% fortune -ae paul murphy

Reflections on the command line

Inspired by a Mike Cox click by shamming.

Lets play a game: try to imagine having these two conversations.

Version 1.0:

You: "Nice day, isn't it?"

Friend: "Did you say "Nice day, isn't it?""

You: "Yes"

Friend: "Are you sure?"

You: "Yes and yes"

Friend: "I'm sorry, I didn't get that"

You: "That's Yes, I said it, and Yes, I am sure it's a nice day"

Friend: "I'm sorry, I didn't get that"

You: Yes.

Version 2.0:

You: "Nice day, isn't it?"

Friend: "Yes".

So which friend is being deeply disrespectful? and therefore isn't a friend at all?

That's one of the best things about the Unix command line - no backtalk, no second guessing, no false comraderie. To me the assumption of user competence is profoundly user friendly -and infinitely to be preferred to the smarmy checks and failsafes Windows puts on.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.