Using the 7000 BUI to document script generation
By tdh on Oct 23, 2009
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.