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.
> >>New gui tools are needed. lets bring the CLI tools to the GUI, like
> >>pipes, redirects, etc. some of apples ideas are nice aka NeXTSTEP. Why
> >>are we trying to emulate windows when mircosoft just steals it's
> >>idea's from apple? lets cut the middle man out. BeOS was cool too.
> >>
> >
> >
> > Ahhhh!!!!!
> >
> > Why are you guys still beating the GUI interface?  That is so 70's
> > computing technology.  The real next generation OS will be
> > voice command.  Until then it's just more Window dressing.  It's
> > like the Emperor's new clothes - the little boy said "Computer
> > please get me a drink of water" and the crowd was amazed when
> > the $64,000 OS stacked to the ceiling with GUI just sat there
> > lifeless and dumb.

Nice one ted but it would still be cool to have pipe and redirect
stuff in the GUI. Basically extending the UNIX philosophy of modular
tools into the GUI. I seem to remember someone talking about this in
the Daemon's Advocate column @ but I can't seem to find
it, maybe I'm thinking of something else.

> >
> > Ted
> Must seriously disagree. Voice command is of very limited use - it's not
> private, and difficult to use in crowded surroundings.
> Further, if you consider the space in the human brain for visual
> processing vs. aural processing, I think you'll find that visual
> processing wins. At least for feedback, the human visual system is much
> better.
> However, the best interface for human input to machines is, IMHO, still
> to be determined. I don't claim that the keyboard/mouse interface is
> best, but it is, again IMHO, superior to voice command. What would be
> better than keyboard/mouse? I really don't know. One SWAG would be
> reading brainwaves, or perhap eyeball gestures - but that's just sheer
> speculation.

You forgot finger and hand gestures and touch and sound sensors. we
could have a matrix style plug in the back of are head? A direct brain
to computer interface would be the best interface. But it might be too
much I/O for a computer to handle, If you don't believe me just "look"
at what your eye's are doing in real-time 3D @ 10000000000000000000
fps. anyone remember the 3 dimensional touch and hand gesture
interface and GUI they used in Minority Report? that would be cool in
real life.

> I'm still a partisan of the command line, however. It's simply too
> flexible an interface, with too much history, to ignore. The human
> species has spent far too much intellectual capital making text-based
> interfaces (try explaining philosophy with pictures only) to the world
> to give it up, and the interface is so much more  powerful than any gui,
> that I believe it will prove fruitless to try to better it with a GUI.
> Electron for electron, a text interface is much more information-dense
> than any GUI - for expressing commands. Note the difference. Getting
> output in graphic form can be (often is) better than in text, but input
> is better through the command line.

So why can't we "mesh" the two environments together... The qwerty
keyboard, 125 years old, is very inefficient and awkward. "point and
click" = "point and grunt", it's a step backwards from the keyboard.
What we need is a new interface and a new (GUI) system to exploit it.

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