- I can’t work without the command line
- I think it’s time for a new way to draw without the command line
In a follow-up post, the observation was made that “We thought that only a few people would work without a command line, but the results were refreshing.” Apparently, only 66% of respondents selected the first of the available options.
To this I respond, “Beware the trap of the biased sample”. The poll asked people who are largely users of a product that involves drawing without a command line if they can work without it. In response, an amazing 2/3 of them say “I can’t work without the command line”, i.e. they can’t possibly do what they are currently doing, every time they use the product on which the blog is based.
How is that “refreshing”? 34% is an incredibly small number when the only alternative answer is self-contradictory. It should be very close to 100%, surely?
Every poll has a biased sample, including my own polls here. The trick is in working out how strong the bias is and determining if it invalidates the results. In this case, readers of the Butterfly blog are largely users of a command-line-less product and therefore likely to have a strong bias against the command line. So that 66% number would be a bit bigger if addressed to a more general population, I reckon.
I’ve added my own poll for my own biased sample (that’s you lot out there, largely users of a command line-based application) using exactly the same question format. I’m not entirely happy with the way the options are worded as it is not entirely neutral, but I’ll stick with it for the purpose of the comparison.
While I might dispute the conclusions that might be drawn from the poll, I must say that I like the way the Project Butterfly team is doing this in the open. It’s much better than the traditional Autodesk practice of claiming that what they are doing is supported by polls among customers, then refusing all requests for the full details of those polls. As the devil is in the details, I automatically discount any such claims based on secret research, from Autodesk or anyone else. I encourage the Butterfly people to keep doing what they are doing, regardless of any nitpicking from me; it is very refreshing (there’s that word again) to see Autodesk being open and I want to encourage it.
In addition to voting, I’d love to have you add your own comments either for or against use of the command line in CAD. It may be old and unfashionable, but does that make it inefficient? Have you tried turning it off in AutoCAD and running purely on Dynamic Input? Have you had experience with CAD or similar products without command lines? Let’s hear it.