Command Line/Driven Interface

Explanation of this and its advantages and disadvantages

Command Line/Driven Interface

Command line interfaces function when the user inputs a command into the system. These commands must be in a specific language so that the system can understand it and they have to make sense so that they can be used properly and as the user intended. They have to be precise and correctly worded in order for the computer to understand them. If any mistakes are made then nothing will happen (or if this alternate command does actually make sense but is not in the correct context then something unwanted will happen). Different commands allow the user to different things so this means that the user has to either remember these commands, be able to work them out on the spot or have them at hand for when they are needed. Due to this fact, this interface is the most difficult to use and so is the least common out of the ones I am going to describe.

Command line interfaces are often referred to as driven interfaces because they need the operator to input data before they can do anything. They need to be 'driven' by the user and without the users ability to drive it will not work (meaning that if the user does not know how to operate it by using commands then it cannot deliver the desired output).

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Some advantages of using a command line interface are:

- That it is faster - sometimes tasks can be performed more quickly using commands than by using the mouse and all of the features which are offered in a GUI (such as Windows).

- The system is made more accessible - in some cases more features can be accessed using commands which could not be reached by using a GUI.

- It educates - using this form of 'computer language' to input commands the user can learn about the computer itself and educate themselves on how it works in more depth than they could if they were using a GUI.


Some disadvantages of using a command line interface are:

- It is very difficult to use without instruction - without being taught how to use it properly a command line interface can be very difficult to use. The user has to learn the structure of commands in general and then be able to apply this to each individual command (the structure is called 'Syntax').

- It can be hard to remember the instructions - actually remembering specific commands and what they do can be very difficult. This is solvable by taking note of the commands for later reference (when they are required) but this further complicates issues and is mostly seen as more effort than needs to be exerted when simpler interfaces are available.