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July 30, 2009, 01:57

As a physicist who was quite good with awk once said,

"Those who do not understand UNIX are doomed to reimplement it [,poorly]."

It is the temptation to learn higher level languages that preempts coders from learning the UNIX tools. And they just end up reinventing the wheel in perl, ruby, python, javascript, etc.

Perl was written out of laziness, because someone was too lazy to learn awk well enough to do a certain manipulation of log files, and out of frustration he wrote Perl. The physicist quoted above later made him realise it was possible to do the task with awk.

I liked Thomas Guest's article.

If you want to learn something "new", look no further than your base system. It seems (though I cannot confirm) fewer and fewer people are learning the UNIX tools, *thoroughly*. It seems (though I cannot confirm) more and more people see them at a stepping stone.

I refer the reader again to the quote I started off with.

With the UNIX tools, one can do more with less (allocated memory). No task is too big. Divide and conquer. Brute force is always an option, as Ritchie once said.

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