Publications

Shell Scripting Recipes: A problem-Solution Approach

This is not a book I liked, however it may be good for you.

This is a book about solving problems with shell scripts, the style may be what you like, but I did not like the style and gave up reading half way though and only skimmed the second half of the book.

You need to know the following and then decide if it's for you:

  • The book does not teach shell, you must know shell already.
  • The shell used in the book is POSIX portable, it does on the whole avoid using Bash, ksh or Z-shell tricks, so your code will move from shell to shell and OS to OS mostly okay.
  • The author avoids using external commands where possible sticking to pure shell solutions where possible.
  • The style of the book is several recipes grouped into a chapter, with source code and explanations.

I did not like the book because the code chunks were too long for a printed book and there was not enough discussion about why things worked and how they worked. Additionally there were not enough recipes, I much prefer the O'Reilly cookbook series books.

I also felt that I would not choose shell to solve some of the problems, for example I would choose Perl to solve some of the problems. While shell can do some things internally, it is not a full language like Perl or Python, and my style is to use shell to join together lots of other basic tools to get jobs done, not to write whole applications in shell. YMMV.

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