Friday, October 07, 2011

There is a reason...

There is a reason why I prefer text based / commandline / unix interfaces.

"Why?" You may ask?

So I had to update a website – basically changing from '2011' to '2012' – for someone.  Once I got in to the file manager (web based) I could find the graphics files to replace, reasonably easily, and upload new ones.

But I needed to update the text of the banner.  No .html files, or .inc or anything to edit.

So I went to the "WYSIWYG" editor section of the site.  I could edit everything, except that part.  And the footer.  And the page title. So, I could edit the "articles", but not much else.

After hunting around for a while, I decided to try the "Website Management" area.  Total different interface again, loads of settings boxes and tabs.  I found there on different pages where I could set the page title, and so on.  But I couldn't find the banner! Anywhere!

Eventually, this morning, I found it.

In "Website Management" -> "Structure" -> "Website Settings" -> "Code Injection" -> "Advanced" -> "Site Banner HTML Override -- Edited"

I hadn't found it before, because the section I needed was "Site Banner HTML Override", and to find that, I needed to look through a drop-down box which was displaying "Extra Header Code (within )" with some javascript includes.


What is wrong with just having a bunch of text files, and then letting me type

"grep 2011 *"

And it giving me a list of files to edit?  HOW is this graphical interface any easier?

OK.  So 'grep' isn't common English, I know.  Learning basic unix does have a steep looking learning curve.  At first.

In case you're interested, I started, months and months ago, writing an "English-like" command shell.

So you could type commands like:

"list all files which contain 2011"

and it should tell you.

It's on sourceforge, the first alpha versions of the code.

The whole idea of 'natural language' interfaces fascinates me.  I should work on daftshell again, one of these days.

So. Yeah.  Graphical "easy" systems aren't always easy.