[CentOS] looking for cool, post-install things to do on a centos 5.5 system

m.roth at 5-cent.us m.roth at 5-cent.us
Fri Sep 17 11:47:02 EDT 2010

Les Mikesell wrote:
> On 9/17/2010 10:12 AM, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
>> Les Mikesell wrote:
>>> On 9/17/2010 8:24 AM, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
>>>>> Proper scripting abilities are perhaps beyond reach for a short
>>>>> course, but you could at least show off some one-liners or those
>>>>> short, stunningly useful examples to help them get the idea that they
>>>>> definitely should get their feet wet on it sooner or later.
>>>> awk, awk! Perl's a day, minimum, by itself, but awk you can do in an
>>>> hour or two, and have immediate results.
>>> But awk is a dead end that can't do a lot of things by itself.  And
>> So, what's the longest awk scripts you've ever written, Mike? It works
>> wonderfully well for what it was intended - and mostly, I use it for
>> reports or data conversion.
> Don't think I've ever written one from scratch, at least not since perl
> was around because it was too painful to debug.  I agree that it works
> fine when you copy someone else's already-debugged code.  I'm not
> recommending never using awk, I just don't see the point of learning to
> write it.
>>> learning how to embed awk into other scripts is even more syntactically
>>> obscure than just using perl in the first place.  Besides, perl's '-c'
>>> check and debug facilities make it much more usable to beginners than
>>> awk's propensity to find errors mid-run (and worse,
>>> mid-some-other-script because you had to embed it).
>> Misuse of awk.
>>           mark "why, yes, I *have* written 100 and 200 line awk scripts
>>                   to do data converstion and data validation"
> But why, when very likely better versions of whatever you were doing
> have already been written and debugged as CPAN perl modules?  Would you
> do something like time parsing or format conversions in awk, or extract
> mime attachment from a mail message?  Those sound simple but aren't and
> in perl you only have to write a couple of lines yourself to do them.

Ah, no. I wrote 30 scripts around '91-'92 to take datafiles from 30
sources and reformat them, to feed to the C program I'd written with
embedded sql, in place of the d/b's sqlloader (*bleah*). Then, 11 years
ago, I wrote a validation program for data that was being loaded by
another program that I didn't want to change; the data had been exported
from ArcInfo, and had to go into our Oracle d/b.

Really simple to do in awk - just so much of it, and no, perl would have
offered no improved/shorter way to do it, and yes, I do know perl - in
'04, for example, I rewrote a call routing and billing system from perl
(written by my then-manager, who'd never studied programming, can you say
spaghetti?) into reasonable perl. Actually, I just wrote a scraper in
perl, using HTML::Parser.  Anyway, the point of that was to demonstrate
that I know both, and awk is better, IMO, for some jobs.


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