the beauty of the command line tools (a side note from Re: LC/macOS App Store)

Pi Digital sean at pidigital.co.uk
Sat Nov 10 07:18:35 EST 2018


Hi

Just to follow on from Andre, you can of course also run terminal scripts from LC. That’s exactly what I did in the aforementioned OSX Package Maker (soon to be reissued as the iOS/macOS Package Maker). You ‘could’ make a GUI for every terminal command available including every nuance and parameter. Indeed, Apple could do this for ‘every’ Unix/Terminal command. But can you imagine the complaints that would come with it with regards bloat ware. 

But in addition to this is the thought that terminal stuff, much like LC stuff, can combine multiple commands and functions together into one line of script. Can you imagine if LC was entirely GUI based. Of course not as it would make it somewhat impractical. Not to say that it is impossible as is demonstrated by the Unreal Engine coding environment (which is pretty cool actually, albeit a bit cumbersome). 

Take, also the simplicity of copy/paste that would not be possible in a gui. All apple have to do is give an example of a line of script where we replace out the various parameters to suit our circumstance. I say Bravo to Apple for making this still available and a common standard for ‘us’ (bearing in mind this kind of stuff is aimed at coders/developers who are used to it as opposed to the ‘grannies and grandpas’ who barely use a mouse let alone the keyboard). 

Sorry I was unable to sort out the Package maker before this. As some of you are aware I went through a pretty severe emotional hiccup midway through this year. Kee (whom I let down the most) managed to pick up a lot of the slack producing the guide for us all. 

No doubt Apple will continue to make changes to the way things are done. But that is the nature of Soft wares. They are not rigid and inflexible. It is a good thing. As much as it is a pain, there’s nearly always a resultant gain. Go with it, adapt, and evolve. That’s progress!

All the best to you all. 

Sean Cole
Pi Digital

> On 10 Nov 2018, at 11:01, Andre Alves Garzia via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
> 
> Bob,
> 
> I am hijacking this thread to express some personal opinions about the terminal, it is not related to the topic of the original message but a different perspective on the subject you brought up on your reply.
> 
> When I first for my mac (A G3 running Mac OS 8.x) and started developing for it, my first thought was: "Where is the terminal?!", the lack of terminal was one of the main reason I struggled with development in the mac for some time because, IMHO there is a beauty to terminal tools that is no longer available to the current incarnation of macOS (but was present in earlier versions, more about it later).
> 
> The main advantage for terminal tools is composability, which is at the heart of the UNIX philosophy and remember (the current) "macOS is UNIX". Having little tools that compose with one another to execute whatever workflow you need. You generate certificates with one tool, you sign binaries with another, you pipe the result of one command into the other and with some clever scripting you automate your whole flow. The power of UNIX is this toolbox of little tools and the scripting that goes on top of them to compose them into pieces more powerful and featureful than each individual component. Thats why in the terminal you can use a single line to post something to a web API server, get a response, decode it, parse its JSON reply, reason about it and extract data, just by piping from "curl" to "jq" to "awk" or "grep" or "wc" or whatever you need.
> 
> GUI tools don't compose. You need to ship new tools to add more features or you need to update the current ones. Doing web stuff on classic MacOS was tricky as I couldn't rely on my usual toolset of little UNIX gizmos (I learned about MPW and other stuff later).
> 
> The solution to make GUI tools composable is AppleScript of course, and I know many who are reading this email thought about that when reading the second paragraph. With AppleScript we could have all the convenience of GUI, the kind of easy and amazing UX that Bob was talking about, and yet be composable thus making each GUI tool more capable than its features alone. And for a while, this was fantastic but AppleScript is no longer in favor at Apple and most Third-Party developers seem to have forgotten it. Each power-user oriented app that allows scripting appears to be shipping a different solution, so the dream of AppleScript is lost, it was also never cross-platform, but the little rusty UNIX toolkit still works, almost 60 years later, and it is cross-platform-ish. So the Terminal allows Apple and others to reuse good tools from GNU, *BSD and others and build the workflow they need.
> 
> Little terminal tools are the only way to automation these days, all the other solutions require more buy-in from 3rd party developers or reinventing the wheel. Thats why it pays of to learn just a bit of terminal stuff, so that you too can build those little composable things, so that you too can benefit from 60 years of little tools that do the job.
> 
> Still, I miss AppleScript, and Frontier, and DreamCard, and MacOS Classic...
> 
> Om om
> 
> andre
> 
> PS: I am no longer a Apple user, so if by any chance AppleScript is back, I am not aware of it, sorry.
> 
>> On 11/9/2018 10:49 PM, Bob Sneidar via use-livecode wrote:
>> It's funny you should say that. Long ago when the first Apple MacIntoshes came out, I fell in love with the GUI simply because I could use a computer without having to type in commands. For years, I would not even work with a PC, because all their was to work with was DOS, and even when Windows came out, it was really DOS pretending to be a GUI.
>> 
>> Later, when I went from being a hobbyist to doing real IT for a living, I was soooo exasperated with PCs because reformatting a hard drive was an evening's work, especially if the manufacturer wasn't real clear about how many sectors, blocks, etc in the sticker on the drive! But I always had Macs to look to, where I could say, "See? NO COMMAND LINE! THAT's how to do computing nowadays!"
>> 
>> Now, even with all the advances Microsoft has made in their OS, some things can *only* be done from a command line, and I think this is just laziness on the part of developers. Apple seems to have fallen in to this developer malaise, where it's easier to just write some terminal code and tell people, "Just type this command..."
>> 
>> People cannot remember commands, especially not terminal commands, with all the arguments and caveats and different ways to put it all together. Apple used to be, "The computer for the rest of us." Now it's just another computer.
>> 
>> Bob S
>> 
>> 
>>> On Nov 9, 2018, at 14:27 , Rick Harrison via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Hi Kee,
>>> 
>>> Thanks for that.  Although I’ve been down that
>>> lane for sometime now.  Why Apple keeps
>>> making things worse and worse instead of
>>> the other way around I don’t know.
>>> 
>>> In principle, I believe that no LiveCoder should
>>> ever have to be subjected to using the Terminal.
>>> Ideally we should have a stack that pulls everything
>>> together for our LiveCode users so they don’t have
>>> to even touch it.
>>> 
>>> I will let you know what I find out if anything.
>>> 
>>> Rick
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