WDI Fundamentals

WDI Fundamentals Unit 2

By the end of this unit, you'll be able to:
  • Differentiate between a command line interface and a graphical user interface
  • Summarize a basic file system structure
  • Open a file in a text editor and make changes from the command line
  • Identify when you'd want to use absolute versus relative paths
  • Define a version control system and its benefits
  • Describe how Git works
  • Identify the Git commands used to set up a local repository and to record 'snapshots' of your project
  • Push local changes to a remote repository using the command line

Developer Tools

Most computer users move their mouses, click on icons, and drag and drop files from one folder to another.

When you're using the computer this way, you're using what's called a Graphical User Interface, or GUI. In a GUI (pronounced "gooey"), you communicate with your computer using a combination of text, images, and gestures.

But you are on a journey toward transcending ordinary computer users. You're becoming a developer, and developers like to interact with computers in a different way — through the command line interface (CLI).

Unlike the GUI, the command line is a text-based interface, where you communicate with your computer using text alone.

Until the video display was introduced in the mid-1960s, the command line was the only way to interact with a computer. Today, the CLI is still preferred by programmers because it is explicit, simple, and (most importantly) fast. In fact, once you become comfortable using the CLI, you'll be amazed at how much more productive you become!

We can perform actions using the command line by entering commands, and there is a command to perform virtually any action you can imagine. There are commands to open an application, create new files, copy files from one place to another, and more.

We'll access the command line using a terminal application, which can be found on all computers. Terminal applications are commonly known as "shells," and we'll learn to use the default shell provided on Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux, Bash.

There are many different types of shells, and some are more similar to Bash than others. Fundamentals will not explore the shells that come with Windows computers, for example, because they use a different set of commands.

On to the next lesson!