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Networking Applications

Many of the command-line network applications are simply textual equivalents of graphical network applications with which you're likely to already be familiar. There are command-line applications for browsing the World Wide Web, transferring files over the Internet, reading your email, and most other network functions you're familiar with. Most of these have both advantages and disadvantages with respect to their graphical counterparts.

The mouse has proven to be an efficient tool for tasks involving complex selections, and command-line applications fail in situations that would require fast and furious mousing. On the other hand, if you're using a terminal and at a command-line prompt, it's almost always faster to use a textual tool to do something quick, such as transfer a file via FTP, than it is to start a graphical client. An additional difference is that some command-line applications can function in both an interactive fashion and as a building-block program. This allows many of them to be used in shell scripts or other programs to provide their functionality to a more complex program that needs to use it.


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