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The Web Browser Address Bar is the New Command Line


Command line is useful when you know what you are doing. There is nothing wrong in having a command line too.


I don’t know about hooking it up to Google but…

Cheers :slight_smile:


I always use 100JPY in USD;
Recently JPY has appreciated and I am having a ball…


Command lines let you express intent with a level of efficiency that a GUI never will. That’s why software is still created using text and not graphical symbols manipulated by a GUI. The problem is that people never want to take the time to learn how to use the command line effectively, a GUI is way more discoverable. This is why we have a generation of software engineers reliant on bloated IDEs instead of being proficient at emacs/vim.

All you programming pundits incessantly bang on about how nobody reads books anymore or learns their editor or explores hardware architecture and CPU instruction latency but you have no problem denigrating command lines as obscure UNIX. Why don’t you do an experiment and actually learn a command line shell and see if your productivity improves. Being a MS fan I’d suggest you start with PowerShell.


You know, I find it ironic that the title of this post is almost the same as that fireball: http://daringfireball.net/2004/06/location_field (which on top of that is in the goddamn The Best Software Writing I which you even talked about at http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000346.html !). With that, and Stack Overflow using Markdown, you might wish to rething what you said in a comment of http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000796.html : For example, if John daringfireball Gruber spent a fraction of the time he spends obsessively responding to every public criticism of the Mac on, y’know, creating something cool (and writing about it, obviously), he’d influence a lot more people. (oh, and by the way, it’s a shame that comments in your blog don’t have individual anchors; especially when you rave how comments are the best part of your blog)


Very good examples, shows what search engines are capable of.


Good man Jeff coming from the Amiga background. All the best people did :slight_smile:


@Matt Green

If Jeff manages to offend someone by poorly identifying something as command line then I don’t really think Jeff is the one with the problem.


It seems a lot of people almost entirely (willfully?) missed the point of this post.

Using the command line as the primary interface for an average computer user ended many years ago.

We’re now seeing web browsers which implement functions to find and manipulate information through text based commands. A Command Line Interface.

The title is naturally hyperbolic, but the essential message is true. The command line ‘died’, but is now returning in the web browser address bar. It is the new command line.


Come talk to me when I can start stringing these commands together to form larger commands.


yeah, but without:

  • tab-complete
  • man pages
  • pipes

recreating the wheel in your browser doesn’t make it better it just makes it dependent on your browser.


If only you knew the power of the command line…


MikeS wrote: Jeff, it’s funny that Google has already indexed this article, so that Googling ‘link:experts-exchange.com sucks’ brings up this very page.

Even funnier, since this page does not link to experts-exchange.com. Jeff’s point is blunted by the fact that Google has quietly been turning off most of the features listed on http://www.google.com/help/cheatsheet.html in the past year or two. The keyword link: no longer works. Nor does lang:.

And I have no idea what Jeff thought presidents 1850…1860 would do. It doesn’t do anything interesting for me (searching from within the continental U.S.).



This page is now the 8th page listed when you search for


link:experts-exchange.com sucks

(sorry, somehow it posted prematurely)


link:experts-exchange.com sucks

(sorry, somehow it posted prematurely)


wait… new?.. i’ve been using this ever since IE 6…

later on browsers like IE 7 and FF added a separate search bar, which i’ve never quite understood, since the IE 6 way has always worked just great (and still does).

this is incredibly old, but has been forgotten because of FF zealots; good to see Chrome brings it back, i guess.


Don’t forget TPHP - The Perfect Home Page http://code.google.com/p/tphp/


Personally, I don’t use a web browser; I write a script from a command line whenever I want to access the web. Takes a while, especially with typos, but so what?


Opera is one browser that is seriously misunderestimated :wink: