Those who don't understand Unix...
Posted: Tue, 3 January 2006 | permalink | No comments
... and so on.
Today's example: For each File. Yes, you know what it does already. But that would make for a very short blog post, and that is so not my thing, so I'll quote the short description of the project:
For each File lets you run an arbitrary set of GNU BASH commands upon an arbitrary set of objects. It can be used to perform repetitive tasks such as renaming, extracting, moving, and manipulating a large number of files.
Yes, dear friends, someone has sat down and written a program (and associated manual) to implement a bash for loop (and possibly a bit of find as well). Since it's all written in bash, it's not as though the author of the program was incapable of working out how to write for i in /path/*; do [...]; done, either.
I'm not quite sure which part amused me the most. Was it the ever-optimistic -devel and -user mailing lists, completely devoid of archived material? How about the user manual -- 40% of which was the licence text? Perhaps it was the fact that this not just a bash for loop -- it's a fully internationalizationable bash for loop.
I know one thing, though -- with all of the energy put into this program (and it's been going for several years now, apparently) the author could have created the ultimate, never to be surpassed manual for the bash for keyword, which would have been significantly more flexible, and certainly less interesting to poke fun at.
Addendum: the whole site that FeF is hosted on is accessable only via SSL with a self-signed certificate -- except for the download page, which is HTTP only. So you "know" that the non-existent list archives are really what they say they are (at least as long as you trust "Gna!" as a certificate authority, as I'm sure we all do), but the actual source code is hosted who-knows-where, with no useful assurances as to provenance whatsoever.
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