Explain Shell

Tod Hansmann plug.org at todandlorna.com
Tue Sep 3 18:07:39 MDT 2013

On 9/3/2013 9:41 AM, Lonnie Olson wrote:
> You think you can do better? Do it!

Slightly less tongue-in-cheek version: http://www.tldp.org/

Anyone saying "this explainshell site is a great idea for explaining 
what that magic bash script line is doing" is basically saying they 
don't know how to parse it into bits themselves, and would rather some 
other tool do their thinking for them.  To me, this is a step in the 
wrong direction.  I don't program in assembly, but I CAN, and I sure 
know what the voltage values representing 1s and 0s do in my many 
machines at what level.  If I didn't want to know all that, I'd just be 
a developer and whine to the library makers that the documentation 
doesn't do my thinking for me when my stuff breaks. Or maybe the DBAs.  
Or whatever.

This site might eventually become something that can document 
undocumented code a bit, but I'd prefer the sysadmin that is myself to 
know what the commands do a little more deeply than that.  This will 
give me the power to go from "Oh, that's what that line does" to "why 
would they do this in such a complicated manner?  awk can do this 
without piping it along 3 different for statements."

We can do better.  We can RTFM.

-Tod Hansmann

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