Tyler Zesiger wrote:
> The obsessive levels of abbreviation in the *nix world infuriate me. 
> Especially when it's so easy to make verbose and abbreviated commands 
> exist together, and do the same thing.
> 
> I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which is 
> no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out how to 
> copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info on 
> "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't what 
> it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask someone how to 
> copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing "cp", 
> with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour it took 
> me to figure out the command in the first place.

True. But the best thing would have been to read a tutorial of some
kind. It would have taken an hour, and you might have saved many hours
that you now will not get back.

> When I mention to *nix people how easy it would be to make "copy" work 
> simultaneously along with "cp" for the sake of user-friendliness, I'm 
> met with scorn and rage, and cat-calls saying "go back to windows". It 
> seems that most *nix people have no interest in other people, even to 
> the small extent of making things accessible for newcomers to their 
> favorite tools. That's what I call an antisocial failure to communicate.

Heh heh, no scorn and rage here.

Ordinarily this would be easy in Unix -- you'd make a link from cp to
copy. But it doesn't work here (unless I'm behind the times) for an
interesting reason. Such programs as cp. mv, and ln are traditionally
actually links to the *same* program on disk. Their different behavior
is explained by the fact that this program checks argv to see what name
it was invoked with, in order to know how to behave.

Believe me, this made a lot more sense in 1972 than it does today.

Of course, most shells have an "alias" feature; you can do something
like alias copy=cp or the like.

Failing that, you could always make your own script "copy" that simply
said cp $* or whatever.

> Ruby ought to have a either a .ruby extension, or no extension at all, 
> as someone else mentioned in this thread. I'm sure lots of anti-social 
> types find their meaning in life by insulting the intelligence of people 
> who can't figure out what ".rb" means, but I'm not one of them. I 
> wholeheartedly agree with you, that abbreviations are ancient relics of 
> an elitist and anti-social past, and they should be buried with the 
> creaky old coots that invented them.

LOL!

There are many things in society, not just in computing, where this is
true. :)


Hal Fulton,
Creaky Old Coot