Conrad's ALFS comments

Heinz Kirchmann kirchman at
Wed Aug 28 01:10:45 PDT 2002

I knew I shouldn't have answered. Now I'm getting involved into one of 
those discussions...:-)

> Oh, there are plenty of good reasons! :)
>  1) Who has time to learn emacs when vim will do?
>  2) Who has time to learn vim when ed will do?
Well, don't forget about 'cat'! Real men use 'cat' as editor 

>  3) Laziness, if you are not getting paid to make a good professional and
>     maintainable system.
Yes, you are not getting paid with money, but possibly if you have to 
edit a script again after a long while. I don't know about you, but 
sometimes when I reedit one of my older programs I'm quite sure they 
were written by somebody else (or it was one of those days when I 
thought it was a good idea to do some programming after heavy alcohol

>  4) For interpretive languages, like shells, the script at the end of this
>     post demonstrates my (small) point. As you get faster and faster
>     equipment, this point becomes moot for single-user systems (usually).
>     Thank goodness I still have this old dinosaur - otherwise my point
>     might be moot *now*! BTW, RH 6.0 2.2 kernel, GNU sh 1.14.7.
Nice one! I reanimated my old 486 yesterday (about 33 bogomips) and 
really could reproduce your results. I admit that I was a little surprised
by the result, so I agree that all those shell scripts containing 1000
variables or more should use variable names shorter than 50 characters.

I think you will see only very few difference in a real functional shell 
script between using abbreviated versus long-version variable names. If
performance is an issue, you shouldn't use bash scripts in conjunction
with heavy variable use anyway.


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