[TUHS] Discuss of style and design of computer programs from a user stand point [was dmr note on BSD's sins]

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Sun May 7 14:06:48 AEST 2017

On Sat, May 6, 2017 at 2:07 AM, Bakul Shah <bakul at bitblocks.com> wrote:

> Note that a similar approach was implemented by Iverson in
> APL. In fact a shell pipeline has a lot in common with array
> programming!
> Iverson in essence built a whole workshop with a set of simple
> but powerful standard tools (functions and higher order
> functions).  The same has been carried on in follow on array
> languages such as j and k and q languages.  Many of these
> array functions are directly applicable to stream processing.
> In contrast unix shells provide a very shallow glue layer.

Interesting analogy. I always think that function composition in lazy
languages like Haskell reminds me of shell pipelines. I know that Doug
swims in those waters; perhaps he will correct me if he feels that's a poor

Carrying it forward a bit, however, I'm always amazed (and a little
appalled) at how the kids always think that they invented Rock n' Roll.
Ideas are continually recycled, but it's the rare recycler indeed who seeks
out the prior art on rediscovering one of the good ones. "Look! You can
filter and transform this data!" "...but I've been doing that at the shell
nearly every day for the past quarter of a century...." "...this one goes
to 11."

        - Dan C.
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