In the beginning, there was the command line.
If you were new to computers, you had to learn a lot of things. Like directories, where things were actually stored, execution paths, location of applications, how to change directories, the difference between a slash and a back slash, a # prompt, a $ prompt, etc.
In fact, you can still do that, if you are so inclined.
Whether you’re using Windows, Mac OS, some version of Linux on your home PC, or some other OS, there’s that moment of Zen when you drop out of whatever graphic shell you’re using and you’re walking around your hard drive doing powerful things, peeking here and there, and these days mostly wondering what the heck that does. There’s also libraries everything and you just know that there is all kinds of duplication. With hard drives being so cheap, it’s eliminated the need to be efficient enough to store anything on a limited device…
We’ve become so used to just launching things. I know, in my case, I seem to care less and less about where everything is and how I get to it.
I do get it. Developers are working with portable and touch in mind. One tap to load and away you go will be our future. Of that, there is no question.
I just think about “how’ every now and again.
Above are the three launchers that I use regularly. I could have them all configured to work exactly the same way, but I don’t and I often wonder why. Mac and Ubuntu are vertical on the left side of the screen; Windows is horizontal on the bottom. Mac hides when I don’t use it; Ubuntu and Windows are always showing. The things I use regularly on Mac and Ubuntu are in the launcher; Windows I still go looking in the menu. (Ditto with Gnome when I use it)
I guess it boils down to – I am either waiting for the perfect interface or I just don’t care to take total control any more.
Yesterday, I read this article about the upcoming Ubuntu 14.10. Embedded in the article is reference to UnityNext/Unity8. I wonder – is this going to be enough to push me to take back control of things again? I guess I’ll have to wait and see.