Posted Dec 10, 2012 0:01 UTC (Mon) by Baylink (subscriber, #755)
Parent article: Quotes of the week
ESR is, of course, a relatively polarizing figure in the free/open software community (I'm purposely not using either "side's" preferred term there. :-)
But while I often back him against the field, in this case, I'm not sure what he's on about. Well, no, that's not true: I know what he's on about, but I disagree.
There is a line past which something is an application, and not a script, but I think that line is further up than he thinks it is.
Someone just noted, further upstream in this very LWN, that a computer program is more than just instructions to a computer -- it's instructions to future programmers. Those programmers have to be able to read the instructions. Many more Unix programmers can read bash than perl or python, I assert.
And I'll add that lost of the work done in bash is *system administrative* scripting -- exactly the sort of thing you don't want to break or become hard to understand *when scripting languages rev unreasonably frequently*, which they really, really do. How many major revs has bash undergone?
The number of people who don't understand that *they're building tools for other people to build things with*, and that this imposes on them restrictions substantially tighter than those imposed on application writers really just gives me hives, and has for 2 decades or more.
I write in bash *because it doesn't change*. That's important for scripting admin tasks. Even if it means I work a little longer.