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Author Topic: GUI shaming?  (Read 1151 times)


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GUI shaming?
« on: 21 Nov 2019, 08:34:01 pm »
I was reading about Git the other day and came across this article somehow. It talks about how developers shouldn't shame people for using GUI tools to work with Git:

Do you think his stance on this matter has some merits, or do you think it is another case of "wah wah i dunn wunna learn!" nonsense?

My impression is that it is the latter, but in general, I am a bit biased toward being cautious of tools as a result of having seen a lot of bad ones for HTML/CSS. I learned to use Git via CLI at my intern job, and I don't find it particularly challenging in terms of doing basic routine tasks. But, some devs at work have mentioned that they sometimes liked using it for diff and visualizing branch flows. I don't know, I just can't imagine Linus Torvalds using a GUI client, so I tend to think competent programmers would not use one, either. I also feel like learning to use CLI and automating things helps me to learn how it works and to reduce tool dependency. I prefer to use my cheatsheet plain text file to look up and memorize basic commands instead of having to rely on GUI tools for it. Am I being too gun-ho about this stuff, or am I on the right track in taking that approach? Thoughts and suggestions?
« Last Edit: 22 Nov 2019, 04:11:31 am by Gary-SC »

Jason Knight

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Re: GUI shaming?
« Reply #1 on: 22 Nov 2019, 06:00:28 am »
Whilst I am against WYSIWYG's and drag-drop tools for client-side web development, there are legitimate reasons for this such as the lack of semantics and pissing on accessibility.

With something like Git I'm unaware of any LEGITIMATE reason if the result is the same. THIS is where to me it sounds like going from "doing things right" to "pointless elitism".

The tool used should match the task complexity, and whilst it is VERY easy to fall into the trap of "false simplicity" -- simplifying things beyond the needs of actually getting the job done right --  I just don't see how using a WYSIWYG for Git fits said description.

There are a LOT of command line tools that it's easier/faster to set up, configure and use. There are a LOT of GUI tools that are the same way. It's a case of right tool for the right job...

... and given my (horrible) experiences with Git where it just seems to be a tool for project managers to not manage a blasted thing anymore, instead spending half the day in meetings sucking up to superiors and the other half playing Farmville?

Yeah, I'm not sure how it would even make a difference. To me Git was definitely a tool where the command line was painfully obtuse in a bad 1970's *nix console sort of way. I wanted to waste time dicking around with esoteric poorly documented shell commands, I'd drag out the Trash-80 Model 12 and boot up Xenix.

It's like the people who criticize the use of tools like cPanel or ISPConfig. I can understand the hate for cPanel since it's a steaming pile of dung, but I can also understand why people are drawn to it given what configuring Apache or its kine entails.

... and again, unlike with HTML/CSS it's not like the end result makes ANY difference to anyone working with it.
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Re: GUI shaming?
« Reply #2 on: 22 Nov 2019, 08:20:50 am »

Do you think his stance on this matter has some merits, or do you think it is another case of "wah wah i dunn wunna learn!" nonsense?

If the tools output EXACTLY the same code as you would write without using the tools, but do it faster and easier, then go ahead and use them. The problem with the vast majority of HTML "tools" is that they do NOT output the same code, they output JUNK, junk that no legitimate coder would EVER claim as his own code.

I primarily code in FoxPro, and over the last several decades have designed and implemented my own tool box of tools to get the job done easier, faster, and with few if any bugs.  My tools output the same code I would output without them, but without the overhead of typos and other errors.
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