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22
votes
2answers
2k views

When is it appropriate to require the user to type out the entire word “yes” rather than simply accept “y” at a command-line yes/no prompt?

I've seen several command-line applications, including OpenSSH, which require the user to type the entire word yes or no at a yes/no prompt, rejecting single-letter inputs like y. Here's an example: ...
18
votes
4answers
583 views

Can I optimize this command-line interface?

I am designing a command-line interface for users and administrators to interact with an online radio system. One of the administrator tasks is assigning songs and albums to various genres. This is ...
13
votes
5answers
290 views

Providing two versions of --help

I'm thinking of providing two versions of help message for my command-line programs (cmd --help). The first one is the short version and the one users consult more often, mostly for examples and the ...
12
votes
1answer
268 views

Replacing all interaction in a complex UI with a single input field: Do successful implementations exist?

Main questions Can you provide examples of implementations that implement the suggested solution below? If yes, what are the benefits and drawbacks, especially as reported by users? As the SE ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Masked password characters in a GUI vs terminal

In a GUI form, or for example a login box on a website, it's usual for masked characters to appear like ********* as you type out your password. But in terminal applications, for example ssh, this ...
5
votes
4answers
169 views

How should I order arguments to my import/export commands?

I'm developing a distributed project management tool with a command line interface. I have two commands relating to initially copying a project to/from a hub. The export command looks like this: prog ...
4
votes
2answers
67 views

How should a CLI tool, that requires arguments, handle being called without arguments?

Context N.B. Herein, the terms "tool", "application", and "program" are used interchangeably. This question is not concerned with CLI tools that are intended to be useful when called without ...
4
votes
3answers
158 views

Guidelines for Console UI (CLI)

I have to build a Console UI which will consist of a few main groups each consisting of nested labels and input fields. Are there any guidelines out there for making something like this easy to ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

What's the best way to show multiple options for opening a codebase?

I'd like to give users of a desktop app I'm working on the option of accessing their local code either through the Windows Explorer/Mac Finder or through the command-line, what's the best way to do ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

Resource recommendations for designing graphical + command line interfaces?

Perhaps one of the most prominent examples of a combined GUI + CLI is AutoCAD. AutoCAD has reached the point where (almost?) everything that can be done with the CLI can now be done with the GUI too, ...
3
votes
4answers
603 views

How to improve this retro CLI web app ux?

I want to improve the retro-ness and the coolness of this CLI (command-line interface) for a web app. I just want it to give the user the experience of typing into a 1980s library terminal, at, say, ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

CLI: How should I order sub-commands in usage messages?

I'm developing a tool with a command line interface. I am seeking the clearest, most obvious/user-friendly way of ordering the sub-commands in the usage/error messages. The nature of the tool is that ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

What name would be intuitive for this output option?

I'm currently writing a command-line application which takes multiple arguments. Among those arguments are input and output filenames, modifiers and an option to choose the output. If the option is ...
2
votes
4answers
151 views

What ASCII character to use for “align center”?

If I use < to represent the setting "align left" and > to represent the setting "align right" what symbol should I use for "align center"? Is there any de facto standard for this? The symbol ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Phrasing a technical error in most clear way possible: XML config file not properly formatted

I’m developing a program for a group of scientists. The requirements are that user input will be given in the form of an XML configuration file. Also the requirements state that an XSD file will be ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

The best way to get users to trust a website as an operating system [closed]

I've developed the basic architecture for a browser based operating system that exists to get users to interact with network resources the same way they are able to interact with their native systems ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

CLI and Recall Memory [closed]

Is there any evidence that using a command line interface will improve a user's recall memory? or... Do users with better predispositions to recall abilities do better with command line interfaces? ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Ambiguous textual output

In this question on SO, the asker had to deal with some textual responses that could be in a rather ambiguous format. One person commented there that that could be interpreted in two different ways: ...
1
vote
2answers
333 views

Default values for text-based confirmation prompt

In text-based environments, I've sometimes seen confirmation prompts in the form of Are you sure you want to _______? (Y/n) Generally, I've understood this to mean that Y is the default, and if I ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

How to design user friendly aliases for command line interface element identifiers?

I've run into this problem, i'm making a CLI that enables the user to make bookmarks, notes or comments on elements. Each element has it's internal unique identifiers and usual entity stuff. The ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Version Information In Command Line Tools

What is the UX value of having version information, in particular within (solely) command-line programs? In particular, I'm wondering about actual version information. I've noticed some commands, ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

What are the minimal guidelines for a dual command-line / gui interface?

I'm designing a website that has a constant CLI and optional GUI's for every functionality. What i'm basically doing is an automated form generated for each parameter and a description. I'm also ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Drawing a chessboard with unicode characters [closed]

Wondering the best unicode characters to draw a chessboard... particularly the right combination of square and row/col delimiters (if any) to give a readable layout in a terminal window. Here's what ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Affordances in quicksilver like command applications

I'm developing a command based application where the user asks an agent to do stuff using a Verb--Object--Parameters pattern. e.g. SCHEDULE a meeting with bob for Tuesday BOOK meeting room at 9pm ...
0
votes
2answers
168 views

Dark on light versus light on dark for command line and development tools

I've been reading the very useful information in these two threads: Dark or white color theme is better for the eyes What are the negative and positive aspects of dark color scheme I understand ...
-1
votes
1answer
108 views

explaining/documenting an intricate mechanism

I'm torn between two worlds, I have this very intuitive (but intricate) mechanism in a command line tool, and I'm wondering as to what extent I should explain this. I can go the simple way, not ...
-1
votes
3answers
101 views

Best Way to do a Character Counter [closed]

I am bound to an infinitely wide command line. I have one line of text that my user will likely spend hours analysing for whatever reason. It is important that they can tell very easily and very ...