Why questions don't get answered, or "No, I've already RTFM, tell me the answer!"

Mike McCarty mike.mccarty at sbcglobal.net
Sat Dec 31 00:52:55 UTC 2005

Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-12-30 at 16:44, Mike McCarty wrote:
>>John Summerfied wrote:
>>>I reckon your expectations are a little steep.
>>>I don't think you will find the kind of information you desire comes 
>>>with any implementation of any programming language, certainly for 
>>>peecees. Have you noticed the proliferation of Windows books?
>>Au contraire, mon ami. Borland C, for example, comes with a nice
>>tutorial on the C programming language.
> But that doesn't tell you anything about the existing system
> utilities or how to use them.  Most of the things you might
> want to do are already handled nicely by programs included
> with the system.  If you only know a low-level tool like
> C, you are doomed to re-invent a lot of things unnecessarily.

Not at all. I just don't glue them together with long complicated
shell scripts.

I'm not against anyone learning how to use all the tools available
to do the things they do best. And not all languages are equally
suited to any given task. Using the shell as a programming language
is undesirable for a number of reasons, among them are
(1) it unnecessarily complicates the command line parser. Since the
CLI gets sooo much use it is desirable to make it simple, hence
(2) Shell scripts are inherently less portable between systems
than languages designed with portability in mind, like C.
(3) Each part of a system should do the things it does best. I
find that when I need something relatively complicated, but
not enormously complicated, often a program written in more
than one language is best. I use the shell to process the
directory tree, and use the tools available where I can,
but if I need special processing then I write a one-off
C program to do the specialized processing, which gets called
perhaps like this:

$ find /path/to/somewhere -name "file*globbing*stuff*" -print | 
my_special_program \;

I might even use a loop or two in the shell stuff.
But I do *not* do the complicated logic using the shell.

This message made from 100% recycled bits.
You have found the bank of Larn.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.
I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!

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