Linux hot take: bash bashing 

Linux hot take: bash bashing 

re: Linux hot take: bash bashing 

@woozle Bash is (at least) two things:

1. An interactive command environment.

2. A scripting tool.

The *benefit* of combining these features is that _what you use daily to interact with the system_ is *also* what you can use _for basic system automation tasks_.

In fact you can segue from one to the other through "shell one-liners" and the like. As a consequence, bash is the one programming tool I know best, _simply from daily familiarity_.

The combination also forces compromises.


@woozle The reasons for globs is that *when used interactively* they are convenient.

When used *programmatically* (as scripts) ... they're convenient but also dangerous.

And you're looking at decades of legacy, so drastic changes are ... problematic. Many old scripts will break. This can mean difficult-to-understand elements, but also means tools remain stable with time.

Another result is that Unix / Linux end up being a mix of technical domains *and* a social lore. Both matter.


[1/2] @dredmorbius

Working hypothesis:

Globbing was created/designed with the idea that there would be (or are) a lot of Really Simple Utility Programs that couldn't afford to be smart enough to do anything but take input from a single file and do something with it. Globbing therefore allows the user to perform those operations on multiple files without having to type a command for each file.


globbing does not handle recursion at all. So if you want to perform the operation recursively, some other mechanism has to be employed.
...and of course it prevents more sophisticated applications from doing their own globbing.

[2/2] @dredmorbius


Backwards-compatible: provide the raw command-line (up to the first operator -- pipe, <, > maybe others, but basically anything that divides {input to the command} from anything else) as an environment variable.
Backwards-breaking-ish: turn off globbing and train users to use external utilities for globbing. (This gives the user much more control over how globbing should be interpreted, allowing for things like folder-recursion, and also makes it clearer wtf is going on.) Optional backwards-compatibility variation: have a (user-editable) list of legacy apps that expect globbing, and turn it back on when running any of those.


@woozle What you describe here is actually historically true. Before globbing was added to the shell, there was a `glob` command which you would feed a glob pattern and it would expand to all the matching stuff using the libc call. So instead of ls * it would be ls `glob *`.They found that too inconvenient for interactive use so it was rolled into the shell.

Of course the tradeoff for this convenience is that if it remained a command you could've definitely added, say `glob -r` to recursively glob and such.

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