One thing I like about linux is that it’s very easy to script things from the command-line.
And it really is, I feel.
That said, there is a limitation to this I feel, and that is: all the stuff that’s integrated into Gnome or KDE, rather than implemented at the command-line level and wrapped in a gui.
Here’s a good example of something I think is done well in this respect: ufw, vs gufw.
ufw works just great from the commandline, and if I want I can give the graphical version – gufw – to my girlfriend to use, not that she does, since she doesn’t need to configure the firewall really, but she could. It’s simple, it’s graphical, I feel it’s fine.
Then at the other extreme we have usb key auto-mounting, and networking, which as you can see from my recent posts doesn’t really work by default from the commandline without a fair amount of prodding and pushing. You cannot easily use gnome’s network manager and at the same time control the network from the commandline. They are totally incompatible. Each interface can either be controlled from the commandline, or from Gnome, and not both. I think that this basically sucks!
Another example: disk auto-mounting: Gnome will handle this with some combination of gvfs or gnome-volume-manager. It is possible to create a command-line automounter for usb keys (see previous post), but again, totally incompatible with the gnome ones.
I suppose that what happens is that when someone in the Gnome team writes something, they just naturally integrate it (read: lock it into) Gnome since that will encourage people to use Gnome. Which makes sense I suppose. And it would take more effort to abstract it. But I don’t like it. And suddenly Windows seems to me to be actually quite integrated. Sure in Windows it’s a total PITA to script networking stuff, but it’s possible, and it doesn’t involve disabling all access to networking configuration from the gui!
The ‘mild’ pro-Windows bias in this post may be because I have a windows admin interview on Friday 😛 so I have to think about getting myself back into a Windows admin mindset perhaps 😛