inessential by Brent Simmons


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day!

One of the measures of patriotism is how forcefully and relentlessly one insists that we live up to our most noble ideals.

I wish I had shared a planet with him for more than 9 days. But I'm pleased to live in the nation that he helped create.

The invention of America never ceases. In a very real sense I consider King one of our Founding Fathers.

There's more work to do: King's mission is not finished.

On a Mac OS X mailing list I subscribe to, there has been controversy about whether Apple should include -- which exposes the command-line interface -- in the final release of OS X.

The fear expressed by some is that is an invitation to developer laziness. If it's there, some say, developers will skip doing GUIs and regular Mac users will be forced to use the command line.

That's fear talking. Any developer that wants to make any money will do a GUI, and developers want to make money. So enough of that.

But here's where it gets hilarious. Some people are arguing that AppleScript is a command-line interface. In other words, they're saying Macs already have a CLI that quote-unquote normal users are used to using.

Hello? Is this thing on?

(By "thing" I mean "the brains of these people.")

So that argument comes from some of the oui-à people.

Here's another hilarious argument from the other side, the non-à folks -- they say that GUIs are always easier and quicker to use, in every context.

A counter-example: I find it 10x easier to type "ping" into a terminal window than to do the same thing in NetProbe. (NetProbe is a GUI app sort of like MacTCP Watcher -- it provides an interface for ping, whois, traceroute, DNS lookups, etc.)

If you're the kind of user who needs to run a traceroute now and again, you're probably the kind of user who can handle typing "traceroute" You're also probably the kind of user who will find it easier and quicker than reaching for the mouse and doing the GUI thing just to run a damn traceroute. I mean, please.

OS X is a huge cultural change. It's interesting to see how people adapt to it. Passionate arguments, and sometimes stupid arguments, appear to be part of the evolutionary (or revolutionary) process.

But I'm like: go for it. It's a display of humanity. It's cool.