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back to article Google hits coder G-spot with Linux command line tool

Google has introduced a command line utility for accessing various Chocolate Factory services, including YouTube, Blogger, Google Docs, Calender, and Contacts. And an army of text-interface obsessives have responded with glee. "I love you!!" one coder told Google. "This couldn't be better!!" "Ooh, I hope it's not April 1 today …

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This will save time

Since I haven't settled upon an android platform yet, I havn't needed to start scripting up some crappy webbased adaptor to get the data out that im interested in. A scriptbased interface to access stuff directly.... "Cooool!"

(Yes I am a nerdy greybeard, linux fan. Can't be stuffed dealing with anything more complicated)

Win=="your a pirate until proven licensed"

Mac=="Look over here its an iPad, you can join the club if you have one"

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Anonymous Coward

your footnotes

I would have voted you up had you not turned the end of your post into an anti-microsoft rant, which is nothing to do with this article.

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Anonymous Coward

Was that sarcasm?

Why the poor attempt at sarcasm? As it happens, command line interfaces are more efficient for certain tasks, especially those which are repetitive and/or lend themselves well to automation, they are also faster in some instances (not just for general admin, take for example skilled CAD operators, who use the command line as their primary interface with the mouse being just an extension of it). The right tool for the job and all that.

The tone of the article feels a bit like mocking touch typists just because you're a two-fingers only, stare and poke type. Nevertheless, thanks for the news.

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Anonymous Coward

Shoddy sarcasm? Stands to reason.

After all, a large part of the readership and perhaps even most el-reg hacks are two-finger typing windows users. How I know this? Most people are, even nowadays, and seeing the mockery, well.... Not that hard to put two and fingers together and recall that's how we got around back when we weren't enlightened yet.

I recall doing a CAD practical back in university. Group of four, one of them had had *a lot* of experience with the program already. He took the keyboard, the other guy had the mouse. I had the other keyboard, and the fourth had the associated mouse. We two spent most time looking over the first guy's shoulder, picking up his commands, highlighted by the occasional point and click. I think we four finished that practical in maybe a quarter of the time.

If I hadn't had a unix (or even ghod forbid, 4dos) background already, that experience would've converted me. The ability to say right away "I want *this*" instead of spending time poring over menus to find just the right button is quite useful. The ability to ``can'' sequences for later re-use, even moreso.

Sure, some GUIs come with "macro" capabilities that let you record and later replay sequences of clicks, yet somehow that hasn't caught on as much. The main GUI vendor being what it is, for a good entire-platform solution you need to go third party (what, surprised? why?) and some reasonable ones do exist. But using any such thing usually boils down to recording a sequence, then to make sure it'll work in slightly different circumstances, too, and oh remove most of the crud that inevitably accumulates, you end up bringing up the textfile with the script and editing that anyway. In IT parlance, ``GUIs just don't scale''. Since automation is the most important thing we IT people can do to add value, that's somewhat important, I'd say.

That, next to my amazing selftaught ability to touch type a meagre 65wpm (I know a one-handed guy who manages 85, a good secretary will manage 200+), indubitably makes me an insufferably arrogant evangelist fanboi elitist in the eyes of this el reg hack, deserving all the sarcasm he can manage to leverage.

Oh well, bring it on I say. But do try harder, please. This was just... poorly done, and bland.

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Grenade

Seconded

That is besides the fact that if there is a command line interface you can integrate nearly anything to it. You can tie it up to your company's CRM, to issue tracking systems, network management, alerts - you name it.

That is simply not a viable option if something has been dumbed down to be GUI only (one of the reason why I hate Gnome - most apps are done so that they are GUI and GUI only with the GUI deeply embedded in the state machine).

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Anonymous Coward

And

that is also why a TUI is possibly worse than a GUI. I'm looking at certain ata-to-scsi raid and certain switch vendors here. Names withheld to protect the guilty. I've had a few times that some vendor claimed to support a "command line interface" only to have it turn out to be some text-based menuing system that assumed things it had no business assuming. Oh the letdown.

