Shell chauvinism ;-D, was Re: popen4 doesn't block?

Jp Calderone exarkun at
Sat Jan 25 04:30:41 CET 2003

On Sat, Jan 25, 2003 at 01:28:34AM +0000, Terry Hancock wrote:
> Donn Cave wrote:
> > [snip bash > *]
> [snip tcsh at uni]
> For the first time, last year I saw a sh script provided as an 
> *alternative* for installing astronomical software.  Also, despite 
> assurances from CS types that tcsh should *never* be used as a programming 
> language, I have seen multi-thousand line installation scripts written in 
> it.  In fact, I think perl is probably more common than sh here (of course, 
> Larry Wall used to work for my present employer back when he wrote perl).

  Multi-thousand line programs should probably be written in actual
programming languages, such as Python.  There's a reason for this, discussed

> [snip Python as a shell language, examples]
> lacks something in both clarity and brevity against
> cd ./Log

   Yep.  Most shell languages are designed (if one can say that they are
designed) to be easy to _type_.  This doesn't always lead to a language that
is easy to _read_.  Python, on the other hand, was designed, in part, to be
easy to _read_.  This hasn't led to a language that is as easy to type as it
could be.  This is clear when you think about how many times you will type
most shell commands vs how many times you will read them, and how many times
you will type your Python program vs how many times you (or someone else)
will read it.


"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their
                -- Ken Olson, President of DEC, World Future Society
                   Convention, 1977
 up 40 days, 7:49, 7 users, load average: 0.55, 0.53, 0.50
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