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am 14. Mai 2000
Don't buy this book. Not only that; if you receive it as a gift, don't bother reading it.
I made the mistake of judging (and ordering) it by its "Contents". I have ordered a fair number of programming books from Amazon, but this is the first one bad enough to compel me to write a review.
The author is painfully unable to express himself with the clarity required by this kind of book. This leads to confusion and, sometimes, to errors. To compound this, the book seems to have received no proofreading whatsoever.
A few samples, from Chapter 2, "Using find and xargs":
pg. 21
"-print When find finds the files, this prints them to standard output"
pg. 22
"-newer file1 file2 Find files that are newer than file1 but older than file2"
"-size c n Find files by block 'n' size or by character length 'c', which is taken as bytes."
pg. 23
"-mount Use find to find files only on mounted filesystems"
pg. 25
"Find files by modification times
[...] Use the '-' to specify files that have not been accessed in x number of days. Use '+' for files that have been accessed in the last x number of days. To find all files that have been modified in the last five days: $ find / -mtime -5 -print "
pg. 30 -- a masterpiece
"When using the -exec option in find to process files, find passes all the located files to exec to be worked on in one go. Unfortunately on some systems there is only a limited command line length that can be passed to exec before it bombs out after running for a few minutes with an error message. The error message usually says 'Too long on Args list' or 'Args list exceeded'. This is where xargs comes in, especially when using find. Find passes on the located files to xargs and xargs grabs the files in portions and not all in one go, unlike using exec. Thus it can process the first portion of files, do its stuff, then request the next batch of the files and so on."
Well, and so on it goes. I resisted as far as Chapter 5, "Shell input and output". (So, yes, I didn't read the whole book. There is a chance it miraculously becomes excellent after chapter 5 :-)). One more pearl of wisdom (pg. 57):
"Standard error is file descriptor '2'. [...] You may be wondering why there is a special file for errors; well, some people like to keep their errors in a separate file, especially when processing large data files, where a lot of errors might be raised."
I would have laughed, if I hadn't paid for the book. Perhaps I should have read the "Acknowledgements" section before ordering. There, the author says:
"When it comes to writing a book in the end, it's just the author and the keyboard tapping away a merry tune into the early hours of the morning."
Well, that might explain some things. And further:
"I would also like to thank my children Louise and Matthew for their help. Louise for informing me of grammatical errors as I was typing away: thanks Louise!"
Well, it's a pity Matthew apparently doesn't know anything about the shell.
So, learn from my mistake and stay away from this book.
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 28. März 2000
A friend of mine raves about "Linux & Unix Shell Programming" by David Tansley, and I certainly have to agree with him.
In my case, I had to add Linux to my Windows 98 computer so that I could better talk to and understand programmers who enter the programming contest at <[...] This book would almost be my "Best Friend" if such a thing were possible, because it lets me look up the DOS terms I memorized years ago and see the equivalent Linux terms and syntax. (I'm in love with that feature, by the way).
"Linux & Unix Shell Programming" even has material that will help you learn the same CGI that is found on many web pages, and, thank goodness, the wild cards I fell in love with in DOS are there.
As you can see from the table of contents, below, it covers quite alot of ground, from "Introduction to Linux/Unix in general" to "Building CGI scripts for a web site."
Cool, eh?
Definitely buy it if you're looking to understand Linux, and especially if you're an old DOS user from the early computer age.
The Table of Contents is below. I hope you fall in love with it.
John Knoderer


-- Chap 1. File Security and Permissions
-- Chap 2. Using 'find' and 'xargs'
-- Chap 3. Running Commands Unattended
-- Chap 4. Filename Substitution <-- talks about wildcards
-- Chap 5. Shell Input and Output <-- cat, echo, redirection,...
-- Chap 6. Command Execution Order
-- Chap 7. Introducing Regular Expressions <-- Important!
-- Chap 8. The 'grep' Family
-- Chap 9. Introducing 'awk'
-- Chap 10. Using 'sed'
-- Chap 11. Merge and Divide <-- sort, uniq, cut, paste
-- Chap 12. Using 'tr'
-- Chap 13. The Login Environment
-- Chap 14. Environment and Shell Variables
-- Chap 15. Quoting
-- Chap 16. Introduction to Shell Scripts
-- Chap 17. Conditional Testing
-- Chap 18. Control Flow Structures <-- if/then/else, for, while
-- Chap 19. Shell Functions
-- Chap 20. Passing Parameters To Scripts
-- Chap 21. Creating Screen Output
-- Chap 22. Creating Screen Input
-- Chap 23. Debugging Scripts
-- Chap 24. Shell Built-in Commands
-- Chap 25. Going Further With Here Documents
-- Chap 26. Shell Utilities
-- Chap 27. A Small Collection of Scripts
-- Chap 28. Run Level Scripts
-- Chap 29. CGI Scripts <-- Yes, the CGI scripts
-- Appendix A. ASCII Art
-- Appendix B. Useful Shell Commands
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am 23. Juli 2001
As BASH is the shell and therefore the surface you are dealing with when you're getting into the LINUX operating system it is undoubtatly important to easily pick up, understand and use what you are sitting in front of. With David Tansley's book you have everything you need in your hands! He shows you quickly, most directly what you are really looking for! You don't need to read the book from the beginning to the end you just pick it up everytime you have a question whether your problem can be solved through BASH. Every time I took the book I was amazed about what more I have learned and how easy and time saving it was. This book is extremly cool as at the end of it Tansley even throws in a chapter of BASH cgi programming! This chapter as it shows cgi through BASH helps you understanding HTML and CGI better! David Tansley's book is my personal best book ever!
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am 21. Juni 2000
At first sight, this book would seem to provide a nice review of shell programming. However, once I started to read the book I was amazed at the number of typos. Some were just silly and indicated absolutely no editing; others were more serious and compromised the learning process. Mr Tansley must be embarrased to see his name on such an amateur effort.
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am 27. März 2000
The author has explained the critical concepts in a lucid manner. Part 5 of the book is a must read. Overall a very good book.
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am 10. Mai 2000
The first few pages of this book that I have read so far are full of typos. How can one believe that what one is reading will work when the text itself has not been verified?
The examples are poorly presented for readability. One does not know where the target ends and the source begins because there are no spaces.
Once I have had a chance to look at the content I may revise my review upwards but so far I am unimpressed.
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