Command line or graphical workflow editors

Matt Perry wonders if command line is a dying art. He lists automation, repeatability, documentability, accessibility, and accuracy as factors to consider in using command line tools over their GUI counterparts.

All the factors Matt considered for command line over GUI can be addressed if you use diagramming software. ESRI’s Model Builder and Safe’s FME Workbench both can solve all those problems and even allow you to better visualize what you are trying to accomplish. As someone who cut his teeth on ArcInfo 5, I find the Model Builder and Workbench refreshing and make be a better analyst. Being able to redirect to the visualizer and see what my output will be before running my model allows me to be more productive, rather than have multiple versions of output sitting in a folder.

Update: Better title, was “Command line or diagramming software”

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