By Peter Seebach
This booklet is ready programming within the Bourne shell and its derivatives the Korn shell, the
Bourneagain shell, and the POSIX shell are one of the most blatant family. This e-book does
not hide the various different UNIX and UNIX-like
shells, reminiscent of Plan 9’s rc, or the Berkeley csh.
It does disguise a couple of universal UNIX instructions, in addition to a couple of just a little much less common
commands, and in brief seems into a few universal utilities, comparable to sed and awk, which have
historically been used seriously in shell scripting. whereas even additional divergent issues, such as
AppleScript, the Tcl shell, or perhaps graphical shells just like the Mac OS X Finder, are technically
shells, this booklet ignores them fullyyt, and hereafter makes use of the time period shell to consult the UNIX
Bourne shell family members.
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Extra resources for Beginning Portable Shell Scripting From Novice to Professional
If you are prototyping and revising your design as you go, clean code will be easier to maintain and update. Of the code I wrote ten and 15 years ago, the clean code has stayed with me and adapted quickly to new systems; the badly written code has not survived and has often been too much work to update. Do not write carelessly or poorly, even for small one-off scripts. Sloppy work is habit-forming. 10436ch01final 10 10/23/08 11:37:27 PM C h a p t e r 1 ■ I N TRO D U C T I O N T O S HE LL S C R I PT I N G 11 What’s in This Book The next section offers a very quick overview of the shell, without going into great detail on the formal syntax or semantics of shell scripting.
The process of splitting text into words is called word splitting. It does not matter how many spaces (or tabs) you place between the words. A line beginning with a sharp (#) is a comment and is ignored by the shell. The first word on a line (which may be the only word) is the command (usually an external program) to run; the following words are passed to it as parameters, called arguments. The echo command displays its arguments, separated by spaces if there’s more than one argument, and followed by a new line.
It also talks about how to write clean code. Cleanliness in code is a somewhat fuzzy concept, and programmers argue over it for hours. You might wonder why this book discusses style, defensive programming, and common conventions, which have no functional impact on the shell itself. There are good reasons. If you are interested in portable code, it is because you want your code to work on multiple platforms. Code that is broken identically on ten platforms is of no use to you. Established shell conventions make it easier for other people to read your code, make it easier for you to read other peoples’ code, and usually have sound engineering principles behind them.