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Ask David Korn About ksh And More

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the and-his-critically-acclaimed-pop-music dept.

News 144

David Korn is the author of the famous Korn shell, ksh, which deserves consideration next to the ubiquitous bash. Quote (regarding the AT&T research group he's part of): "We don't write anything in Perl anymore, because [ksh93] has all the functionality built in." He's also an AT&T fellow, and heads up the UWIN project, which "provides a mechanism for building and running UNIX applications on Windows NT, Windows 98, and Windows 95 with few, if any, changes necessary." This is the software that allowed some crazy folks to run GNOME on Windows several weeks back as well. (And is available for no-cost personal use.) This is the same David Korn you may remember from this picture. I met him at a recent NYLUG meeting when he spoke about the Advanced Software Technologies collection of tools, now Open Source, and he graciously agreed to field questions in the usual Slashdot interview style. So please leave your questions in the space below --1 question per comment, please -- and Korn will get back to you with answers in the near future.

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144 comments

Re:Question (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 13 years ago | (#479828)

It's already been done. Do a search for "Korn shell" and Windows in your favorite search engine and you'll find dozens of KSH compliant shells for windows. KSH is the official shell of the POSIX standard so you want posix, you need korn.

Ksh and regexes (2)

Luke (7869) | more than 13 years ago | (#479831)

I'm currently using version M 1993-12-28 j on a FreeBSD 4.2-RELEASE system, compiled from the sources available at AT&T.

My question is about ksh's regex capabilities. You mention that you don't have a need for Perl anymore due to expanded features in ksh. I have found the only area in which ksh seems to need improvement is in it's regular expression syntax, which differs greatly than the "norm" (if there is such a thing) in the UNIX world.

Are there any plans to move towards a more POSIX-style for regular expressions, like those found in grep and Perl?

Re:Two simple questions... (2)

cduffy (652) | more than 13 years ago | (#479833)

Hmm...

IMHO, Unix is fluid enough not to be holding up progress. Most of your modern Unices have a plethora of features and hooks which wouldn't be found earlier, particularly in userspace. While some completely new paradigms exist (such as exokernels), even these can (via userspace libraries) be made to expose a Unixlike interface to applications.

Consider, for instance, the relatively recent introduction of threading (both userspace and kernelspace); checkpoints (in userspace); component object models (userspace); ACLs (both); etc.

While there most certainly are revolutionary ideas out there (hence Plan 9 and The HURD), these can still be edged into "unixlike" operating systems, retaining application compatibility and decreasing the amount of retraining necessary on transition. However, they will be even less "your father's Unix".

I'm not current on OS research -- so take this with a grain of salt -- but I expect that Unixlike OSes will be around for quite some, even if they lose much of the appearance and limitations of the original. Improvement, that is to say, will be incremental rather than revolutionary. 'Twill still happen, though.

Re:Standard UNIX shell... cough (1)

Shadowlion (18254) | more than 13 years ago | (#479835)

Strange assertion - bash 'seeming' to be the standard UNIX shell. Since it isn't available by default on many (or is that any?) commercial UNICEs.

My bad. :(

I think I interpreted the line in one of my Bash tutorials that said something like, "Bash is available on my Unices, and is the default on some of them" to be, "Bash is the default on many of the available Unices."

So it may be fair to reflect on what is missing from ksh that is in bash - things like PROMPT_COMMAND for a start.

I think the question is still valid, my misinformed comments notwithstanding. If Bash is a superset of features from ksh, then what still makes ksh an appealing shell to use? What distingishes ksh from other shells that have similar features and/or functionality?


--

the ubiquitous bash shell? (1)

sqlgeek (168433) | more than 13 years ago | (#479837)

I realize that this is a mightily pro-Linux sight, but I still can't see refering to the bash shell as ubiquitous. In fact, outside of Linux I've never seen it as the default shell, and don't necessarily even see it installed. In Solaris, HPUX, AIX and such the ksh or csh are certainly the standards.

My 2 cents.

Scott

Graphical dtksh, zend, standardizing on ksh93, rpm (3)

emil (695) | more than 13 years ago | (#479839)

  1. Since the code to Motif is now free and open, is there any possiblity that dtksh, the ksh93-compliant CDE shell with Motif extensions will be open-sourced? Novel wrote it; will they give it away?
  2. Any possibility that you could leverage Zend from php? Or what would it take to implement a dbi-like SQL layer for ksh?
  3. Under Solaris and HP-UX, ksh88 is installed in /usr/bin/ksh, ksh93 is installed in /usr/dt/bin/dtksh, but the default shell is the "Posix" shell, a superset of ksh. Is there any hope of getting this mess straigtened out?
  4. Will I ever expect Red Hat to include an RPM for ksh93? Or would you consider merging with Bash?

Good Q, more detail (2)

ragnar (3268) | more than 13 years ago | (#479841)

Darn... you took my question already. ;) If I may clarify a little, a friend of mine told me this story and I'm really interested to know how true it is:

Microsoft was doing a presentation about the upcoming features of Windows NT 5.0 and the presenter enthusiastically told about how the DOS shell was borrowing many features from ksh. He went on to explain this features and someone in the crowd tried to get the presenter's question. The individual asked a few pointed and technical questions, hinting as some doubt if MS could do what they planned. The presenter "pooh-poohed" the questioner and basically told him the MS engineers would work out the details and that the questioner had nothing to worry about.

At this point, another person stood up and proclaimed, "Do you know that he is David Korn?"

Anyhow, this is the version I know of, and I found the story to be a riot. It is probably off base, but a little more clear than the original poster's description. I'm *really* curious to know how much of this is true.

Re:Why? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479845)

You may be right about having to be logged in.But if you could tell me how to get a Windows box (any flavor) installed without the GUI or to boot to a console from which I can do almost anything I want and then only start the GUI when I want it please let me know. Why should my disk space have to be used for a ever growing swap file when most other OSes happily use a partition that the usage of grows and shrinks as needed. You know a why to roll your own kernel under Windows? I would really like to have this information. Granted I can not install sound drivers but the support for it in the kernel is still there (sound might be a bad example) but the point is I can not configure my own kernel. I'll grant that sometimes support for long file names work but I can not everytime cd to a directory with lonf filenames without resorting to the 8+3 hack. I know many people who have the same issue. Does not work right even with a hosts file, try it.

