[lkml]   [2001]   [May]   [11]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: Not a typewriter
>If clarity is the most important consideration, then other things should be
>changed as well. For instance, the command we use to search for text strings
>files should be called "textsearch." That's a lot more clear than "grep."

Well, I can't disagree. Unix's biggest turn off was the stupid command names.
It's a big reason why Unixoid systems aren't more commonplace. I only learned
it because I was stuck at a desk with a Wyse terminal. Otherwise I probably
would have played with the Autocad machines more. Once I understood the
basics, I understood the power of the system.

However, I was a CS major, smart, and a voracious reader.


I have often thought of an alternate naming scheme that would apply to the
most basic utilities. With command completion longer names become less

But first we need a better help system. The absolute most stupid convention of
Unix is the man command. The fact that SCCS before, and now Bash usurp the
keyword "help" is beyond the pale.

>If the wording is going to be changed, then it's better to abandon the

I say abandon tradition when tradition doesn't serve. Arcane messages prevent
understanding, arbitrary command names sometimes can't be avoided. The process
is annoying at best, and painful on Linux systems where the documentation
isn't unified, and is often incomplete.

A beautiful example that came up on my RedHat 6.2 system:
[From ppd_file_new_from_filep(3)]

ENOTTY no idea what these errors are. Probably PPD parse errors.

I run into things like this all the time.

"Textsearch" is better than grep, except sometimes you aren't searching
through text. "Search" is more general. "Find" would be even better.

I wish that find had the functions of grep as well, ala the MacOS "find",
which can (these days) search for files names and attributes, and also search
for things inside files.

>My point is that someone who sees the "typewriter" message and doesn't
>understand it will have to dig a bit to find out what it means.

All well and good if you have the time. If you are in a business or academic
settings, the learning curve is an important part of the total cost of


Ob. LKML: Error messages from the kernel should be examined with this in mind.
The more clear that error message is, the less likely we'll see a question
about it here.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

 \ /
  Last update: 2005-03-22 12:52    [W:0.081 / U:0.024 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site