[colug-432] The UNIX Philosophy

Paul M. Dubuc work at paul.dubuc.org
Tue Aug 30 17:35:20 EDT 2011

jep200404 at columbus.rr.com wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Aug 2011 12:51:39 -0400, Stephen Potter<spp at unixsa.net>  wrote:
>> ... for CLI usage, how often do you really do more than two commands?
> As you have heard from several posters: often.
> We are following the UNIX philosophy. Instead of having one big
> program to do everything, we have many small programs. Each
> little program does one thing well. The power comes from how we
> combine the little programs to do complex things. The pipe is an
> important part of how we combine them.
> A classic book about doing this is:
>     The UNIX Programming Environment
>     by Kernighan and Pike[2]
> A good book about the UNIX philosophy is:
>     The UNIX Philosophy
>     by Mike Gancarz[1]
> Both are good reads. The first book will make you powerful.

Wow!  I've been powerful for over 23 years and didn't realize it. ;-)
I still use my enhanced version of idiff occasionally, though vimdiff usually 
replaces it.  Learning lex and yacc was a challenge, but I went on to make 
significant use of it with the help of the O'Reilly book later.  Kerninghan 
and Pike's book was published in 1984 and it's still not much out of date. I 
still have my copy. Everything in it still works.  How many computer books fit 
that category?  Though I'm not sure if I would want to go back to using nroff 
and troff for writing documents, it's still hard to beat plain text for 
document portability.

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