Whatever hacky script you are writing already exists in GNU Core Utilities

When I think of bash, I think of writing hacky scripts that do random things utilizing “bash commands”. It turns out that the parts of bash that “do stuff” such as echo, cut, cat are part of a larger program called GNU Core Utilities.

The GNU Core Utilities are the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system.These are the core utilities which are expected to exist on every operating system.

Source: Coreutils – GNU core utilities

I am working on a general purpose backup utility and this evening I was moments away from writing something like this:

perl -e (print split("/\//", "/foo/bar/baz.tar.gz")

My goal was to try to extract the base file name from a given directory (I recognize that that code does not actually do that). Then I realized that this was pure madness and there had to be a better way. This is when I discovered the handy basename program. It simply does the needful.

GNU Core Utilities is full of all sorts of gems such as this one. My main takeaway from this is to read the entire GNU Core Utilities manual so I can stop writing horrible things.

 

If you made it this far, you should probably follow me on twitter. 🙂

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