Graphical User Interface (GUI) vs Command Line Interface (CLI)

1. Interface Definition
2. Interface on different operating systems
3. IBM’s DOS as an example of the Command Line Interface
4. Command Line Interface
5. Graphical User Interface

Subject: Basic Computers
Lecture Capture Software: Camtasia 8
Presentation: PowerPoint 2007
Email: [email protected]


Command Line Interface and Graphical User Interface
Before we talk about the Command Line Interface (CLI) and Graphical User Interface (GUI), let us first define what an “interface” means. Let us Google it. A quick and simple definition is that it is “a point where two systems, subjects, organizations, etc., meet and interact” or “a device or program enabling a user to communicate with a compute”. That means, when we interact with the with a MAC computer, this is the interface that we see to interact with the computer. We can use the keyboard or mouse to tell it what we wanted to do and we would be able to see it on a display device. On the other hand, if we have a Windows computer with let’s say, Windows 8, this is the interface that we will see to start interacting with it. We can use the keyboard to type in letters, numbers, characters and we can use the mouse to point and click on apps, icons, links and buttons.
There are other computers with a different operating system, and therefore will have a different look and feel of the interface. For example, a computer with Linux operating system will have an interface that looks like this.
So a user interface is the primary space where the user and the computer interact. Just imagine your computer’s monitor being broke but your computer itself is just working fine. That means, you can hear it working but you cannot see it and even if you click, type and try to communicate to it, it is pointless. You are blind without the user interface (and a working display device).
So, what is Command Line Interface? In the 1980’s, the company IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) which manufactures and markets computer hardware and software, produced computers with Disk Operating System or DOS. DOS was the first widely used operating system between the 80’s and the 90s. To communicate with a computer with DOS, an example of a Command Line Interface, the user types in commands. So, to be proficient in computer with DOS, the user has to memorize the commands to type in to communicate. But who can do that?
This is one reason why the Graphical User Interface easily dominated Command Line Interface in the 90s. In GUI, the user can then point and click on the screen, with a mouse or with gesture. Without GUI, touch screen devices will not be possible today. In GUI, the screen is more colorful, interacting and enjoyable to work at. In GUI, the users watch videos, listen to music, create drawings, edit pictures, and customize the desktop with so much ease.
Now, that you understand the difference between CLI and GUI, you are now ready to move on to the next video.

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