It would be interesting to learn why shell programming is still going strong. There are several contenders in the land of scripting languages for Unix systems; some of them really strong and well behaved like Python, others almost ubiquitous like Perl (and also very powerful), yet others really compact like Lua. However shell scripting is still widely used in many systems as duct tape -- exactly what Perl was invented for, and what Python excels at. Why?
There must be some kind of major screw-ups on the part of all scripting languages when shell is still the greatest common divisor among all Unix systems. I could outline my reasons for each of those mentioned above but I will spare you it; however I would welcome more general explanations. Mine is: shell is the greatest common divisor by definition, since all Unix-like systems must have one scripting shell language and it must be compatible with other shells. So we are stuck with one shell or other and all we can do is improve on the shell itself, like Bash or dash have done.
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