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Fear of Command Lines

Anyone know if there is a psychological term for fear of command lines and configuration files? A name for this phobia would be incredibly useful as I keep bumping in to circumstances where supposedly technical users downgrade a tool just because it doesn’t have a GUI and assume it must be “hard to use” if it is not driven by a point and click interface.
There are some truly excellent CLI interfaces which allow you to do more than a command line - unfortunately they are rare. These interfaces allow you to perform the same operation on several things at once and effectively multiply the power of the interface. Unfortunately, typical GUI interfaces make you do the same thing over and over again and unlike a command line interface are fairly immune to scripting - OS X applications with exposed Applescript interfaces are a pleasant exception.

Combining these less than optimal interfaces with a fear of writing your own configuration files - even when the configuration is in either a simple line oriented text file or an XML file - or the command line and we are creating a group of users who are picking applications with low expressive capability over more competent applications simply because they have not been given the opportunity to learn about a CLI environment.

Three conclusions can been drawn from this state of affairs:
  • If you are selling a product based on configuration files, at least include a tool that generates and edits them
  • If you are selling a product with a GUI interface, make sure that repetitive actions can be done on multiple objects in one step on your interface
  • If you are a user, learning not to fear the command line and scripting is still a great step forward in capability and absolutely worth the effort of learning