I remember one cathartic event probably in 1988. I was working
on a Sun 3-50 when I noticed a slowdown. I did a ps
(processes status command) and noticed two things.
A colleague was connected to the 3-50. And two consecutive
ps gave me very different pids. I asked the colleague
what he was doing. He was using sh or csh to do arithmetic.
Each arithmetic operation was costing a fork.
I correlated that with the difficulty of building
scripts with pipes, double quoted interpolation,
bactik interpolation. I realized that the "Unix mantra
combine small tools to make bigger ones" did not scale
or necessited competences beyond mines. Also I had
to remember many small languages and the command line
switch for many utlities. Many of them
supported some set of regexps but not the same subset
and not always the same syntax. What a mess.
I was a C programmer but I liked the shell concept,
Building thinks incrementally and testing at the
command line was good. I searched mostly self-sufficient "shellish" tool and I found
The manual was not too big (this was in 1988) and
I soon realized that was very the tool I was longing for. So I tried a
statement with a regexp (probably incorrect)
and the interpretor crashed. What a disappointment.
I checked again a few month later and I had no problem.
In fact you can see my first post dated 17-12-89 to comp.lang.perl
immediately corrected by "Tom C.". I am talking about
my first significant program at stefp (scroll down and
read at the right of the HP25 picture -- me too lazy
create a link :)
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