Assuming a m$dos "ansi.sys" type terminal on a serial port and no way to ask for a screen refresh. Yeah, that works well on a networked 64 port serial console server.

On the gnome tangent I could say a lot more, but I'll stick to this: It redefines bloat, and it turns out infectuous. The open source angle here is merely that you can see in painful detail what the bloat consists of as opposed to just landing in a hell of a thousand faceless dlls.

On issue tracking systems: Why do they insist on abusing the Subject: header to reinvent In-Reply-To:, and comically badly at that? ``Email integration'' is a lie if it means just stuffing everybody's inbox with useless messages, especially if you can't manage all of the ticket from that very same inbox. Oh the ineptitude.

We IT people have our work cut out for us.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 14:12 and followups

Thanks guys - I haven't heard all the arguments in favor of the command line before. It's a revelation! Thank God I read The Register; otherwise I'd never have learned from your wisdom and experience! Didn't England win the World Cup in 1966? That was also a revelation last time I heard it ...

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Anonymous Coward

200 wpm ...

the world record for sustained typing is about 150 wpm iirc, although short bursts of 200+ are possible. But hardly by an average secretary - Barbara Blackburn, the world's fastest English language typist (using a Dvorak keyboard btw) can do it, but I doubt your company's fastest secretary can.

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Troll

Command-line orgasms

So many people have a problem with just actually telling a computer what to do, as opposed to performing unending abstracted hoop-jumping by rote.

The lazy bastards :-)

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We're doomed, doomed I tell you

if children play with this sort of thing then they may learn to put several commands together and whole graphics/pr departments will be replaced with batch files and we wont be able to move on the streets for out of work people explaining to us in a patronising manner how cars and traffic lights will never catch on because they're not shaded in quite the right way or how its been shown by Hiccups, Windrush and Follow-Through (PDF download £99) how the whole concept of simple one click on-line sales really needs to be padded out with 'dickheads who bought this toothpaste also bought a trident submarine' to actually sell ...er toothpaste...

Oh shit - all those second hand macs bringing down the price of proper PC's

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Pint

Nice dig!

Sorry to burst your bubble there, but I own Macs and 9/10 and apart from my hobby of photgraphy for which I use Photoshop Elements, I love playing on command line. There is so much fun stuff hidden in the command line and it really galls me that more people don't have play down there, not just on Macs, but on any O/S that can give you a command line including Windows.

When I want to download YouTube vids or scam lots of similar information from websites, ten times easier from Perl/Batch scripts than jerking about in a crap limited GUI that won't do what you want. Video and music conversions using transmission and lame are way easier on the OSX command line than some numpty's botched-up GUI.

Steve Jobs can jack off all he likes over his GUI design, the underlying stuff is way more interesting!

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Have to say...

Even as a RISC OS / Windows user, sometimes the command line is the easiest way to get a job done. Without fancy/additional software, under Windows, you rename a bunch of .jpg files .jpeg how? Click-F2(or-click again),click, e,click. Repeat for EACH file. Or drop to the command prompt and issue "rename *.jpg *.jpeg" and they're all done.

It'll also add such functionality to any piece of script/software able to make a command call - so obscurities like something to sync between a Psion 3 agenda file and Google Calendar are now possible. :-)

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FAIL

Smooth

This will really help me. I'm in the GUI on my Linux desktops all of the time, sometimes with a terminal open because it's the most efficient way of getting a lot of things done. Try doing `find /var/log -mtime +30 -delete` in a GUI

But anyway, thanks for taking the piss out of me.

- text-interface obsessive.

(Oh and it's Calendar not Calender)

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this appeals strongly to the geek in me

So I installed it and even now and posting "Hello World" comments to my, hitherto unused, Blogger blog.

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If carlsberg did orgasms they're probably be the best orgasms in the world...

F**k me! Think I'm going to spend my spare time writing software?! I know we're all geeks but people need to get a life and get out more. At least try not to act like geeks.

