a better lesskey helper

Chuck Robey chuckr at chuckr.org
Thu Nov 8 16:33:02 PST 2007

Well, I've taken a rather lengthy vacation from FreeBSD, trolling around 
Linux, so I could try to see if I was right in my presonal prejudice of 
FreeBSD being better.  While I did prove myself right there, I did 
happen to find a few pearls (no, NOT perls!) of wisdom out amongst the 
Linux-folks.  One of those pearls that I really do think we could stand 
to bring aboard is a file "/usr/bin/lesspipe.sh"  When you couple that 
with a one-liner, a alias that gets stuck in one of the shell template 
files in /etc. making less even more functional than it is now, most 
especially for programmers.

It causes less to automatically recognize a couiple more binary types 
than it does now.  While it now currenlty recognizes several compresed 
archive types, so it can automatically decompress them and display them, 
it adds recognition of executables and libraries, and automatically 
routes them thru objdump, so you get all the info you'd probably be 
likely to want, short of a full binary dump.  Seeing as I personally 
have a hard time remembering all the various parameters to objdump, I 
like this behavior quite a bit.

Tell you what.  If you would like to see what I mean, just write me, and 
(assuming that I don't actually get totally buried underneath a 
avalanche of requests!) I will try to send you a copy of the lesspipe.sh 
file, and the line to stick in your shell startup file.  Seeing as I'm 
no committer any longer, perhaps someone else might decided that this 
file is actually as nice as I say it is, and commit it the the sources, 
maybe increasing the size of our currently installed lesspipe.sh file.

Real source of this?  It's from Gentoo Linux, which is in my own opinion 
the only Linux that any FreeBSDer ought to consider using.  They have a 
check of a nice etc file control system (called rc-update), nice enough 
to warrant those of you who are curious to take a look.  Really.

Well, I do hope I'm not just wasting  your time.

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