Accumulated Dreck versus Clean Design - was "why tar is strange"

Garry Hodgson garry at
Tue May 30 20:45:15 CEST 2000

Warren Postma wrote:
> Juanjo Álvarez wrote:
>  > While you launch and use winzip I can type 5 times  "tar zxvf"
> <off-topic-rant-mode>
> Why hasn't 'untar' become a standard script? I HATE typing "tar zxvf".

then don't.  it takes maybe 30 seconds to put that in your very
own "untar" script.  and then you needn't ever type it again.

> Back to the lesser evil for a minute: Unix commands are still so obtuse that
> I have a hard time keeping them in my head.

just thinking about it for a few moments, i figure that i regularly
type perhaps a dozen unix commands.  cd, mkdir, ls, pwd, ...
most are simple, and easily remembered, even if oddly named sometimes.
the more arcane commands, like tar, find, etc, get enshrined in 
scripts that do the common actions, often using a combination of 
commands.  those i can name whatever i want.

the point being, don't keep them in your head.  keep them in
scripts.  the power of the command line is the ease with which
you can do this.  if you're not taking advantage of that,
then a GUI may well be more effective for you.

Garry Hodgson                   Every night 
garry at                a child is born
Software Innovation Services        is a Holy Night.
AT&T Labs                         - Sophia Lyon Fahs

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