This book is aimed at those UNIX users who find themselves looking
after more shell scripts than they can comfortably shake a stick
at. These will be System Administrators or Specialists looking
after a legacy system or even a brand new development team that
is subject to constant changes. The scope is indeed broad, as
is the application of what is contained within this book. Be on
the lookout at all times for opportunities to simplify. Always
look for a generic solution, which will have wider application
than the dedicated solution.
An understanding of UNIX will be helpful, but the reader need
not have any shell programming experience. In fact to possess
any existing bad shell scripting habits may hamper progress.
The conventions used in this book are very simple.
The main text is in the same font and style as has been used here.
Any examples of code will be presented as either one line or a
numbered listing in Courier 8 point bold which looks like this:
# Example Code Example
echo "Hello World"
echo "The time is [`date +%h%m%s%p`] by my clock"
When required, screen output will use the same font as code but
in a regular type instead of bold which looks like this:
user@system$ my_script argument
The date is [12:37:42pm] by my clock
UNIX Command words, like ls or cp will be picked
out in the text as bold, while variables used within the text
body will be in italic text. Examples of UNIX command lines
will be printed in Arial 10 point bold text which looks like this:
cat *.log | sort -u > filename
And finally a Health Warning for Real Programmers: Real programmers
may get upset by some of the constructs used here. I make no apologies
to the incensed reader. Just remember, there are no correct ways
in shell programming, just ways that work. I hope you have as
much fun trying out the concepts used in this book as I had while