Re:Ksh Programming For the Web (2)

segmond (34052) | more than 13 years ago | (#479847)

I hate to say this, but none of the shells are okay for web programming. Never forget this, "use the right tool for the job to be done.", just because one loves assembly programming doesn't mean it should be used for webprogramming. strong interpretted/scripted programming languages like perl/python/php are what you should look at. If ksh was fixed up to be good enough for webprograming, someone will soon request for a database library! yeah, for a shell...

Slashdot subject length is limited. (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 13 years ago | (#479848)

There is a length limit on the "Subject" field of Slashdot posts. If the poster had attempted to use the subject you suggest, he would have been stuck with the following:

What functionality or code in ksh are you least pr

Yeah this has been bugging me... (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479849)

How do you prepare ksh? I was trying to fry some up the other day and I think I added too much paprika. It tasted, ya know, so-so so I added butter. Well then hell things really got bad. I couldn't tell my ksh from by bash. It all tastes like csh.

----

AST libraries (1)

Digital Commando (2881) | more than 13 years ago | (#479854)

With Kiem Phong Vo and others, you have espoused a number of library design principles (e.g., use of (stackable) disciplines and proper exception handling) and used them to great effect in sfio and other libraries. Sfio, in particular, is just so much better than stdio that every time I use the latter I cringe.

Unfortunately, these libraries seem to have not been widely adopted by the free software community since they were opened. (Perl can use sfio; other examples?) What do you think is needed to change that? Licensing? Perhaps distribution in the base packages of the free operating system distros? More documentation/tutorials/examples? These packages have their own auto-configuration feature test tool (iffe) and build scripts that differ in the details from the "./configure ; make ; make install" procedure common to much free software. Would it be helpful to convert them to use autoconf, for example?

It seems a terrible shame that more programmers are not exposed to the library construction and reuse principles in Sfio, Cdt, Vmalloc. If these libraries were in everyday use, we'd probably see more code written in that style.

Alternative shells on Windows systems (2)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#479856)

Do you have any thoughts about why the shell concept has not caught on with other operating systems?

Probably because Mac OS and Windows are designed around an assumption that newbies are very afraid of a command line.

I'm thinking of NT and Win2K in particular, but it seems to be true in general.

Bash and Fileutils have been ported to DOS [simtel.net] (you'll need at least bsh204b.zip, fil316.zip, and txt20b.zip to get a useful shell). So has a lot of other GNU software; start with DJGPP [delorie.com] , the DOS port of GCC.

Install Red Hat Cygwin [redhat.com] and you get Bash, GCC, and other things you may be used to on GNU/Linux, BSD, or UNIX systems.


Like Tetris? Like drugs? Ever try combining them? [pineight.com]

Re:Bash is a clone of ksh (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 13 years ago | (#479857)

I'm not *that* young and have been using unix since before Linux 1.0, so I'll tell you why I run out and install "bash" to replace ksh - Reverse ISearch. Ksh has its own version (which resembles many other CLI's like matlab) but readline's implementation is just more usable. Thats it.

I still script in ksh, no point in being a bigot about it.

Re:Comparison (2)

larien (5608) | more than 13 years ago | (#479862)

Ahem:
jr:merlin% pkginfo | grep bash

system SUNWbash GNU Bourne-Again shell (bash)
jr:merlin% uname -a
SunOS merlin.scms.rgu.ac.uk 5.8 Generic sun4u sparc SUNW,Ultra-1
Bash is shipped in Solaris 8, along with zsh (my personal favourite) and some other open source goodies.
--

There is a lot more to the size than you realize. (2)

emil (695) | more than 13 years ago | (#479863)

On my Solaris x86 system, here are the sizes for some of the ksh-type shells:

-r-xr-xr-x 2 root root 215304 Jan 5 2000 /sbin/sh
-r-xr-xr-x 3 root bin 167168 Jan 11 00:04 /usr/bin/ksh
-r-xr-xr-x 1 bin bin 651888 Dec 2 1999 /usr/dt/bin/dtksh

But wait, ksh93 (which is sort of dtksh) supports libraries loaded at run time, so the size can be deceptive.

I've heard that sash is much more appropriate for a linux-floppy environment.

Re:[OT]Re:Comparison (2)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 13 years ago | (#479864)

AFAIK it's just there. I've believe that both tab and esc-esc work for it. I know what you mean about the HP-UX thing - ll everywhere :)

Uwin vs .NET (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#479865)

How do you address the ever changing future of the microsoft product line, as far as UWin is concerned?

[For example, MS .NET probably is not going to let you host your stuff there, even if you wanted . . .]

Given the variety of problems MS has had with their servers over the past few days, what is your opinion of the future/workability of that approach compared to your own?

Why Only Unix/Linux? (4)

north.coaster (136450) | more than 13 years ago | (#479866)

The "shell" has been a key feature of Unix/Linux for over twenty years. The concept of having the freedom to use a different shell is clearly popular and important among users. Do you have any thoughts about why the shell concept has not caught on with other operating systems? I'm thinking of NT and Win2K in particular, but it seems to be true in general.

north.coaster

Have you ever thought about... (1)

Fleet Admiral Ackbar (57723) | more than 13 years ago | (#479867)

doing a 'bash-mode', where those of us who prefer bash on the command line would be able to have easy bash-style commands, while still retaining the ksh scripting features?

Bash is a clone of ksh (2)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 13 years ago | (#479868)

Come on kiddies, you're showing your youth :-) ksh existed long before bash.

"bash is the default shell on Unix?" On Linux, yes, on Unix, no.

Most of the cool bash-isms (such vi and emacs editing modes) were straight from ksh. Bash was a free clone of ksh, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in.

I get a bit of a kick out of these Unix youngers, forced to use Solaris, run out and install bash, not realizing /bin/ksh does most of the same thing. (The main reason that Unix youngers will just plain not use ksh, is lack of arrow key support. But no *real* Unix user would think of using arrow keys. Why not just find a "notepad" and Windows Explorer clone, or go back to Windows :-)

bash is to ksh as Linux is to Unix. A newer, cooler, free version of an great thing.

-me-

Korn (1)

bendawg (72695) | more than 13 years ago | (#479871)

What's your take on the rock group Korn? Do you love them, hate them, or wish they would stop using your name?
Do you ever plan on doing a deal where Korn is the official band of ksh, or ksh is the official shell of Korn?

