Scripting problem

Paul Pathiakis pathiaki2 at
Mon Oct 9 12:46:48 UTC 2017

Quoting is sh's biggest weakness.  Well, that and lack of basic data 
structures, and the weak logical structures, and so on.
### Well, yes and no.  I consider it both a strength and a weakness. I find sh to be exactly what I think of a scripting language to be... glue.  I don't expect to write a fully versed program in sh.  I wouldn't be using sh for that.  I find sh to be that 'tool' to use when I want to call other tools and utilities.  (sed, awk, tr, etc) 
### I think people have gone way too far in creating 'scripting' languages that are more programming languages than scripting.... Personally, I tried learning PERL which tries to be everything to regex.  The problem?  Lack of coherence... "I can do this 5 different ways in PERL"  Is that supposed to be a good thing when all five seem to execute at different speeds, using different resources, etc? (apologies to Larry Wall and the rest)
### Again, this comes back to "Cathedral and Bazaar".... just because you can deviate from proven practices and procedures to do something 'creative' or 'different'  is not necessarily a good thing.  In fact, it can be a detriment.  Bourne shell continues to live a very healthy life.  PERL seems to be dying and there's a huge amount of code around written by people who didn't know the reasons behind using one tool or another and really didn't understand software engineering, how to write a proper program, execution times, etc.  (Everyone I come in contact with... I preach 'portability'.  Sh runs everywhere and is POSIX.  BASH is a superset and using it's extended features can make it non-portable and BASH is not the default everywhere.  If I take a Bash script and try to run it under sh... it breaks most of the time.  I have only had 1-2 times where a bourne shell would not run under BASH.

Someone once said that if a script is longer than twenty lines or so, it 
probably ought to be done in a real scripting langugage.  That was me, 
but Stephen Bourne has also said it.  Yes, that Stephen Bourne.
### I'll go off a little on this with kind of a corollary....  No sh script should be more than 20 lines, however, I typically will call shell scripts from other scripts.  But I do agree, if you want to program, use a programming language.  (IMHO, C is still the best, most powerful language around but, again, read a book, talk to the people who are in the know - My 'C' guru is a guy who has written code that utterly shocked me in its elegance, execution, and simplicity - and the occasional "You can do something like that in C?" thoughts running through my head.)
#### and, again, this is just my very humble opinion.  I'm not a great programmer, but I know a little C and sh....
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