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Linux

Re : text-interface obsessives

There may well be lots of people who want to interact by CLI with programs but the REAL advantage is being able to embed this type of control into scripts, cron jobs and programs.

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Dead Vulture

Ugh

I don't understand the scornful approach of this article.

Some people like CLIs better than GUIs. Now, Google provides a CLI interface, which from what I can see saves a lot of clicks to do the same job as the GUI. Everyone is happy, except for the GUI-obsessed author.

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Bronze badge

Back to the future?

Or arse against the wall?

Christ, now I've gotta use my Ubuntu GUI to open a terminal to have, as the writer states, a "command line orgasm".

Yeah, right.

(OK, I can see the point for writing automated scripts, but only just...)

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Happy

Use a GUI?

Even if you load up a gui, a quick ALT+F2 "xterm" <return> and you can splumph your junk in command line goodness.

Mind you, my ATI drivers just shat themselves - again - so no GUI goodness for me until I fix the fucker.

Gah,

Steven R

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Happy

GUI? What for?

Or CTRL+ALT+F1 gets you the first text virtual terminal (CTRL+ALT+F7 to go back to the GUI). Alternatively, install Guake and you just have to press F12 to see a command line drop from the top of the screen.

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Thanks for the heads-up!

Guake's the muttz nuttz. Just installed it, and ... lovely.

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Guake

Aye, I was pointed to this by some chums on IRC (yes, it still exists!) a few days ago, and I nearly shot my load in my pants - it's a great little tool and well worth getting.

I'm planning on spinning up a troublshooting USB-pen distro for myself and my non-linuxy work colleagues based on Ubuntu (for the work colleagues, of course) and Guake will be in there.

They can use the nice GUI tools I'll put in it, I can use Guake.

Lovely stuff.

Steven R

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Hmm

Is there some point to all this?

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installed

though I'm probably never going to use it due to the fact that I don't upload things to Google, it never hurts to bolster ones e-penis.

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Happy

Useful

Why the sarcasm? This is actually very useful from a scripting point of view... I can see our business using this.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/happy_32.png

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Fucking brilliant

I might actually have a look at Google products now that there is a proper way to interact with them.

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Useless.

I've been updating my Internet pages from the command-line since before the WWW existed (Gopher & FTP, finger, etc.) ... What, exactly, does this give me that I haven't already got? Other than locking me and my data into the google database, that is.

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Brilliant

Already knocked up a script to upload images much faster, pops up a zenity window to ask for the album too. gThumb will be getting a hotkey bound to a command to upload an image also, much faster.

The calendar isn't so useful yet, it doesn't report events for all calendars it seems, only the default. And you can't set which calendar an event is added to. I reckon that will be sorted later though, then it will be very useful, especially with a couple bash aliases.

Off topic, the crappy sarcasm of this article is becoming too common on the reg these days, I'm actually starting to reach the point where I can see I might get sick of reading here, which is saying something as I've been here for donkeys years. It got annoying a while ago, now its just wearing me down till I give up loading the site.

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FAIL

So it's "command line", but really it's just python

So they wrote their own python module, and then made command line "utility" frontends that use that module.. and this is a big deal? Just fire up python and use that module to make your own, better utilities?

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Filed under...

"Something possibly nice to do that I might get around to looking at someday"

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<3 Command lines

It's about time. No point repeating all the advantages of command lines that everyone has already mentioned so let me just voice my approval of this move.

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In the beginning was the command line

Nuff said

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Joke

No....

...In the beginning there were lights and switches !

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Re: AC 09:42

No, in the beginning there were hard-wired relays & punched paper.

And before that, there were banks of beads on sticks. Or was that beans in groves?

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Some of the comments here...

are bordering on pompous. Using, and liking, a command line interface is great. Acting self-righteous and pompous about it, less so.

Not everyone that uses a GUI is a mouth-breathing moron. There are a huge number of tasks that can be done quicker with one- but yes, there are a hell of a lot of places where a CLI is useful too.