Re:Interactive vs Programming features (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 13 years ago | (#479874)

I've had trouble with ^R. The closest I've come is:
!cmd:p
[uparrow] ... then edit.

ksh93 as a programming language? (4)

Lumpish Scholar (17107) | more than 13 years ago | (#479875)

What are some of the differences between ksh88 (which I think of as comparable to bash or the Posix shell) and ksh93, that makes the latest KornShell as good or better a language than Perl?

You mean this one? (4)

robinjo (15698) | more than 13 years ago | (#479879)

I've been attending the USENIX NT and LISA NT (Large Installation Systems Administration for NT) conference in downtown Seattle this week.

One of those magical Microsoft moments(tm) happened yesterday and I thought that I'd share. Non-geeks may not find this funny at all, but those in geekdom (particularly UNIX geekdom) will appreciate it.

Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft product manager (henceforth MPM), was holding forth on a forthcoming product that will provide Unix style scripting and shell services on NT for compatibility and to leverage UNIX expertise that moves to the NT platform. The product suite includes the MKS (Mortise Kern Systems) windowing Korn shell, a windowing PERL, and lots of goodies like awk, sed and grep. It actually fills a nice niche for which other products (like the MKS suite) have either been too highly priced or not well enough integrated.

An older man, probably mid-50s, stands up in the back of the room and asserts that Microsoft could have done better with their choice of Korn shell. He asks if they had considered others that are more compatible with existing UNIX versions of KSH.

The MPM said that the MKS shell was pretty compatible and should be able to run all UNIX scripts.

The questioner again asserted that the MKS shell was not very compatible and didn't do a lot of things right that are defined in the KSH language spec.

The MPM asserted again that the shell was pretty compatible and should work quite well.

This assertion and counter assertion went back and forth for a bit, when another fellow member of the audience announced to the MPM that the questioner was, in fact David Korn of AT&T (now Lucent) Bell Labs. (David Korn is the author of the Korn shell)

Uproarious laughter burst forth from the audience, and it was one of the only times that I have seen a (by then pink cheeked) MPM lost for words or momentarily lacking the usual unflappable confidence. So, what's a body to do when Microsoft reality collides with everyone elses?

---Lisa

Re:Question (2)

spitzak (4019) | more than 13 years ago | (#479881)

X has problems (and so does Windows) but your description is a common misconception.

Context switches are a problem. But the difference is not that X has 2 (client->kernel->server) and Windows has 1 (client->kernel).

The problem is "synchronous" interfaces, where you make a call and that call, besides doing something to the screen, returns a value. This actually requires 4 context switches on X and 2 on NT according to your design.

What is needed is non-synchronous or stream-based interfaces. In this case all the things you want to draw on the screen go into a buffer and are eventually flushed. This has the potential of making the number of context switches per operation .001 (note the decimal point) or smaller!

With such a design the overhead of not putting the server in the kernel is miniscule, and you get all the advantages of making it user level.

The problem is that both are designed with large numbers of synchronous interfaces. Windoze has an excuse in that it is based on W3.1 where everything was synchronous, but X was designed as a server, and they really had no excuse for doing stupid things like requiring a round trip to allocate a color or to set the current font.

I do hope that X will be replaced someday, like soon, but we should design it right. Hacks with memory mapping and direct rendering and kernel modules are nice, but none of them come close to the win you will get with an interface that is designed to be piped. The problem is that any such interface is going to incompatable, it is impossible to emulate a synchronous interface atop an async one.

I'll stick with bash (2)

q000921 (235076) | more than 13 years ago | (#479882)

ksh was a nice enhancement, but it was proprietary for too long, and I think there is little reason to prefer it over bash now. For heavy-duty scripting, ksh may still be slightly better than bash now, but for those applications there are better alternatives: Perl, Python, Tcl/Tk, etc. In fact, for a while, ksh was trying to go for the scripting space that Tcl/Tk was in (including dynamic loading and widgets), and in that area, it was never competitive with Tcl/Tk.

Re:..A little known fact.. sorry OT (2)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#479883)

Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine graduated from Harvard Law School before turning to a career of music and thuggery.

ksh today (4)

Y-Leen (84208) | more than 13 years ago | (#479884)

During the design of ksh, were you limited/influenced by computer hardware and consumer market?

Given the chance to completely redesign ksh for today's higher spec mahines and the current consumer base, what new features would you include?

True Story? (5)

travisd (35242) | more than 13 years ago | (#479885)

Was the story about you embarrasing a Microsoftie at a conference true? Specifically, that he was insisting that their implmentation of ksh in their unix compatibility kit was true to the "real" thing and trying to argue the point with you. The argument ended when somoene else finally stood up and informed the speaker who he was arguing with.

Just curious...

Open sourcing/More about pdksh... (2)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#479886)

You can read about it here [cs.mun.ca] .

Here's an extract regarding its strengths:
pdksh's strong points are:
  • its free and quite portable - you should be able to compile it easily on pretty much any unix box.
  • the vi editing mode is better (IMHO) than that of ksh88 or ksh93 (command/file completion using tab (optional), less buggy).
Its weak points are that there are still a few differences from ksh88 (the major one is that `echo hi | read x' does not set x in the current shell - the read is done in a separate process). See the NOTES file in the distribution for more details.

I do believe that you could both benefit from such a collaboration and BTW, I wonder if you plan to open source ksh ?
--

Two simple questions... (3)

w00ly_mammoth (205173) | more than 13 years ago | (#479887)

Unix was a system invented decades ago. Most software becomes obsolete after 5 years. This has not been the case with unix. Why is it still here?

A corollary - is unix holding up progress? If a brilliant new system were to be written that overthrew the establishment (like unix did in its day), it would need the momentum of people supporting it. Such a momentum isn't possible when the hacker community continues to support the well established unix way of thinking. Does this in some way impede the appearance of a completely new paradigm (like unix was in its day...)? What would be the conditions that could create such a new system? After all, it's unlikely that unix will be the research OS of choice for decades or centuries - it will have to give up at some point.

w/m

Kind of a shell question... (4)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#479888)

There's a lot of squabbling in the Linux world about how the Unix mentality of small apps communicating through standard input/output to form a pipeline should be maintained in the new whiz-bang, GUI environments. Do you think that it can/should be done? What should be the most important considerations for such a messaging system and how should a standard be established?

