On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM, Eric S. Raymond <e...@thyrsus.com> wrote:
> Magnus Bäck <ba...@google.com>:
>> While "constant traffic" probably overstates the issue, these are not
>> theoretical problems. I recall at least three cases in the last year
>> or so where Git has seen breakage with Solaris or Mac OS X because
>> of sed or tr incompatibilities, and I don't even read this list that
>> thoroughly.
> This is exactly the sort of of pain experience would lead me to
> expect.
> OK, this is where I assume the full Old Fart position (30-year
> old-school Unix guy, author of "The Art of Unix Programming", can
> remember the years before Perl and still has sh idioms in his
> fingertips) and say "Get with the 21st century, people! Or at least
> 1990..."
> As a general scripting language shell sucks *really badly* compared to
> anything new-school. Performance, portability, you name it, it's a
> mess.  It's not so much the shell interpreters itself that are the
> portabilty problem, but (as Magnus implicitly points out) all those
> userland dependencies on sed and tr and awk and even variants of
> expr(!) that get dragged in the second you try to get any actual work
> done.

Not always.  There are several situations where a shell script that
makes good use of grep, cut, etc., is definitely much cleaner and more
elegant than anything you can do in a "propah" programming language.

If the price of doing that is sticking to a base set of primitives,
it's a small price to pay, not much different from sticking to python
2.7 or perl 5.8 or whatever.

Shell *is* the universal scripting language, not perl (even though we
all know it is what God himself used to create the world -- see xkcd
224 if you don't believe me!), not python, not Ruby.

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