One more comment on bash with spaces

Peter Billam pj at
Sun Aug 2 10:28:00 UTC 2015

Greetings :-) Yet one more comment :-(

> To follow up on the previous thread here about how awkward
> it is to use bash with spaces,

I think it's then time to move up to a high-level language
like Perl, Python or Lua, where filenames don't get mixed up
with the commands that are working on them.

I think Lua is very good for visually-impaired users, because it
doesn't have much punctuation, and reads like a natural language.

> I just read about someone on the ubuntu-users list who was
> having a problem with his backup strategy not working.

When I used to work as a SysAdmin, I used to dream of building a
Nightmare Directory, with filenames full of quotes, double-quotes,
dollars to mimic variables, backticks to execute commands,
null-characters to trap C-programmers, semicolons, newlines,
brackets and braces matched and unmatched, backslashes,
spaces, tabs, vt100 escape-sequences for some light relief,
and then all of those escaped with backslashes,
and then all of the above escaped with more backslashes and so on ...
But when I actually found myself involved in deploying a new backup
system I found I was too scared to create my Nightmare Directory,
I felt it would succeed :-(

> a good reminder to test your scripts before using them in production.

About backups, sysadmin lore is that you must
Always Do A Trial Restore; your backup system is not in place
until you've exercised your restore procedures. And preferably :
 1) We lost some files
 2) We lost the operating system as well
 3) We lost the machine, the discs and everything
but it's time-consuming, and often gets skipped in practice ...

Regards,  Peter Billam      pj at     (03) 6278 9410
"Follow the charge, not the particle."  --  Richard Feynman
 from The Theory of Positrons, Physical Review, 1949

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