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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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I'm only calling for a better standard in toys.
No, you're not. You asking for my lego building blocks to
be remodeled into some of those aircraft or other lumps that
limit my creativity by having everything ready-made, and
that have less generic usability, or come at the cost of
size and performance hits :}
BASH is just one one of a bazillion tools available on a typical Linux system. Don't like it?---don't use it. If you have serious suggestions for changing it, contact the authors.
I imagine that shells---like any other SW--evolve to meet specific needs. As someone already pointed out, a big part of the evolution of BASH was about system startup and configuration. That did not require floating point math. Further---in the true Unix modular paradigm---there is no need to add FP--there are other utilities available.
The *n*x shells and their programming facilities originated when people were using teletypes to interface with computers and so were optimised for that environment. Teletypes were slow, some hundreds of bps, so the shells emphasise brevity over legibility.
They are command shells meaning they are primarily to help the user run commands. Their programming facilities are primarily to help the user automate running commands. Hence they are not designed to be complete languages in themselves but optimised to use *n*x commands such as bc, cat, sed, grep ... . The pipeline and "command substitution" are a powerful features in this regard.
Happily the shell designers were very smart cookies with the result that shellscript became a very flexible and powerful tool, capable of much more than its original design objectives. Hence they are still in wide use, 40 years after they started.
Not surprising, then, that shellscript does not compare well as an all-purpose general programming laguage such as C, or as a mathematical language such as FORTRAN, or as a GUI language etc.
It's "horses for courses"; Dobbin the Shire horse does not go well over the fences and Red Rum is a lousy ploughing horse.
Last edited by catkin; 08-03-2009 at 03:57 AM.
Reason: Added "command substitution"