So Korn (the band) drinks Coors Light [att.com] ? I might have suspected...

Interactive vs Programming features (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 13 years ago | (#479889)

I see alot of shell development going to improving scripting features. Perhaps designing languages is "sexy".

But what about improving interactive features to make the CLI less user-hostile? Tab filename completion, searchable histories, that sort of thing. And I'm sure there are undiscovered innovations. AFAIK none of the *IX shells has the interactive features of 4DOS [one-step searchable visually modifiable history].

Re:Why? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479890)

I'm going to address your concerns in backwards order. Win 9x's GUI many people kind of halfway know it it still sucks. I run Gnome + E on my Linux box (Debian Testing) I can get to almost any application that I have from anywhere on my desktop by clicking on of my three mouse buttons. This as opposed to Windows where I have to go to the start button and browse through a menu or go to My Computer. May not seem like much but when you really use your machine those few seconds over the course of a day really add up. Everytime I have to use a Windows box I would kill for a virtual desktop. In short the Windows GUI sucks just more people know it. Design and implementation problems with W2K and NT. First of all there is the fact that in order for any services to be running the GUI has to be up and you have to be logged in as a user of some sort. If you don't understand why this is a problem maybe you should spend some time thinking about it in terms of resources and security at the console. Number two of a very long list. In NT (not sure about W2K here) the swap file (partition if you have it on one) can only grow it can not shrink. Problem? I think so. This next one is a bit unfair but still a problem with the implementation. It all still runs the same god damned kernel. If I don't need something (sound comes to mind) I can't take it out. Also the directory structure and the naming scheme. Support for long names is still just a hack on top of a basic 8+3 naming rule. If you have not had this fact cause you problems or at least waste your time you have not really used Windows. Also what the hell is the deal with drive letters. Is it not easier to just have everything in one tree. And as far as a W2K implementation problem try this. Put a earlier Windows box, Unix, Linux, *BSD, whatever on your network. Give it a static IP address. Boot it and pull out the network cable. When it gets back up ping the hostname. It still knows the IP address that you wanted it to have. Try the same thing with a W2K box. It does not know it's static IP anymore. This causes problems with many normally networked apps in a standalone situation. This is just a short and incomplete list of problems.

FPATH (1)

smillie (30605) | more than 13 years ago | (#479891)

I've almost never see the FPATH variable mentioned by ksh users but as a programer/scripter it's one of my favorite features. Would you discuss the reasoning behind it?

Re:Comparison (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#479893)

In solaris 8, bash is shipped in a supplement cd, along with kde, gnome and other freeware utilities.

I do not believe that sun 'officially' supports it.

Re:Why? (2)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 13 years ago | (#479894)

>Its flamebait because [the poster was] starting an OS war thread instead of discussing Korn shell issues.

Yeah, this thread's s'posed to be about shell wars, not OS wars :-)

C shell considered harmful! [landfield.com]

(Actually, in all seriousness - I really like that "Csh considered harmful" - and the Korn shell rocks. I grew up on SunOS 4.x and csh/tcsh (with Bourne shell for scripting) and was led to ksh by a clued manager in my first job after graduation who said "Hey, check this out, they even say Sun might make this the standard shell someday instead of that C shell".

Been addicted to it ever since. First thing I do is make /bin/ksh my default shell. If it ain't there, I put it there.

Re:Why Only Unix/Linux? (1)

-x- (165578) | more than 13 years ago | (#479895)

I, for one, have been using the Mortice Kern System's kornshell and UNIX-style utilities (MKS Toolkit) on MS-DOS, and now Windows/NT, since the mid-80's. The Korn-Shell is definitely my CLI of choice, and one of the best scripting languages I've encountered. Interestingly enough, when Microsoft still sold Xenix (as part of its attempt to fragment the UNIX community, I think), the best shell for it was also produced by MKS. Xenix didn't ship with a Korn-Shell, just a Bourne-Shell and C-Shell. I started out with the Bourne Shell under UNIX v6, and loved it. The Korn shell is, IMHO, just a (significantly) improved Bourne shell.

Re:Bash is a clone of ksh (2)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 13 years ago | (#479898)

>The main reason that Unix youngers will just plain not use ksh, is lack of arrow key support. But no *real* Unix user would think of using arrow keys.

You just described my "first time" with /bin/ksh, having been raised on /bin/csh and /bin/tcsh in 1990-1992.

As soon as I was shown "set -o vi", I never looked back. If you know how to use vi (or emacs - you can "set -o emacs"), you'll never use the arrow keys again in any shell.

ksh compatibility across platforms (2)

toybuilder (161045) | more than 13 years ago | (#479900)

As soon as I saw your name, I recalled the story that made the rounds several years ago about ksh compatibility by MKS's Korn shell and Windows (see end of post)...

My question:

As I see it, one of the big problems that continue to affect the Unix community today is that each OS vendor customize Unix in some peculiar/exclusive way.

I can't recall anymore, but I think I ran into the problem with ksh being significantly different from Solaris with Dynix/ptx.

Certainly, there's a lot of shell-scripting out where where platform-specific behavior is written in each script. And the shell-command tests to identify the platform were rather yucky.

How, then, do shell's compete against PERL or Java where part of the goal is to hide almost all of the OS-specific quirks behind a layer of abstraction? And, (assuming my memory of ksh being "framgented" across platforms is correct) has ksh "defragmented" with the newer versions?

The lead article says that ksh now is so complete that you don't need PERL anymore. But do these ksh script still have to have OS-dependent sections?

Thanks.

Here is the story from William Birch (which I grabbed out of the Google Cache [google.com] :

I've been attending the USENIX NT and LISA NT (Large Installation Systems Administration for NT) conference in downtown Seattle this week. One of those magical Microsoft moments(tm) happened yesterday and I thought that I'd share. Non-geeks may not find this funny at all, but those in geekdom (particularly UNIX geekdom) will appreciate it.

Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft product manager (henceforth MPM), was holding forth on a forthcoming product that will provide Unix style scripting and shell services on NT for compatibility and to leverage UNIX expertise that moves to the NT platform. The product suite includes the MKS (Mortise Kern Systems) windowing Korn shell, a windowing PERL, and lots of goodies like awk, sed and grep. It actually fills a nice niche for which other products (like the MKS suite) have either been too highly priced or not well enou gh integrated.

