Using the 7000 BUI to document script generation

I'm old skool enough that I prefer a CLI versus a GUI for administration tasks. I've got that disclaimer there because I happen to like web browsers, GIMP, and even WireShark at times.

Given a choice between being able to ssh (or even telnet) in to a box versus going to a web based interface, I'll almost always chose the ASCII interface. The exceptions would be when I don't have a manual and need to do something fast. If I'm not in a hurry, I'm willing to learn by trial and error.

I've been running some tests on a 7410 and I need to be able to restart NFS. I've been using the BUI because I really find it intuitive. For example, I needed to bring up another interface on a backend network and it was very simple to go to Configuration -> Network and just click my way through it. I also liked that my routing tables were set up correctly. I had just fought that in a similar situation on a v20z running Fedora 11.

I like being able to click on the Device and getting the relevant datalinks and interfaces. I like the apply changes implementation. I like it checks for uncommited transactions if I try to leave the current entry.

But what I really like is a very understated correlation between the BUI and CLI - the BUI documents scripting actions you can do in the CLI. Likewise, if you understand the CLI commands, you can quickly navigate to a BUI counterpart.

So my goal was to be able to restart NFS from the CLI. Rather than picking up a manual, I looked at where I was at in the BUI, which was Configuration -> Services. And to restart it, I selected the circular arrows to the left of the NFS Data Service.

This was 99% of the equivalent command:

washdc:> configuration services nfs 
abort    commit   done     get      script   show     
assert   disable  enable   help     set      

I was looking for a "restart" option and I realized that the button must be a combination of "disable" and "enable". Sure enough, this:

washdc:> configuration services nfs disable
washdc:> configuration services nfs enable

was functionally equivalent.

I find that every time I interact with either the BUI or CLI, I find something else to remind me of the tight integration and also to appreciate them both being designed at the same time.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2009, Kool Aid Served Daily
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