gravityboy (gravityboy) wrote,

Shell Scripting

I've never bothered to learn the gory details of shell scripting. This is somewhat embarrassing for me, although at the same time I don't feel like I've really suffered for the decision. I know enough of the basics to do some cool things (for loops, if tests and whatnot) but the the syntax is fraught with such problems that it feels like a waste of time to do more. Obviously, others have felt similarly, which is why perl was invented.

I've become more interested in it again recently though, mainly because I've been reading a lot of Kernighan. I don't want to deal with Bourne syntax though, which eliminates the only two shells I've ever spent serious time with in my life, bash and zsh, as well as ksh. I know csh scripting is considered harmful 'n shit, so that's right out.

Since I only want to shell script for local use, I don't need to worry about portability so I can try using more exotic shells. I'm also willing to script in a different language from the shell that I use, so the doors are really open. There's scsh if I want to write scheme, zoidberg if I want to write perl, rush if I want to write ruby.

What looked most appealing is rc though, which has a very nice Bourne-like syntax that's not nearly so warty. It was reimplemented before plan9 was released, and the reimplementation is in Debian, although I ran in to some undocumented differences with the plan9 version very fast. It may be worth trying out the plan9 version at this point to see how that goes.

Any other suggestions from the lazyweb are greatly appreciated. It'd be nice to have this aspect of my toolbox be more solid.
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