Subject: Re: wiki.netbsd.se and shell scripts
To: None <netbsd-users@NetBSD.org>
From: Magnus Eriksson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 11/19/2006 17:52:20
On Sat, 18 Nov 2006, Christian Biere wrote:
> Unless the script is very short and obvious, or the wiki is only editable
> by known users, I'd think a wiki is a bad container for a script and
> that's one reason why SourceForge and others use SVN instead of mediawiki.
You know, that's one of the few reasons not to use a wiki that really
makes sense to me. To spell it out: With publically editable pages, J.
Evil H4xX0r can change the script into something that trashes user's
systems, mails personal data to other evil people, etc. (On the other
hand, there is nothing stopping someone from simply adding things like "to
upgrade, type rm -rf /" either.)
But I think there's a faulty assumption at work here. *Obviously*, a
wiki is not the best place for advanced scripts that do something useful
(they could go into pkgsrc I suppose), or even moderately complex scripts
that solve some little nag (I don't know where that should go).
It is, however, an excellent place to put scripts that demonstrate
some useful feature or other - or even one of those moderately complex
scripts I mentioned - provided the purpose is not just finding some place
to put them, but somewhere to *document* them.
I.e. for "did you know you could do this with sed?" type scripts, or for
showing people how you can solve day-to-day problems without having to
look for ready-made solutions. Don't forget that most people are actually
not sh programmers (gasp!) and might not know exactly what can be done
with the standard tools that are available in a base installaation.
One of the reasons I'm writing this is because I have actually, myself,
learned a few things just from examples on the sed/awk pages on the wiki;
things I would not even have known were possible. ("Oh, 'bc' can read
from stdin?") Yes, that is of course in the man pages. No, I don't
particularly enjoy reading man pages from a-z. They are a reference, not
So IMHO there is definitely a need for having some place to put things
like this. And the wiki seems to fit the bill.
(Apologies for any misspellings I didn't catch, the keyboard is unusually
crappy. And about ranting.)