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Terminology: “interactive” interface (was: releasenotes)

Justin B Rye <jbr@edlug.org.uk> writes:

> Ben Finney wrote:
> > Justin B Rye <jbr@edlug.org.uk> writes:
> >> "Interactive" is a genuinely confusing misnomer; it turns out that
> >> it means "full-screen Text User Interface" versus "Command Line
> >> Interface", but what can it mean to recommend the *only* program
> >> with such a TUI as the *preferred* one?
> > 
> > I don't think “interactive” is as confusing as you infer. It covers
> > programs like ‘aptitude’, ‘synaptic’, and other programs which interact
> > with the user continually while they run. This excludes ‘apt-get’, which
> > runs in what might be called “batch mode”.
> But answering "y" to a CLI "really install?" prompt is also
> "interactive".  If people can't imagine it confusing and misleading
> readers, here's me being genuinely confused and misled by it:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-l10n-english/2010/12/msg00058.html

I was careful not to imply that I “can't imagine it confusing and
misleading readers”. I'm just surprised that it does :-)

It's clear to me, at least, that “interactive” includes the default
operating mode of programs like Iceweasel, Aptitude, and ‘reportbug’;
while “non-interactive” includes the default operating mode of ‘rm’,
‘apt-get’, and ‘tar’.

Note that “interactive” does not have anything to do with text versus
bitmapped-GUI (because it includes both Iceweasel and the others); nor
anything to do with full-window versus line-by-line (because it includes
both ‘reportbug’ and the others).

Sure, both Aptitude and Iceweasel can be told to do their stuff
non-interactively; and all of ‘rm’, ‘apt-get’, and ‘tar’ will prompt the
user if they need to. But are you really confused by the distinction
between those default modes of operation?

What term would you use to include the interface mode that I call
“interactive”, and exclude the mode that I call “non-interactive”?

 \        “The industrial system is profoundly dependent on commercial |
  `\   television and could not exist in its present form without it.” |
_o__)        —John Kenneth Galbraith, _The New Industrial State_, 1967 |
Ben Finney

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