[TUHS] The UNIX Command Language (1976)

Andy Kosela akosela at andykosela.com
Fri Dec 4 21:33:43 AEST 2020

On 12/4/20, arnold at skeeve.com <arnold at skeeve.com> wrote:
> Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:
>> This has always struck me as particularly elegant in scripts. Consider:
>>     cat "$@" | whatever
>> (Or you may prefer `cat $* | whatever`)
>> Now one's script can take any number of file arguments or stdin, even if
>> the filter does not.
> I think Dan has hit the heart of the matter. People are used to using
> cat for multiple files to start pumping data down a pipeline, so they
> continue to do so even when there's only one file.

The classic example is:

  $ cat file | grep foo

instead of the simpler:

  $ grep foo file

It appears cat(1) and pipe(7) are deeply ingrained in people's brains.


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