Unix as Literature

Published on: 2006-4-8

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Unix as Literature


I am going MAAAAAD - I have no option but to use an XP machine to disentangle an embedded C/ASM project because the C compiler using which the code was compiled doesn't work on Linux. The code is not getting linked properly and I am running around looking for redefinitions of global variables and stuff like that. I miss the Unix commandline and tools like grep, ctags, find etc .... I feel like a prisoner trapped within the `walls' of a pretty GUI ... there is no network connection between this machine and the other machines ... so I do a build on Windows, run around to my Linux box and do a lot of grepping and finding ... I will soon have to set up a shell and other utilities on this XP box ... I can't imagine how developers can feel comfortable with a stupid GUI! Thomas Scoville has written eloquently about why many of us love the Unix commandline so much - it's is a gem of an article - enjoy! Here is an excerpt from the article:

UNIX programmers express themselves in a rich vocabulary of
system utilities and command-line arguments, along with a flexible,
varied grammar and syntax. For UNIX enthusiasts, the language becomes
second nature. Once, I overheard a conversation in a Palo Alto
restaurant: "there used to be a shrimp-and-pasta plate here under ten
bucks. Let me see... cat menu | grep shrimp | test -lt $10..." though
not syntactically correct (and less-than-scintillating conversation),
a diner from an NT shop probably couldn't have expressed
himself as casually.