An older man, probably mid-50s, stands up in the back of the room and asserts that Microsoft could have done better with their choice of Korn shell. He asks if they had considered others that are more compatible with existing UNIX versions of KSH.

The MPM said that the MKS shell was pretty compatible and should be able to run all UNIX scripts.

The questioner again asserted that the MKS shell was not very compatible and didn't do a lot of things right that are defined in the KSH language spec.

The MPM asserted again that the shell was pretty compatible and should work quite well.

This assertion and counter assertion went back and forth for a bit, when another fellow member of the audience announced to the MPM that the questioner was, in fact David Korn of AT&T (now Lucent) Bell Labs. (David Korn is the author of the Korn shell)

Uproarious laughter burst forth from the audience, and it was one of the only times that I have seen a (by then pink cheeked) MPM lost for words or momentarily lacking the usual unflappable confidence.

So, what's a body to do when Microsoft reality collides with everyone elses? Next topic for demonstration, please...

Re:ksh93 as a programming language? (1)

-x- (165578) | more than 13 years ago | (#479901)

My main reason for preferring the Korn-Shell to Perl is familiarity. I use ksh as my main command-line-interface (CLI), so it is almost second nature to me. I am probably as close to a Korn-Shell "guru" as anyone this side of Mr. Korn, so I'm definitely prejudiced, here. However, I generally find it easier to "hand off" a shell-script to moderately technical users, than a Perl script. It's just easier for them to read and understand, because they use many of the commands every day.

Re:Why Only Unix/Linux? (1)

KnightStalker (1929) | more than 13 years ago | (#479903)

Before I had ever used any OS on the PC but MS-DOG, and all I used my XT for was dialing up Fidonet BBSes at 1200 baud with QModem and reading QWK mail with SLiMeR, I considered a system unusable if JPSoft's 4DOS wasn't installed to replace DOS 3.3's command.com. NDOS was also acceptable.

I vaguely remember a 4OS2 shell as well, and I know they've released 4NT.

There are also replacements for Windows Explorer, such as LiteStep. There were replacements (most of them sucked) for progman.exe.

Anyway, my point is that it may not be as popular as it is in the unix world, but you certainly do have the freedom to change the default shell under M$ OSes, and you always have.

Re:Why? (1)

skt (248449) | more than 13 years ago | (#479904)

Yeah right. You and I both know that the Windows 2000 "mount" feature is a joke. I actually just found out about it a few weeks ago. It turns out that there is even a >5 step wizard that guides you through the whole mount process, heh. I still haven't been able to figure out how it works yet as it isn't very intuitive.

And on top of that, Windows doesn't have any support for symlinks. Huge limitation IMHO, I guess we'll have to wait for whistler for another "new feature" that is nothing more than a crude hack. Oh well, I'm getting used to them now. Windows 2000 now has a telnet service so that you can "telnet to your win2k box". Wow, what will M$ think of next?

What functionality/code in ksh r u least proud of? (4)

segmond (34052) | more than 13 years ago | (#479905)

It is very hard to find a programmer who is completely satisified with his code. No matter how happy she is with it, there is always that part which she wishes to improve. As far as ksh is concerned what is it that you wish you didn't do, can improve?

Re:Why? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479907)

Would someone please tell me why the above is flamebait? I really do not understand why something like this would be good. I do not think I threw out a insult (If I did I am most sorry). I just really do not understand and would like to know more from someone who has clearly put alot of thought into it. Why is that flamebait?

Re:Bash is a clone of ksh (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 13 years ago | (#479908)

(The main reason that Unix youngers will just plain not use ksh, is lack of arrow key support. But no *real* Unix user would think of using arrow keys. Why not just find a "notepad" and Windows Explorer clone, or go back to Windows :-)
Three words:

set -o emacs

I even use ksh (ok, pdksh, though I'm heartened by the fact the latest Slackware will come with the real thing. Yay!) as my shell of choice under Linux.
--

Re:KSH on Solaris.... Why is it so poorly set up? (1)

wobblie (191824) | more than 13 years ago | (#479909)

really ... i tried solaris x86 just for shits and giggles, and when faced with a totally unconfigured ksh, I just gave up after a few days.I couldn't figure out how to set emacs editing mode to save my life. Same with BSD and that horrible csh.

No wonder unix was going down the tubes. who the hell is going to be able to figure this out as a newbie?

What the fuck is with these people?

--

UWIN and etc (5)

rabtech (223758) | more than 13 years ago | (#479910)

You once said that you had to learn Windows NT because you couldn't criticize what you didn't know. What I'd like to know (as a primarily Windows programmer) is what do you consider to be the best and worst parts of both the Windows NT/2000 model and the UNIX model. What advice can you give? Also, has working on the UWIN project given you any insights that you can share with the rest of the community?
-
The IHA Forums [ihateapple.com]

Re:Interactive vs Programming features (1)

smillie (30605) | more than 13 years ago | (#479911)

ksh has filename completion and searchable history. Since use it in vi mode the command for completion is escape then backslash. Tab would be better except when you are trying to type a tab on the command line.

The search command is escape then "/" then the search word. Slash by itself again will find the next hit.

I can't do: sed 's/[tab]/ /' in bash but can in ksh but other than that bash is nice.

Standard UNIX shell... cough (1)

n_reduce (244871) | more than 13 years ago | (#479912)

Strange assertion - bash 'seeming' to be the standard UNIX shell. Since it isn't available by default on many (or is that any?) commercial UNICEs.

Why use ksh over bash? Well ksh will be supported on your local UNIX variant and bash probably won't.

Actually I think possibly you have got your question the wrong way round. Bash has copied most of its features from ksh, and added a few things of its own. So I think it may be fair to call bash a functional superset. So it may be fair to reflect on what is missing from ksh that is in bash - things like PROMPT_COMMAND for a start.

What is your favorite hardware setup? (1)

harhar (91353) | more than 13 years ago | (#479914)

What is your favorite hardware setup? Moniter? CPU brand(RISC right?)? Video controller(gamer at all?)? Do you get to play with those new 8-way IBM G3s? Tell us so we can drool about all the new prototype gear.
$var = &ltSTDIN>
$var =~ s/\\$//;

Music Tastes (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 13 years ago | (#479915)

You obviously are a fan of Korn (the band). What other groups do you listen to?

