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Shell Efficiency Talk at DaLUG today //at 02:29 //by abe

from the testbed dept.

I just uploaded the slides for my shell efficiency talk at the Darmstadt Linux User Group (DaLUG) today at 18:30 CEST at the Technical University of Darmstadt. (The talk will be held in German.)

I will also hold a workshop about the same subject on the 29th of October 2005 at Linux-Info-Tag Dresden. (Will also be held in German.)

Probably moving from tcsh to zsh. Bash sucks. //at 02:29 //by abe

from the habits dept.

The grml-T-Shirt, Alfie was wearing at the Debian QA Meeting in Darmstadt this weekend reminded me, that I wanted to download a grml-ISO. While looking for the ISO I found a link to the grml zsh Reference Card. Beneath the links to the reference card there were a pointer to zsh-lovers, “a small project which tries to collect tips, tricks and examples for the Z shell.”.

There were a lot of nice tricks mentioned, e.g. redirection to multiple files. So I spawned a zsh and checked for the main feature, which keeps me using tcsh instead of bash: History Tab Completion. And see there: zsh does History Tab Completion. And even nicer: Completion results don’t create a new prompt, but just show up (and vanish again with e.g. ^C) beneath the prompt while the prompt only moves (up) if there’s not enough space for all the possible completions. Some kind of meta-cool is the set of configuration variables starting with CSH_JUNKIE_. Guess, I am such a (t)csh junkie. ;-)

And global aliases seem also a very fine (but also very dangerous) feature. Think of cd ... just doing what you want it to, namely cd ../... As well as the advanced history handling which includes incremental sharing with multiple simultaneous shells. Or the spelling corrections based on keyboard layout.

On the other hand, zsh offers everything from bash I missed in tcsh: ^R and usable loops (mostly while (true); do ...) on the command line. The only thing none of the three shells can is Mind Tab Completion. ;-)

The zsh page from Adam Spiers seems to be good source for informations about the zsh. Another nice collection of zsh tips (which often also work in other shells) was in the links section of the grml zsh page.

Funnily several people tried to convince me to use zsh before, but they just didn’t use the right arguments. :-) So it looks as if I found the right arguments by myself and should really give zsh a try after 10 years of tcsh. Although I already found something less amusing in zsh: echo '\n' and echo "\t" behave both very strange, but I still hope, I find the switch to turn it off…

But my upcoming shell efficiency talk will definitely not only feature bash and tcsh but also zsh.

Now playing: R.E.M. — Losing my religion

Next planned shell efficiency talks //at 02:28 //by abe

from the calendar dept.

Today is the deadline for proposing talks for this year’s LinuxTag (3rd to 6th of May, Wiesbaden, Germany) and last week was the deadline for talk proposals for this year’s Chemnitzer Linux-Tage (CLT, 4th and 5th of March 2006, Chemnitz, Germany). For both events I submitted my already at other events held Shell Efficiency talk. For LinuxTag I marked the proposal as “German preferred, English possible”, so if they ask for the English version, I’ll offer the slides in English, too, of course. I’ll probably also build a DocBook version of the talk, since LinuxTag prefers the DocBook format.

But even if these both talk proposals are not accepted, I’ll be on both events together with the rest of the Symlink crew and have fun! ;-)

Additionally I will hold the talk a few days before CLT on Thursday the 2nd of March 2006 at the New Thinking Store in Berlin-Mitte, Tucholskystraße 48 at 19:30 (which is unfortunately in parallel to this year’s German Perl Workshop from 1st to 3rd of March 2006 in Bochum). The entrance to the talk is free. (Thanks to Sven Guckes for suggesting this talk and bringing me in contact with New Thinking.)

Now Playing: Jethro Tull — Orion

Wikipedia at your fingertips //at 02:07 //by abe

from the shell-script dept.

Via nion’s blog I got notice of two other blog entries of two people of whom each wrote a shell script to display Wikipedia articles as plain text in a pager.

While the first one called wiki2 queries Google and fetches then the first Wikipedia hit there, the second one (funnily just called wiki) queries Wikipedia directly, supports different Wikipedia languages and has a lot of other nice features.

Since the idea and especially the second script definitely belongs to the group of programs you never thought about, but, when you found it, you knew, you missed it until now, I decided to use it as the first program, I want to package for the Debian project to be included in the next release which will be called Etch.

Because of “wiki” being a quite ambigous name, I plan to name the package wikipedia2text.

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Hackergotchi of Axel Beckert


This is the blog or weblog of Axel Stefan Beckert (aka abe or XTaran) who thought, he would never start blogging... (He also once thought, that there is no reason to switch to this new ugly Netscape thing because Mosaïc works fine. That was about 1996.) Well, times change...

He was born 1975 at Villingen-Schwenningen, made his Abitur at Schwäbisch Hall, studied Computer Science with minor Biology at University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany) and now lives in Zürich (Switzerland), working at the Network Security Group (NSG) of the Central IT Services (Informatikdienste) at ETH Zurich.

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