Zed Lopez

A CLI Is Worth a Thousand GUIs, Sometimes. Often.

There are many things of import going on in the world. So I’m going to spend some time bitching about bad GUIs.

We’ve known since some lab results a couple of months ago that our cat was not long for this world. So, for a while, I had planned the before and after montage I posted. I haven’t done a lot of image manipulation, and am not familiar with the tools, but how hard could it be – cut rectangular excerpts from two different pictures, resize one of them to be the same height as the other, put ‘em next to each other and save as a single image.

I tried MTPaint. I tried GIMP. After several minutes in each, I couldn’t figure out how to do these things. Excerpting was easy enough. Resizing I could sort of do, but then the canvas was too big or too small and I didn’t see how to fix that.

Finally, I cut my losses. I saved the excerpts and then it took just two ImageMagick commands to resize the one and to concatenate it with the other. And unlike with the GUIs, it was straightforward to look up how to do that, because I could search through text for it instead of doing a drunkard’s walk through 15 levels of menus in the intuitive, discoverable interface.

No, foolish student. Neither desktop has a computer on it.