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bash Pocket Reference Paperback – May 20 2010
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About the Author
Arnold Robbins is a professional programmer and technical author who has worked with Unix systems since 1980 and has been using AWK since 1987. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. Arnold is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor.
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I should point out, though (and this is something that a previous reviewer seems to have missed), that this guide does *not* cover the use/syntax of all the external programs one might find on a *NIX system (e.g., grep, find, etc.). The reference is to BASH only and its associated builtin commands. And to be honest, external commands don't really *need* a reference like this, since they should already have man-pages that explain their usage.
Considering the price and the abundance of information, the BASH pocket reference is a great buy for anyone who does even casual work in the BASH shell.
For those who would like to write shell scripts and learn from the Bash man pages but don't have an eternity to spare reading a verbose document on such an easy programming tool, the Bash Pocket Reference is for you.
Because my eyes (and pocketbook) have yet to adjust to the concept of eBooks, the dead tree edition is preferred. Combine working knowledge with other books (like the sed & awk Pocket Reference and the Linux Pocket Guide) and internet resources with this book and you'll be writing shell scripts like a pro in just a few hours. Then after a few days, you'll start to kick butt writing shell scripts that do things that GUI based programs do but at a price of memory consumption. (BTW, use a text editor like vim or emacs when programming! Learning how to use screen or tmux also couldn't hurt, in fact it will make things more productive provided you can memorize various combinations to complete tasks.)
I highly recommend this book for anyone using Linux or UNIX as their operating system.
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