[nycbug-talk] Shell Newbie

Isaac Levy ike at lesmuug.org
Wed Apr 12 12:02:57 EDT 2006

Hi Huy,

On Apr 12, 2006, at 10:56 AM, N.J. Thomas wrote:

> /bin/sh can sometimes be a pain, but the gains in being able to run  
> your
> script on practically any Unix machine anywhere are well worth it.

I'm going to loudly echo that using straight /bin/sh is key to near  
absolute portability.

It's lazily enabled me to use scripts I wrote years ago on systems I  
never thought I'd use them in, (IRIX, Raw Apple Darwin, Varioux Linux  
distros).  For work projects, the tradeoffs for dealing with the  
limitations of not using cool bash/korn/tcsh features has been well  
worth it for me to write something, and forget about how I wrote it-  
and to just keep using it over and over...

That stated however, I'm a developer who works with Python by choice,  
so my philosophy on shell scripting is that if the script gets too  
complicated, it's a 'program', and best to use a real programming- 
oriented language, (Python, Perl, or to stick to UNIX culture- C, C++).

My strategy doesn't really apply if your a strict sysadmin though,  
and I've worked with sysadmins who were hardcore bash scripters, and  
they get a TON of mileage out of sticking to their bash-fu (folks who  
don't care about using other languages as a part of their computing  

It's not about muscle, or speed, or using the 'best' tools, it's  
about meeting your needs to do what you want to do with the computers.

   - likely a famous quote from someone much smarter than me
     (if not, then I'll say I said that)


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