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

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Nov 8 09:21:41 UTC 2010

On Sun, 7 Nov 2010 22:07:29 +0000, Bruce Cran <bruce at> wrote:
> 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.

Not fully. The strength of the command line is (1st) that things
you learned can easily be transferred to new topics, and (2nd)
you can conclude from what you already know.

GUI usually is a "discover new things each time"; as a good
example I may point you to famous office suits that tend to
re-arrange their functionality with each release.

> 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.

Okay, you're comparing visual memory ("looks like") to the
use of language (a "foreign" one, admitted), which is a
basic cultural means (the use of a language).

Following your argument, it is obvious that many GUI applications
are NOT well-designed, as they force their users to continuously
re-discover and re-learn things.

Additionally, GUI prohibits giving clear instructions. Those
that can be copied+pased are out of scope, of course. Instructions
look like childrens books - full of pictures. This is logical
as there is no benefit in DESCRIBING those pictures - would
be too much text, text scares users.

Learning CLI is like learning a language: If you're once
familiar with the elements of the language (its vocabulary,
its syntax, its use), you can express ANYTHING with it. With
GUI, you're just free to choose from a predefined and LIMITED
set of options. You can choose from "ready-made sentences",
but you can't express your own statements.

The CLI approach leads to a continuous growth of knowledge
(that is portable), while the GUI approach often just leads
into stagnation.

A real benefit of GUI, as I can admit without any problems,
is that people judge by first sight. This is a visual impression
that has nothing to do with any knowledge, it's just like
saying "I like Da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa', but I don't like Edvard
Munch's 'Scream'." Keep in mind this is a VALID statement
that does not require any knowledge to be formed.

By well-designed GUI, products can easily be placed on markets.
Advertising based on visual impression works much better for
masses (!) than product presentation based on actual features
(that require knowledge to form a statement about them).

> 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.

In a different Subversion GUI client, this functionality may
be found at a completely different place. CLI applications
usually have more things in common than GUI applications.

That said, you can easily see why generic UNIX knowledge, no
matter if achieved on BSD, Solaris, Linux or AIX, is portable,
while GUI knowledge, achieved in a "Windows" of version N, is
not portable to version N+1, as it is outdated. There even is
no generic knowledge, one may assume.

Let me ensure you that I'm NOT against GUI generically. I'm
even lazy when it comes to reconsidering my daily habits of
interacting with the system. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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