Bash for Fun
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Bash for Fun

Bash Programming: Principles and Examples

About the Book

The intended audience of this book are all those who want to get a better understanding of their computers. Those who wish to use Bash effectively and with confidence.

The ignorant 'clicking of buttons' has done much disservice to these laudable ambitions over the past four decades or so. It is time to rediscover the ancient lore! You, too, will become a wizard of retro programming, massively increase your productivity and gain true ownership of your device.

This book is for you if in the past you got waylayed and discouraged from programming, if you never even started or if you ever thought: "surely, there must be a simpler way of doing this!".

Above all, what you may discover here is that one most rare and precious thing: understanding.

This book is definitely not another boring reference manual. Real programming is a skillful art. This applies especially to programming in Bash. Art is not easily learnt from manuals. Not even from pedagogically perfectly organised treatises full of exhortations and exercises. Manuals are for looking things up, same as are search engines on the internet. By all means, look things up as and when needed but read this first.

This book is based on the author's lifetime experience with using and teaching numerous programming languages. The experience has shown that the most effective way to learn programming is by playing with fun examples.

Examples from cheat sheets, examples of 'boiler plate', examples of powerful techniques that actually accomplish useful things, examples of advanced tips and tricks, examples of amazing solutions to interesting problems. Examples, examples, examples.

It is playing with those inspiring snippets of code that brings on the 'heureka' moments, when we want to shout:

"Wow, I did not know that!"

"So, this is how to do it! Yes, now I really get it!"

"What fun, let me try this myself!"

"Hey, now I can just change this a bit and it will solve my own fascinating problem!"

About the Author

Libor Spacek
Libor Spacek

Libor Spacek began his professional programming career in 1970 in London, UK. A few years later he obtained a BSc degree in Mathematics, MSc (with distinction) in Computer Science and finally a PhD in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He spent most of his working life as an academic in a UK university and some also in Prague in Czech Republic. He has taught Computer Science and AI to great many students at all levels. He also speaks several human languages quite well.

Dr Spacek has eventually retired to Australia, where he now enjoys writing open source software and books like this one, this time just for the fun of it.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Typesetting conventions
    • Program in Bash anywhere
    • Dialects and styles
    • Why Bash?
    • Notes for the professionals
    • First steps
    • Chapters outline
  • Quoting, Quoting, Quoting
    • Individual characters
    • Literal string
    • Interpreted string
    • Assignment
    • Variable expansion
    • Logical eval
    • Arithmetic eval
    • Eval
    • Braces
    • Subshell eval
    • Text juxtaposition
  • Bash Branching
    • Short circuit logic evaluation
    • Chaining statements
    • Functions
    • Loops and control statements
    • Processing arguments
  • Input-Output
    • Basic terminology
    • The meaning of zero
    • Using I/O
    • Pipes and functional composition
  • Amazing Arithmetic
    • Ratio in fixed point arithmetic
    • Percentages (in integer arithmetic)
    • General division
    • Adding fixed point numbers
  • Subshell Scheduling
    • Automatic multithreading
    • Rant about security and privacy
    • Encrypting many files faster
  • Conclusion
  • Links References

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