Subject: Re: and shell scripts
To: None <>
From: Magnus Eriksson <>
List: netbsd-users
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 
a tutorial.

   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.)