Error-Trapping inside pipelines (1)

-x- (165578) | more than 13 years ago | (#479920)

My only significant gripe with the current Korn-Shell specs is that errors that occur within a pipeline (except in the last element thereof) don't trigger traps. For example:

trap "echo error" ERR
echo "hello" | false | cat -

will not trigger the "echo error" action, but will instead try to read from the console. This is a real problem when trying to build "industrial strength" scripts, because error-trapping is a critical part of that. Sure, you could just say "don't use pipes"...but that cripples one of the main advantageous features of the shell!

Variables within Loops (1)

-x- (165578) | more than 13 years ago | (#479921)

A minor gripe about the korn-shell is that variables set within while or for loops tend to fall "out of scope" outside the loop. This is a bit of a hassel when trying to generate a stream-parser that sets variables based on tags (rather than position-within-stream).

It might be worthwhile to consider a "set" flag that allows controlling this behavior.

Re:what about enhancing ksh syntax ? (1)

flynn_nrg (266463) | more than 13 years ago | (#479923)

-rwxr-xr-x 1 bin bin 3157516 Jul 14 1998 /usr/local/bin/bash Try applying strip to the file, it probably was compiled with -g as well, and every file compiled with -g on a Solaris system will by huge, e.g. the wine lib is more than 100MB if compiled with -g.

Re:[OT]Re:Comparison (1)

Mr-Pope (245456) | more than 13 years ago | (#479925)

set -o vi
To put yourself into vi line-editing mode works in both bash and ksh, then under bash and ksh this will work:

[escape]\

fills in the rest of the filename.

On a seperate note, I always just customise my bash shells to work like ksh. I've always been a fan of ksh, definately the best command line shell. Though, bourne shell is still the most efficient for scripting (Of shells, back off, perl-dudes!).

Mr-Pope

here's some .bash_profile for ya:
# .bash_profile

# Get the aliases and functions
if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]; then
. ~/.bashrc
fi

# User specific environment and startup programs

PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin
ENV=$HOME/.bashrc
VISUAL="`which vi`"
USERNAME=""

# aliases and set options
alias which="type -path"
alias r="fc -e -"
set -o vi

umask 0077

export USERNAME ENV PATH VISUAL

A question for Korn (2)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#479926)

I've been an admirer of your work ever since I was exposed to it. How much of your material was inspired by earlier developers, such as Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, and Ministry?

Linx Distributions non compliance. (1)

keepper (24317) | more than 13 years ago | (#479929)

This might seem a little offtopic, but it really is no.

How do you feel about what some linux distributions do, they replace the Bourne Shell with the Bourne Again Shell.

/bin/sh != sh /bin/sh == bash

Interprited Language? (1)

Splatta (7993) | more than 13 years ago | (#479930)

Being a Solaris admin, I mainly use ksh for scripts. I know that Solaris ships with an older version of ksh (quite old as i know it), and lacks certain features that the latest versions of ksh has. I heard you're trying to make ksh more of an interpreted language, much like Perl or Python, and i would love to have that kind of functionality.

My question is: Are you working with Sun to include a newer version of ksh with thier operating system?

Re:Bash is a clone of ksh (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 13 years ago | (#479931)

Bzzzzzzt!

A bit more of a history lesson here. The Posix standard for Unix shells is basically a conservative (but reasonably thorough) definition of historical /bin/sh. That does *not* include anything like vi/emacs editing modes, which *were* a /bin/ksh invention. So bash *did* clone those (and other stuff) from /bin/ksh. Both are supersets of Posix (and thus /bin/sh), but both are a lot more than that, and the extra cool stuff that /bin/ksh added, bash got from it. (And added it's own cool stuff beyond that.)

If you are going to clone /bin/sh or /bin/ksh and extend it, Posix is a great place to start; it's probably the most detailed description of shell syntax you'll find.

Next: Last I checked, ksh typically had very poor support for arrow keys; you had to map your arrow keys Xkeysym's to be the right editing keys, which broke them for other apps. bash definitely does this better. Maybe newer ksh's have better support; the standard one on Solaris 7 has the limited support described above.

Finally, the "you young bucks" comments were meant to be a funny response to a cute historical inaccuracy by someone who obviously didn't know the full history. I'm only 30-ish myself. :-) And I consider myself to be one of the better Unix/Linux "nurterer's" around, helping a lot of folks on board with it. Definitely not l33t. :-)

There sure are a lot of sensitive and surly youngsters out there. Lighten up; go to a rave and take some Ecstacy, or whatever you young kids do for fun these days.

(For the seriously humour impaired, that was yet *another* joke.) -me-

Re:what about enhancing ksh syntax ? (1)

Mawbid (3993) | more than 13 years ago | (#479932)

Ehm, bash can't be 3157516 bytes on Solaris. That's 3 megs! Since it was apparently built locally, I guess it has debugging symbols. My /bin/bash is 400k, btw, larger than the 300k you mention. No wonder boot floppies use a more lightweight shell.
--

Public Apology (5)

watanabe (27967) | more than 13 years ago | (#479933)

Dear Dr. Korn, I feel I owe you an apology, and this seemed like a great chance! I went to school with Adam at Brown. And, in 1993, my roommate, Matt Smith, woke me up at about midnight, excitedly telling me "Do you know the Korn Shell? This guy's dad wrote the Korn shell!!!" He was coming in with Adam from somewhere.

I sort of turned over in my sleep, (I was extremely groggy), and said "I hate the Korn shell." and went back to bed. Adam never really talked to me after that, although he was polite enough to me at parties.

So, Dr. Korn, I feel I owe you an apology. I didn't mean to disrespect your lifework in front of your son! I still can't use the korn shell, but call it fear of the unknown, please, rather than lucid comments on your code.

Peter Vessenes, Brown '97

KSH on Solaris.... Why is it so poorly set up? (1)

jalbro (82805) | more than 13 years ago | (#479934)

I love the history and tab completion features of BASH. It works perfect on any Linux box I sit down at, and when it is put on a Sun box it makes life so much better. I would like to take advantage of the fact that Sun packages KSH with the OS, but I have found that none of the usability features are pre-configured. Even the teacher of a sys admin class had trouble setting it up. What gives?

