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Linux Gazette: Introduction to Shell Scripting--The Basics

Apr 02, 2000, 20:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ben Okopnik)

"Shell scripting is a fascinating combination of art and science that gives you access to the incredible flexibility and power of Linux with very simple tools."

"Linux - Unix in general - is not a warm and fuzzy, non-knowledgeable-user oriented system. Rather than specifying exact motions and operations that you must perform, it provides you with a myriad of small tools which can be connected in a literally infinite number of combinations, to achieve any result that is necessary..."

"... there [is] an enormous difference between blindly following the rigid dictates of a standardized GUI and creating your own program, or shell script, that performs exactly the functions you need in exactly the way you need them done."

"Shell scripting is programming - but it is programming made easy, with little, if any, formal structure. It is an interpreted language, with its own syntax - but it is only the syntax that you use when invoking programs from your command line; something I refer to as "recyclable knowledge". This, in fact, is what makes shell scripts so useful: in the process of writing them, you continually learn more about the specifics of your shell and the operation of your system - and this is knowledge that truly pays for itself in the long run as well as the short."

Complete story.