Subject: Re: small hack
To: Simon Burge <>
From: Perry E. Metzger <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 09/22/1998 20:23:40
Simon Burge writes:
> On 22 Sep 1998 18:24:54 -0400  "Perry E. Metzger" wrote:
> > In doing some testing a couple of days ago, I needed something to
> > randomly shuffle a list of files. Unfortunately, jot didn't seem to do
> > what I wanted, so I wrote the following tiny program. Anyone object to
> > my adding it to /usr/bin? The whole thing is under 200 lines, with man
> > page (much less if you ignore copyrights :), and I've wanted this over
> > and over and over during the last ten years...
> Don't we have a package category for nifty little utilities?  This would
> seem like a good candidate for that rather than adding it directly to
> the main-line.

I respectfully disagree, even if it is my own hack.

1) The executable is 13k. Microscopic by today's standards.
2) Unix has a tradition of adding nifty little utilities like this
over time. If no one ever did that, we wouldn't have jot, or cut, or grep.
3) I've found myself wanting this small hack a number of times over
the years, which leads me to believe that others would also have a use 
for it.