Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 20th Mar 2006 07:13 UTC
General Unix After receiving several comments to his November 2005 article on hating UNIX, David Chisnall offers his responses and further insight on his continuing disdain.
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RE[5]: Shell Globing
by Vanders on Mon 20th Mar 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Shell Globing"
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

To be fair, I'm not trying to fix anything. If I personally really felt that file globing was a big problem, Syllable wouldn't be using bash and I'd have written a different shell that doesn't do automatic globing. There are generally workarounds to most problems; you've provided plenty of examples of scripts that can do mv operations on complex filesets.

What bothers me is the argument "That's the way UNIX has always done it so it can't ever be wrong". Globing is mearly a simple example of this.

P.S: O.K, so "mv *.foo *.bar" isn't syntactically correct if you're running a Bourne-like shell. Nor does "mv *.foo .bar" make much sense and .bar could be a directory anyway. Your suggestion of having a special purpose "rename" command isn't right either; now you have two commands "mv" to move files and "rename" to rename them and the user needs to know what the difference is.

Perhaps my real beef is that the Bourne shell syntax is not expressive enough. Or perhaps it's the fact that traditionally, UNIX commands are non-interactive so can not gracefully handle ambigious cases. Perhaps the problem only exists in my head and everything is just peachy. Although I'd rather be talking about these sorts of things than taking the absolute position that UNIX is the evolutionary be-all and end-all of Operating System design.

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