Re:the ubiquitous bash shell? (2)

double_h (21284) | more than 13 years ago | (#479935)

For what it's worth (and I know this is common knowledge, but I'm mentioning in it hopes of limiting the number of redundant posts in this thread...): the reason that csh/ksh ship with commercial Unices and bash ships with Linux is because csh/ksh were originally written as non-free software. The need for a free, full-featured shell led to the development of bash, as well as free workalikes of the other shells (pdksh and tcsh) for those who needed to maintain close compatibility with existing ksh/csh scripts. (although scripting in csh is a bad idea from both a security and code maintainance point of view...)

Personally, I've stuck with bash ever since I first used it, because it combines the best features of ksh (job control, history, aliasing/substitution) along with invaluable interactive features like tab completion and emacs-style editing keystrokes. If I need to write scripts, I'll either make it Bourne-shell compatible (so it will run anywhere) or else write it in Perl (where I'm much more comfortable with the syntax).

But even though I haven't really used Mr. Korn's shell for about five years, I'm most appreciative of the advances he's made that have benefited programmers and admins everywhere. Good work!

Re:Why? (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#479936)

One problem is that for a machine of equivalent CPU, memory, etc, developing under a unix-like environment within Windows is much faster and efficient that developing on a true unix environment running X-Windows, and much much much more efficiently than playing with the console. I've found that I can move between windows faster, and because most useful documentation is online, regardless of your opinion on them, the Windows browsers work much better here.

I also can see it for cases where you remotely develop unix apps where the connectivity between the unix box and your workstation (in this case, a windows box), is poor. I did this when I had a dialup during school stuff. Make sure everything works well in Windows, and then transfer to unix, and double check to make sure it works; assuming the ports are true, then you have no problems.

How do you feel... (2)

tj8 (136262) | more than 13 years ago | (#479937)

about the fact that the band that bears your namesake sucks out loud?

What is a "Fellow", and what does it entail? (2)

Angelwrath (125723) | more than 13 years ago | (#479938)

Can you describe what it is to be a "Fellow" at AT&T, the work you like to focus on in that role, and how a person becomes a fellow?

On the third part about how a person becomes a fellow, what amount of experience or qualifications does one need?

Cheers!

Ksh Programming For the Web (3)

Dom2 (838) | more than 13 years ago | (#479939)

How do you feel that ksh holds up for web programming? I have always enjoyed programming shell scripts more than anything else, but I have always been unhappy with the shell idioms for parsing securely and correctly (the myriad of substitution operators is a nightmare to control). This is one area in which Perl has really taken the lead. How do you think shell programming could be better adapted for the web?

Also, how do you feel about most commercial Unix vendors (and projects like pdksh) that are still shipping ksh88 as the default, 13 years later? ksh93 has many more useful features, but the takeup has been slow.

Thanks,
-Dom

Re:Why? (1)

smillie (30605) | more than 13 years ago | (#479940)

Its flamebait because you were starting an OS war thread instead of discussing Korn shell issues. Yes windows sucks, yes I don't like to use it either but this is about Korn shell not windows. Perhaps it should have been better modded offtopic instead.

KSH Open Source (1)

bumperson (309668) | more than 13 years ago | (#479941)

Recently, ksh became open source (see announcement on http://www.kornshell.com) and slackware started to distribute KornShell 93. (See http://www.slackware.com). Can you clarify what the licencing terms are? Also, will ksh be included with other linux distribtuions? When? Will it replace pdksh on these systems?

Re:pdksh... (1)

Dom2 (838) | more than 13 years ago | (#479942)

I very much doubt that this would be the case, given that the pdksh team are aiming at a version that is 13 years old. :-)

Re:the ubiquitous bash shell? (1)

Dom2 (838) | more than 13 years ago | (#479943)

It comes with Solaris 8, but that's a very recent addition. Mind you, Solaris 8 also comes with zsh, which knocks bash into a cocked hat!

-Dom

Re:Why? (1)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 13 years ago | (#479944)

What if you have no choice, here UNIX runs on top of NT.

I am getting my first chance to develop with UNIX tools and ksh; moreover, I am just happy to get to use these tools as a professional.

By the way, I routinely switch between the two OS's and use what is appropriate at the moment.

[OT]Re:Comparison (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#479945)

I have to ask, although this isn't strictly on-topic: how do you enable filename completion with Esc-Esc in bash, rather than using Tab? Having learned to code on HP-UX, and still being forced to use it daily, I can get over most ksh-isms but I spend half an hour in the evening retraining my pinky to hit Tab for Linux, and then half an hour in the morning retraining it to hit Esc for ksh. I've tried different settings in my .bashrc, but they don't seem to be compatible with vi line-editing mode. Does anyone know a good setup that allows Esc-filename completion and vi editing mode under bash on Linux?

Why? (2)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479946)

This is a honest quetions. But why port Unix applications to Windows? The underlaying OS is still (IMO) *very* poorly designed and implemented so what would really be the point of running a Unix application in this environment. I would think it would make more sense to develop killer apps that will make people want to learn Unix rather than giving Microsoft the abillity to say that their platform can also run that same application. So with all due respect, keep in mind I do think you most likely know more about this then I do, what is the point?

Comparison (5)

Shadowlion (18254) | more than 13 years ago | (#479950)

Background: the only shell I've ever really used is bash. Bash has always seemed to be the standard UNIX shell (or, at least, the standard default UNIX shell), and for the most part I've always been able to do what I wanted in it.

Question: can you engage in a little unadulterated advocacy for a moment to offer some reasons why an informed user might consider using ksh over bash or other popular UNIX shells? What does ksh provide that other shells don't? Similarly, can you give a realistic appraisal of ksh's drawbacks as compared to bash or other shells?

Thanks.


--

Q: What are your thoughts of speeds of shells? (1)

Mr-Pope (245456) | more than 13 years ago | (#479954)

Sir Korn,

What are your thoughts on the difference of speed in shells: sh, ksh, bash, mostly. I've always been taught to do any serious shell script in the bourne shell, which I do. It's feature-less-ness is great for speed and efficiency. Also, what are your thoughts on perl? Again, related to the speed of execution/interpretation.

Now I may only use sh to script, but I think that your shell is the most efficient for command-line usage. Once I started using ksh, I never touched csh again...

Thanks for a great shell!

Mr-Pope

Urban legend? (2)

jbailey999 (146222) | more than 13 years ago | (#479955)

I heard an urban legend once about a microsoft seminar where they were announcing they they had a fully complient Korn shell available with their operating system. A gentleman in the audience stood up to tell them in exactly what ways it wasn't compliant and promptly got into an argument with the Microsoft VP. Apparently the person in the audience was David Korn. Is this true?

