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Robust parameter quoting for *nixoid shells

by Aristotle (Chancellor)
on Apr 26, 2003 at 00:53 UTC ( #253295=snippet: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Eventually, everyone working in a *nix environment will have to pass things to the shell, but as everyone should be aware of by now, most homegrown quoting solutions are inadequate and breakable. I spent some effort researching semantics to write one that isnít. The only situation this snippet canít cope with is null bytes, because the shell eats those without providing any way to preserve them.

Itís likely to be less efficient than substitution based approaches, but I also find it a lot clearer and cleaner. Regex-based solutions feel to me like careful fiddling. This one is easy to grok, and any edge cases would be easily apparent (there arenít any); when it comes to a job as critical as this one Iíll take the obviously deficiency-free approach over the fast one any day.

sub shell_quote {
    return join ' ', map {
        ( defined && length )
            ? join q[\\'], map { (length) ? qq['$_'] : q[] } split /'/
+, $_, -1
            : q[''];
    } @_;
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[Corion]: The fun show at $work continues, as The Big Project is now in its second week of frantic live-bugfixing and weekend releases where nobody knows what went live. Nothing has been tested anyway.
erix mutters cantankerously under his breath
Corion watches from the sidelines. Or rather, from behind, as my system only gets output from that process and my programs adhere strictly to the GIGO design principle.
[erix]: ah, that's nice to hear Corion :)
[Corion]: erix: Yeah, the sad thing is that all I can do is document things, so I can point fingers when the auditors come :-/
[Corion]: "I'm here to open tickets and point fingers. And I'm all out of tickets."
[erix]: didn't Sybase have pretty good auditing? :) (this is a vague memory)
[erix]: (culprits often are upstream of db of course)
[Corion]: Ah, how I missed it. After some years, I revisit slashdot on a click-bait link, and it provides the usual humor instantly: "I didn't know Drupal had rules for sex. It must be a plug-in"
[Corion]: erix: This is not for sybase, but for the input data files, resp. their contents.

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