Opposite of "interactively"?

Subject: Opposite of "interactively"?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 16:52:18 -0400

Kevin wondered: <<For use in computer-related documentation: If someone has used the term "interactively" to lead off a bullet-point about a shell that prompts the user for needed info, then what "-ively" word can I use to lead off the contrasting bullet about the command-line option, where there are no prompts and you pile all the arguements into the one command??>>

The problem with "interactively" is that it focuses on the wrong issue: the command line version is also interactive, as anyone who remembers the grief of iteratively retyping DOS commands until you got the syntax right will recall. (Unix too, for that matter.)

The real issue here is probably whether there are prompts or not, or whether the procedure is completed all at once or in a series of inputs. That suggests you might be better using "prompted" or "guided" or "assisted" in the "interactive" case and "unprompted" or "unguided" or "unassisted" in the second case (the command line).

If you're stuck with "interactively", then the real difference is that in the first case, the computer is helping you and in the second, you're on your own. In that case, "manual' might be the better approach--or for that matter, call a spade a digging implement and call it the "command-line approach".

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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