For the past couple of months, I have been running a poll about the command line. I ran it using wording copied directly from a Project Butterfly poll, to get some kind of comparison between the poll respondents on this blog and those on the Project Butterfly blog.
It’s fair to say that I don’t like the wording of the available options, which appear designed to influence the result rather than find out what people really think. The “I can’t work with…” option has negative connotations; if I pick this choice, it implies that my abilities fall short in some way and I lack flexibility. On the other hand, the “I think it’s time for a new way…” option has a positive feel about it. If I pick this choice, I’m a thinker, I’m progressive, I’m looking to the future. It’s no accident that marketing people love to plaster “NEW!” over their products.
Despite the push-poll options, the command line was the clear winner on both blogs. Here are the Project Butterfly results (unknown number of voters):
I can’t work without the command line (66%)
I think it’s time for a new way to draw without the command line (34%)
Here are my results (378 voters):
I can’t work without the command line (81.7%)
I think it’s time for a new way to draw without the command line (18.3%)
I expected to see a greater preference for the command line among readers of this blog (largely command-line-using AutoCAD users) than among readers of the Project Butterfly blog (largely command-line-less Project Butterfly users). My expectation has been met. Instead of about a 2:1 majority there, command-line people here have about a 4.5:1 majority.
Now let’s try a similar poll, hopefully without biased options, and see if that affects the result. I have replaced the above poll with this one:
Should CAD software have a command line?
There are several ways in which this question could have been asked (do you prefer, is it more efficient, is it better, etc.), but the above appears to be the least biased I can come up with. Please have a look at this and other polls over on the right and vote if you feel so moved.