The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Shells

that alternative to GUIs in which you type commands in order to replace clicking-on-the-wrong-thing errors with typing-the-wrong-thing errors

The only thing worse than shell scripting is doing without shell scripting. Half a century on and we are still not great at bespoke automation of tasks. Unix-esque shell scripting is one passable methods for automation of some tasks, and the least awful for many, so you’d better learn it, or hire a personal assistant. Except the problem is that shell scripting is a ghastly quagmire of chaos, and, as usual, for the traditional variety of path-dependent reasons, the dominant players in the market have especially high chaos content in their quagmire.

“Shell” as I will lazily use it here may conflate several things, a scripting language, and a protocol for interacting with the system and displaying things on the screen (the “terminal”.) These all interact in complicated ways, especially on a modern system, but I’m going to brush over this nicety, because who gives a shit? [#]

[1]dedicated and wonderful developers from whose whose work I am grateful and humbled to benefit

Your list of horrible alternatives

General tips

Switching shells

chsh -s `which fish` myusername

Next-level piping

dgsh:

The directed graph shell, dgsh (pronounced /dæɡʃ/ — dagsh), provides an expressive way to construct sophisticated and efficient big data set and stream processing pipelines using existing Unix tools as well as custom-built components. It is a Unix-style shell (based on bash) allowing the specification of pipelines with non-linear non-uniform operations. These form a directed acyclic process graph, which is typically executed by multiple processor cores, thus increasing the operation’s processing throughput.

Go look at the website it has pretty DAGs.

Realistically you’re using bash; now what?

Try out some non-trivial commands.