The name "grep"

Arthur Chance freebsd at
Mon Jul 7 13:21:09 UTC 2014

On 07/07/2014 11:19, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> On Mon, 2014-07-07 at 11:08 +0100, Arthur Chance wrote:
>> It's of historical interest, but 30+ years down the line
> It still matters as a mnemonic. Everybody understands that "mv" is for
> "move". But "grep"? Most of all I like "dd", reminds me of 2001's HAL,
> abcd ... hijklm ... yvz, it's negated by the filmmakers, but anyway ...
> ^^       ^^  ^^ ... obviously IBM.

dd is probably the Unix command I hate most (even though I use it a 
lot), just as I hated the original DD directive (and all the rest of 
JCL) back in the days when I had to use it. There were far better ways 
of doing things even then.

I've always wondered what the original writer of dd was on when he 
perpetrated that act of madness. There was Unix, with a relatively clear 
way of doing things involving -x style options and simple file names and 
then, ooh, I know what it needs, an invasive alien directive imported 
from the Big Blue universe, totally unlike anything else in the system. 
It really should have been

	dd [options] [ infile [ outfile ]]

with the options controlling block sizes, conversions, etc.

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