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Grenade

MBMs and GUIs

It's not so much that "everyone that uses a GUI is a mouth-breathing moron", more that "every mouth-breathing moron uses a GUI" (if they use computers at all).

Menus: for people who can't remember commands and have to read the list afresh every time, even after years of using them.

Toolbars: for people who would use menus, but can't read (not a reference to dyslexics, but to people who can't be arsed to learn even the basics).

Dialog boxes: for people who can't learn command options and arguments.

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Sigh

What's quicker:

typing "copy mylongfilenamethatgoesonforever.txt d:\"

or dragging an icon from one window to another? I don't care how quickly you type, unless you're an utter 'tard dragging is quicker, or at least as quick.

Stupid command line elitism is stupid.

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Re: Alastair 7 ... allow me to turn that around.

What's quicker:

typing "mv ~/downloads/mylon* ~/wrkinprgs/"

or opening a window, then opening another window, and selecting which subdirectory (sorry, "folder") to be in in each window, and then dragging an icon from one window to the other?

"I don't care how quickly you type, unless you're an utter 'tard dragging is quicker, or at least as quick."

Not when you have a terminal open ... and know how to use it. Your lack of ability with a CLI doesn't make my CLI speed and precision any less real.

"Stupid command line elitism is stupid."

Stupid is as stupid does.

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Coat

surely

"copy my<TAB> d:\"

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@Alastair

Well done for some sensible balance... I use GUIs all the time, but I always have a command line open (beit Windows, Linux or MacOS). Having said that I don't think that this is really a story, all well written applications should offer a command line option. I've never found anything that can't be done from the command line in Windows, the only thing that I can't find how to do in linux is open a window at the current CLI directory (akin to 'start .' in Windows) and the same goes for MacOS

At work we write scripts to manipulate our disks, so that when someone is carrying out work at 3am they don't stuff it up with a GUI, rather they use a pre-checked script running commands through the CLI. The GUI is great to display what has been done though.

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Go

I can't believe nobody has said...

-editor vim #?!!!11!1

-editor emacs FTW!

Thank you

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Anonymous Coward

Pick your poison

pico, nano, elvis, joe, what-have-you.

nvi for me, thanks.

But really, why is that a switch? Don't have EDITOR or VISUAL set? Or is that another google can't give no respect thing?

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google docs edit --title "Shopping list" --editor vim

We need a cigaret icon... Ahhhh...

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Pirate

Bots for all

So if i wanted to automate the creation of email accounts backed by other google based credentials on a large scale to send out "marketing information" (read malware), and i knew a little python........hmmm

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So how long until I can type

$ reg comment --file mycomment.html --icon "paris"

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Gav
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Grenade

Google just doesn't get it

In order to satisfy a true command line nerd you need to strip out all the vowels and hide the main functionality behind switches of indeterminable origin. And preferably use hex someplace in a way that means you can never remember how to do anything without a wallchart (that you hide behind your Blade Runner poster, in case anyone realises you don't know them all off the top of your head)..

That command line should look like;

$ ggl bl pst --blg "My blog" --t "python, googlecl, development" -z my_post.html -q 8FCDx

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Grenade

GUI vs TUI

despite having coded since ZX basic, I generally prefer GUIs for non-trivial tasks. A *properly* designed GUI can help understand the underlying nature of the task you are trying to achieve, and drive you in the right direction. For example a couple of radio buttons with a text field that is only active when a certain option is selected. Or a checkbox which enables more options. Or a file selector which ensures a certain file exists before proceeding (although I love the *nx shell's auto complete feature).

I'm not saying there will never be a need for a TUI, but it pays to be pragmatic.

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Anonymous Coward

Mistaking the TUI yet again

A TUI generally means some menuing thing much like a GUI, only in text mode. It still sports tick boxes and radiobuttons and whatnot. And it might even support a mouse. And it's not scriptable.

A CLI, OTOH, takes commands and thus is scriptable. Or ought to be. I'm making it part of the definition of ``Command Line Interface''.

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Unhappy

Wedgie the lot of you...

go out and get some sun shine folks...it's only a computer...

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