Tips for installing windows and freeBSD both.. anyone??

Chad Perrin perrin at
Mon Nov 8 06:23:24 UTC 2010

On Sun, Nov 07, 2010 at 10:07:29PM +0000, Bruce Cran wrote:
> On Sun, 7 Nov 2010 13:51:22 -0700
> Chad Perrin <perrin at> wrote:
> > I choose a little up-front learning curve for massive efficiency and
> > productivity enhancements down the road.  The increased efficiency of
> > a minimal, composable toolset driven by the keyboard can be a huge
> > win in long-term productivity for one motivated to learn how to use
> > it, as well as a major savings on system resources (and hardware
> > costs, since upgrades do not need to happen as often, nor be as
> > cutting-edge).
> > 
> > Others choose some inefficiency in the long run to avoid having to
> > learn anything new up front.  The increased discoverability, at least
> > for simple tasks, of a point-and-click interface tends to seem more
> > "intuitive" and familiar to people just coming to a new system for the
> > first time, makes task completion easier to figure out the first time
> > (and the thirtieth, since point-and-click interfaces tend to require
> > figuring out the same tasks over and over again).
> With the command-line you also choose the inefficiency of having to
> read the man page every time you want to do something you're not
> familiar with. Well-designed UIs allow you to easily discover how to do
> it without resorting to the Help file - and since people tend to have
> good visual memories they can remember it better than a string of
> characters. A good example of this is Subversion tagging/branching: in
> Windows I can use the menu option "TortoiseSVN -> branch/tag..." to
> create a branch and have it done in a minute. Using the command-line
> I'd have to spend time reading up on the commandline parameters to
> achieve the same thing, since it's something I only do about once a
> year or so.

So, let's see here -- either I lose efficiency on things that aren't very
familiar to me, because I have to type `foo --help` or `man foo` or
something like that, or I lose efficiency on things I do all the time,
because I have to mouse around a lot.

Hmm.  I wonder which I should choose.

Seriously, though, it's not like I never use GUI tools.  I occasionally
use the mouse when dealing with stuff in the browser, for instance.  I
select and middle click to paste quite a lot.  I'm not opposed to use of
the GUI per se; I just use TUIs much more often, because I use them for
tasks that I perform an awful lot if they happen to benefit (in terms of
efficiency and productivity) by the use of a TUI.  When they don't, I use
a GUI instead.

I wouldn't be willing to waste the time on little inefficiencies every
single time I did *anything* with Subversion just for the dubious benefit
of a one-time efficiency benefit once a year because I didn't remember off
the top of my head how to branch, though.  I use Mercurial a *lot*, and I
do not see much benefit to using a GUI for it just on the off-chance I
might need to do something I don't do very often when the GUI only gets
in the way for the stuff I do several times a day, every day.

I suppose your mileage may vary, though.

I did give a nod to discoverability for GUIs, as you might note if you go
back and read what you quoted back at me.  That's exactly what you're
talking about.  I don't see why you have to pretend I didn't mention it,
and try to paint the efficiencies on the other side of the trade-off as
worthless in your response.  I thought my original description of the
trade-off was pretty well balanced, despite the fact I have a preference
for one side over the other where most tasks are concerned.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
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