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It's fascinating to me (as someone who has written a similar system) that everybody, almost without exception, makes this leap.

If the problem is that clicking is too cumbersome, then add better keyboard support. That's the solution to the problem as stated. You don't need to throw out the whole UI for that, and there's lots of things a GUI can do that a CLI can't.

I haven't been able to determine if this is the common reaction because people simply assume a GUI can't have good keyboard support, or because they're making an excuse for some unstated other reason.




No matter how hard you work on keyboard support, it will never be good enough. If you do make it good enough, what you will end up with is basically a CLI, so why not skip the BS and just give me a real CLI from the beginning?

And anyone who goes through the effort to learn all the custom keyboard shortcuts for your application is likely a person who would quickly pick up a standard CLI, so why not save them the effort?

And once you do end up learning all the keyboard commands for an application having clickable things on screen becomes redundant. So what do you end up with when you remove all that? Just some representations of inputs and outputs, which again can be clearly displayed in a CLI terminal in some format. And because inputs and outputs rarely need to take up the whole screen, just delete all the extra whitespace too so you end up with a very compact workspace.

But at that point, just reduce your program down to a CLI and keep it in its purest form.

I am glad this project has a decent Node API.


I think lost of folks don't think about a GUI having good keyboard support. I recall wowing a Windows admin in the late 90s by using the keyboard to navigate a mouseless Windows 'server.'

macOS seems to have eschewed good keyboard support for operating the GUI -- Steve Jobs insisted on a single button mouse because two buttons were two complicated; I could assume he would have disliked the idea of operating without point-and-click by only using the 100+ keys on a keyboard. I've witnessed many 'admins' in IT departments all to happy to point and click around their Windows AD admin interfaces without ever even thinking to ask if something faster is available.

My point here is that, anecdotally, the keyboard users and the mouse users apparently don't overlap much. This leads to keyboard users just wanting "CLI everywhere!" without consideration for a GUI with good keyboard support. I think you make an excellent point (that honestly didn't occur to me): If the problem is that clicking is too cumbersome, then add better keyboard support. It's an open source code base - we can certainly bring ourselves to bear on scratching this itch.


a lot of people want to make things scriptable.


That's an interesting point (and a possible hidden agenda), but again, the scriptability of something is orthogonal to whether it's graphical or not.

Web browsers are as GUI as they come, and arguably have far better scripting support than any CLI program.




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