CLIs are reified UIs

First, some definitions: Two main paradigms of interaction between humans and computers are Command Line Interfaces (CLIs) and Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). In CLIs the user interacts with the computer by sequentially typing various textual commands, to which the computer replies, also in text. Graphical interfaces base the interaction with the computer on graphical icons and widgets and navigation typically depends on a pointing device such as the mouse. The debate on the respective advantages and disadvantages of these paradigms stretches back decades.

Proponents of GUIs typically stress their ease of use, especially for non-experts. A key contributer to GUIs ease of use is discoverability: at any time the various available options are laid out on the screen and can be further explored with the mouse.

CLIs predate GUIs. Despite of the ease of use of the latter, usage of CLIs persists, especially in UNIX-like systems. This has come as a surprise to some. Typically offered explanations are:

First, some definitions: Two main paradigms of interaction between humans and computers are Command Line Interfaces (CLIs) and Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). In CLIs the user interacts with the computer by sequentially typing various textual commands, to which the computer replies, also in text. Graphical interfaces base the interaction with the computer on graphical icons and widgets and navigation typically depends on a pointing device such as the mouse. The debate on the respective advantages and disadvantages of these paradigms stretches back decades.

Proponents of GUIs typically stress their ease of use, especially for non-experts. A key contributer to GUIs ease of use is discoverability: at any time the various available options are laid out on the screen and can be further explored with the mouse.

CLIs predate GUIs. Despite of the ease of use of the latter, usage of CLIs persists, especially in UNIX-like systems. This has come as a surprise to some. Typically offered explanations are:

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