I use templates for most of the things I write, so I don't end up making the same stupid off-by-one mistakes for things like handling command-line
   arguments.  My template for a production shell script is below.

You raise a lot of interesting ideas Karl. I too am always looking to 'systematize' work, not only because I need efficiency, but because I hate having to learn things twice... Nothing bugs me more than knowing that I need to figure out how to do something I figured out 6 months or a year ago.

Actually, I highly recommend a Mac program called Yojimbo, that is a kind of general purpose memory tool. You can throw all sorts of information into it, and find it very easily when you need it. Fantastic program and I don't know of anything like it on other platforms.

Anyway, I'm definitely going to throw your entire email, particularly the template, into Yojimbo as saved knowledge. I am working on an important script right now, and I'm going to put your template to immediate use.

I'll also take a look at the korn shell. I've used bash for many years, but I'm not in love with it. I'm certainly open to a better shell.

Great post. Thanks!

-- John

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