[TUHS] dmr note on BSD's sins

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu May 4 00:57:07 AEST 2017


On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 8:59 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

> On Tue, 2 May 2017, Doug McIlroy wrote:
> > With Steve's eloquent grump and cat -v on the table, I can't help
> > re-citing the peerless cardinal sin of
> >         less --help | wc

To Doug -- touché

> Speaking of "cat", what really drives me nuts is "cat file | cmd"...
> What's wrong with "cmd < file" (or to really confuse newbies, "< file
> cmd")?

Not to be argumentative, but Dave, please be careful.  I agree that
idiom is misused, but there are times when I think it is appropriate, which
is one of the reason why I love the Unix guiding principle of not "forcing"
the user to do one thing or another because we know better, but letting
education and good 'taste' be the guide.

​I think Justice Potter Stewart describe​d pornography of knowing it when
he sees it.  IMO: there are time when using cat is in better taste that a
file redirection.  For instance, I can think of a few examples when I need
to direct input from multiple files, using a more complex 'wye' style pipe
line or a redirection from backward quotes, that the cat foo sequence seems
like its easier to understand/debug.  [Maybe it shows my inner
schizophrenia and heard voices from multiple places that I kinda like the
'wye' command].

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