Command line VS Command line-style VS GUI

In this post, I will explain a few terms that can be confusing to many people: command line, command line-style, and GUI.

Let’s start with GUI, the one everyone is familiar with. A Graphical User Interface is what every pay-for program and most any other program has. It is complete with menus, dialog boxes, text fields, radio buttons, the whole shabang, a GUI lets you do everything graphically. Even mobile apps, like WordPress for iOS (what this post was written on) has a GUI.

The other two as so closely connected that it is hard to separate the two definitions from each other. A Command line interface (or layout, or program) has no visible UI unless you run it from Command Prompt or Terminal. Only then will you see text. Even then, you may not get anything unless you pass the help parameter (typically -h or –help).

A command line-style interface (or program, or layout) has a visible UI when it is clicked, but does not have many (if any) dialog boxes, menu bars, text fields, and the like. At most, it will have file/folder dialog box(es), but not much more. It is called command line-style because it looks like a pure command line program, but does not have to be run via Command Prompt or Terminal to be visible. Some command line-style programs have more settings when run like a pure command line program. This, a Command line-style interface looks and acts like a command line interface, but can be run by just clicking it, and may have either a few GUI elements or pure command line parameters.

I hope this post has been informational and made these terms clear(er). As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for a post, tutorial, or what-not, please comment!

-le717

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