[FoRK] Scripting GUIs (was Re: Quarters needed for Apple to put Microsoft out of our misery?)
sean at conman.org
Sat Jan 31 13:33:06 PST 2015
It was thus said that the Great Bill Kearney once stated:
> As for scripting vs GUI, most GUI tools that emit scripts do so mainly
> because they lack the ability to actually do the complex things needed.
> That last mile of user interface continues to elude a great many products.
> That and a great many admin tasks for which MS targets their UI are not
> done on a repetitive nor frequent basis. Scripts left cold tend to be
> problematic, mainly for being hard-coded in ways opposing the growth of the
> systems they're targeted toward. A GUI, on the other hand, typically bases
> all activities on the live configuration of the systems presently in use.
> Better, perhaps, to have a GUI hand-holding you through something
> less-frequently performed than a crusty, old script no longer properly
> configured. There's room for both, of course, but in the real world of
> customers that MS targets it's great to have BOTH.
IBM had (has? Last time I had to work with AIX was in the late 90s) a GUI
for administrative tasks called SMIT, which could be run through the command
line (using a text-based interface) or through X Windows (full graphical
goodness). You would navigate through a series of menus to the desired
administrative action you wanted (add a new user, mount a new disk ,
etc). But just before it would go off and do everything, you had the chance
to see the script that SMIT built up. I always thought that was a good idea
-spc (It was also the only "control panel"  I liked using.)
 One time when I was admining an AIX box, my boss (who owned the
company) thought he could hot-plus a new SCSI drive to the main (and
only) system. Nope. Total system corruption.
Good news: he had a backup.
Bad news: The system had never been restored (i.e. the backup was
I learned *a lot* about SMIT (and AIX) that day.
 It was probably a debug option left in.
 A lot of web hosting is done via "control panels." I hate every
single one of them.
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