Fw: [clug] beginners path
sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Sat Apr 25 03:07:40 GMT 2009
David Tulloh wrote on 24/4/09 7:28 PM:
> > Dave Upton wrote:
> > The bash manual is not very helpful to learn from so try and avoid it.
> > All of the commands that you run will be documented.
> > Most of the commands use a similar syntax for arguments
> > The mastery comes from learning more commands that are available and
> > different ways that they can work. ...
> > It's also why so many people bring notebooks to Tridge's talks.
> > David
Agree with David T's advice. Well put & apposite.
commands use similar syntax because of 'getopt'/'getopts'. There is a
library and a bash inbuilt if you're scripting. There's a convention for
commands to have a 'usage' output (to stderr) if called with invalid
options or help. There are no conventions for options mnemonics :-(
I've always found the 'SEE ALSO' section of man pages very helpful, esp
if I can't quite remember the name of a tool (eg I forget 'fold' often).
Unix/Posix used a single-dash. GNU introduced '--option' (and --help).
'command -?' and
GNU broke with Unix convention and put doco into a new format with a new
There are commands without without either info or man pages. This varies
between distros. Google is your friend. /usr/share/doc (?) is good too.
I use 'locate' extensively as well - helps you track down files, doco,
'bash' has become huge. Learn a subset well...
It is worth reading the man-page in detail at some point.
When you want to do something unusual, you can hunt it down.
Related to this, I find there are commands & forms of pipelines that I
use frequently ('ls -ltr|tail', 'dd if=... count=1|file -', 'find...
|xargs', 'du -hs ...', 'df -h', 'du -k ... |sort -rn|head -20').
The flip side of this:
things that you do very infrequently you *will* forget.
Tridge has his 'junkcode' directory. Useful snippets to use & reuse.
Finally, the most talented & productive programmer/admin I ever worked
with (never worked with Tridge) had a very simple & powerful 'trick'
that made him much more effective than others:
- when he learnt something arcane or created something useful,
he wrote himself a note, categorised and kept it.
In 1994, he used an organiser that he carried with him. Even had a
serial cable so he could upload more complex shell scripts etc.
Not sure what he does now.
He organised his notes to suit his style & memory, and captured just
'the essence' - notes for his personal use, not general doco. These
sorts of notes have value in their creation - laying down strong
'traces' for recall.
Hope something in there is useful to you.
Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA
sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin
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