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What's Wrong with Unix People?

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From #zsh @ freenode.net

<xxx> I wouldn't ever want to position a cursor using a mouse.
      not even in an editor. a mouse has its uses.
      but that isn't one of them.
<yyy> yes i agree

(yes… it has been taken out of the context, but the message is pretty clear)

I don’t want to flame here, but the argument that one should not position a cursor using a mouse reflects either total 1) ignorance 2) stupidy 3) lack of vision. What do you think all normal 99,9999% users out there would like to do?

This attitude of UNIX community holds back the technology and usability. As long this kind of visionless, all good technology was invented in 70s technology mindset stays around, UNIX command line and shell cannot really progress. And it hasn’t. No mouse positioning. No tooltips for commands. Not even a way to copy file to local from the remote shell.

Should one compare this kind of communities to ultra-orthodox religious communities? All change is bad, you are bad, do like the grandpa says?

The correct answer is that

  • It’s natural to position cursor with mouse
  • People do it with all other programs out there, including other single line text widgets
  • There is no excuse or technical reason why one shouldn’t be able to do it in a shell
  • If the software stack and terminals don’t support it then we should fix them and update them to reflect the modern human interface paradigms

and you can have cursor positioning by mouse support for zsh.

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Published at DZone with permission of Mikko Ohtamaa , DZone MVB .

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