=)

Re:Interactive vs Programming features (1)

wobblie (191824) | more than 13 years ago | (#479957)

[one-step searchable visually modifiable history].

CTRL-R in bash. bash has a very rich feature set with command history. check out the man page.

ksh and bash have all the features you could want. Unfortunately, commercial unix vendors ship everything as user hostile as possible, and ksh is totally unconfigured. Even Alan Cox posted a rant [linux.org.uk] about hp sending a box with ksh, he had trouble with it. So I don't feel so bad.

Thanks to some HP/UX wizard son the linux hppa porting list I now have the HP/UX box believing that subnet zero is legal. I've downloaded large chunks of ftp.gnu.org and it is currently building enough to make the machine usable. It's amazing how much you miss -good- unix command line tools after you get used to Linux and the GNU ones. How Unix vendors can ship ancient shells with no job control and no cursor editing by default and still wonder why people buy NT is beyond me.

--Alan Cox


--

Re:What functionality/code in ksh r u least proud (1)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 13 years ago | (#479959)

You're talking to a Master for crying out loud!

What functionality or code in ksh are you least proud of, Sir?

Show some respect!

Unfair question (1)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 13 years ago | (#479961)

I have just begun to use ksh, by the way using the circa '89 book as my guide. Why is the a reworked Bourne shell the standard in Linux, when ksh seems to be superior?

Was ksh too large at the time, or was it offered only on a restricted basis at the time Linux was being created?

Feature request (2)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#479962)

I just read the ksh FAQ [kornshell.com] and I found this :

Q6. Are any further releases of ksh planned?
A6. Yes, we are in the process of planning for a newer version, ksh200X.
We are interested in suggestions for new features.
Again, most of the focus will be on scripting and reusability.


As I believe this poll is also aimed at defining these improvements I was thinking of the following:
Ksh is supposed to make people's life easier and I use it whenever integrating e-payment software on my servers.
I was then wondering whether some feature that I saw in VMS could be implemented in Ksh: directory-specific profiles.
For example, you log on and set your environment (profile) with your .profile. It'd be cool, IMHO to have the possibility (which could be activated or not whenever launching ksh) to set some .profile files in any directory so that by changing directories, one could easily update its configuration to the most relevant settings.
This would not only apply for a user working with the prompt but also whenever launching some specific scripts that are suppose to activate some binaries or whatever else somewhere.
This would then allow some context-sensitive programs to be automatically executed with a minimal knowledge of the environment.
So, I wouldn't have to say to the logged user to set their environement a given way whenever working or not with some apps.
BTW, some similar feature also exists on Acorn RiscOS [riscos.com] platforms and really makes one's life easier.
I think this is not incompatible with Unix and may even widen its possibilities (from the user's point of view).

Finally, here's my question: Do you want to restrict Ksh to fit a stereotypic Posix environment look'n feel or are you working to make it a real enhancement of such systems, especially in ergonomy?
--

Re:Bash is a clone of ksh (1)

ahuimanu (237298) | more than 13 years ago | (#479963)

the more you despise their youth, the more they'll despise your age and wisdom. Crapping on the heads of the kids is never the solution. I am not sure you could stand in any one place and declare the parameters of a *real* unix user. Why limit and narrow? If people are used to doing things a certain way (as you are from your heyday with unix-oriented keyboards) then why not accomodate that as well? I enjoyed learning from your post, but found your l33t-ism to be just what the budding community does NOT need. J-

Re:Bash is a clone of ksh (1)

Dom2 (838) | more than 13 years ago | (#479964)

1) Bash is not a clone of ksh. It's an independent implementation of the POSIX standard for unix shells. (It's actually a superset).

2) ksh does support the arrow keys, it just doesn't come set up that way (in ksh88, which most people seem to relate to). Ksh93 comes set up to use arrow keys, I think.

3) bash ain't nowhere near as cool as zsh. :-)

-Dom

Re:Why? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479965)

Did they not mention UWIN in the story. Would this not make a question about UWIN (along with my reasons for asking the question) ontopic. Had I said insulted David or not phrased it in such a way that made it clear (at least I thought so)that it is a honest question based on my observations you would be right. Otherwise I just don't see it.

what about enhancing ksh syntax ? (3)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#479966)

Ksh is quite cool as it is much more compact than bash ; here are their respective sizes on a Solaris system :
  • -> /usr/local/bin/bash -version
    GNU bash, version 2.02.0(1)-release (sparc-sun-solaris2.6)
    Copyright 1998 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

    -> ls -la /usr/local/bin/bash
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 bin bin 3157516 Jul 14 1998 /usr/local/bin/bash
  • # ksh -o emacs
    # Version M-11/16/88i

    # ls -la `which ksh`
    -r-xr-xr-x 2 bin bin 186356 Jul 16 1997 /usr/bin/ksh
On a Linux system, these are approximately 300k for bash and 160k for (pd)ksh.
In which direction do you plan to improve it ?
Will you rather keep it compact or extend its functionalities regardless the volume increase ?
This issue is quite important for me as, as of yet I am working upon some System-on-a-floppy distribution and the size appears to be critical in this context.
--

Who are you? Where are you going? (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 13 years ago | (#479967)

Shutton: Uh, Dave Shutton, Springfield Daily Shopper. Who are you? Where are you going?
Kent: Oh, do your research, Shutton!

Ever notice most of the questions people ask in these things are already answered in the FAQs, manuals and news items on various sites. Luckily, it's usually only the better questions that get modded up.

So, Dave ... (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479968)

Quick question: Vi or Emacs?

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479969)

Clearly, your opinion ain't worth shit.

What are the design problems with NT, particularly W2K? Also, what implementation problems are you referring to?

Or are you doing the typical GNUtard thing and talking about win9x - which, incidentally, still provides a better GUI than any Open Source efforts?

Re:Comparison (2)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#479970)

I think you meant Linux shell. Most other Unices come with either the csh or the sh. And of course all of IBM's stuff has the ksh by default. Although the first thing I do to a new SGI or Sun box is put bash on it, it is for the most part not there by default. Although I'm very interested in the answer to your question you might in the meantime take a look at Running Linux which has a very good comparision. Of course straight from the man who wrote the shell should be very interesting.
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