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Re: [tlug] Arcane command-line (Was: epcEditor)

On Wed, Mar 27, 2002 at 08:14:15AM +1100, Jim Breen wrote:
> [Shimpei Yamashita (Re: [tlug] epcEditor) writes:]
> >> [Michael Moyle (Re: [tlug] epcEditor) writes:]
> >> >> However, I am going to argue that command line is not arcane. There is a
> >> >> consistent syntax to using unix commands. 
> [much snipping]
> >> And yes, I do know the "why" to many of these questions. Doesn't
> >> matter. It's still inconsistent and arcane. It's always been that way.
> Very well said. Yes, as someone who uses Linux and Solaris about
> equally, "ps" is one of my betes noir. "a2ps" and "top" a front-runners
> too.

What? I thought the only ps cmd on solaris was in /usr/ucb/bin/ps ;)

Still, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There is a significant
amount of unix command space that is consistent across various systems, 
and the differences tend to be in the details with some of the odder 
noncomformist oweing their oddness to legacy. In many cases the devil is most 
certainly in the details (see: ps), and legacy leaves us with truly odd 
syntax (see: find), and that certainly causes problems going from one 
system to another. That said alot of unix knowledge does transfer very
effectively from system to system, and often porting a script from one to
another is trivial. In comparison to the range of products from M$ alone
the unixes released by various vendors can be said to be incredibly consistent.
I can go from a SysV system to a BSD system and still be able to do a remarkable
amount before I run into issues even with know knowledge of the differences.
So there certainly is certain kind of consistency there. On the subject of
Arcana I have to agree that command line based systems are all pretty much
arcane in nature, but I think that the power of the command line is in its
berevity, and much like programming languages if you make it more 
readable/verbose you negatively affect their power (see: cobol).

"Take away them collisions and the common channel and it's like Christianity 
 without Christ." -Jim Breen (speaking about "full-duplex" Ethernet)

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