Learning the bash Shell: Unix Shell Programming (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) Third Edition
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About the Author
Cameron Newham lives in Perth, Western Australia. After completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in information technology and geography at the University of Western Australia, Cameron joined Universal Defence Systems (later to become Australian Defence Industries) as a software engineer. He has been with ADI for six years, working on various aspects of command and control systems. In his spare time Cameron can be found surfing the Internet, ballroom dancing, or driving his sports car. He also has more than a passing interest in space science, 3D graphics, synthesiser music, and Depeche Mode.
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; Third edition (April 19, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 354 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0596009658
- ISBN-13 : 978-0596009656
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.9 x 9.19 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #124,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I would say my level is intermediate, and I often have to read things two or three times, then do a bit of research, to understand what they are trying to explain. My guess is that this book is written for experts who just need a quick 'how-to' on a new shell.
My company asked me to recommend a book for the people taking this course would find useful, so I began looking for a book to use to go along with the sessions on Awk. (My initial plan had been to give them the URLs for on-line materials, and I'm still doing that).
I selected this book to use as the reference (i.e, the one the people taking the class will buy) as after scanning through not just it but several other books it seemed to be the best one to recommend both as the basis for what I was teaching as well as other areas of shell programming which I will summarize but not go into extensively.
IMHO the students shoud find this book to be very useful as a printed reference long after the course is over.
The ideal reader already knows at least the names of the emacs and vi editors. That much helps understand the many features and two distinct feature sets available for command line editing. I consider fancy command line editing over-rated for fluent typists, but it's there in the second chapter for all who want it and anyone can benefit from at least a little knowledge of it. After that successive chapters pull the reader deeper into the bash feature set: aliases and shell variables, scripting and shell programming, and debugging when the shell programs or functions go awry.
Since this book is aimed at the novice, Newham and Rosenblatt skip lightly over a few of the more advanced subjects. For example, exceptions and trap handling get only cursory treatment, since they get into deep weirdness very fast. The authors are honest about this shallow treatment, though, and give enough information for a novice to recognize the basics and look them up in more advanced references.
This is nicely organized for the self-taught student. As a result, it's not laid out as a programmer's reference manual - anyone who wants that kind of reference just isn't looking at the right book. For its intended reader, though, it's a great book. It gets readers off to a fast start, and lets them decide just how much they want to bite off at a time. I recommned it very highly.
For the beginner, like myself, this is an easy introduction. It begins with the purpose and nature of the shell, moves you into basic concepts of using the shell and then takes you into the more complex area of shell programming. Unlike a number of "Learning" books from O'Reilly, this one is very well written for its target audience, which is beginners.
The approach is gradual, in small chunks, with lots of explanation. This is not a reference or tutorial for Linux, per se. It is about the bash shell and the Linux commands encountered are incidental to that goal. (The book, actually, is a survivor of the UNIX era.)
Because of the author's approach, picking up knowledge of the fundamentals of the bash shell is (thankfully) a quick process. The more advanced lessons on scripting are somewhat lost on me because I don't operate in a server environment and, as a result, don't have a real world context for some of the examples. Some of the chapter exercises, however, are quite challenging and will keep me busy for a while.
I am learning Linux and bash out of personal curiosity, so I don't know how much of this newly acquired knowledge I will use on anything resembling a regular basis, but the cool thing is that the book is obviously useful as a reference for those like me who will probably stay close to the beginner level.
Overall, a very nice way to learn the bash shell.
Top reviews from other countries
Like the other O'Reilly books on my shelf, I had hoped this would go into my head by osmosis if carried it back and forth to the office often enough. Long ago, I learned FORTRAN in a few weeks from a programmed course, and I wish such things were available for other computer languages. Of course, you can do this with PYTHON, so its really a question of sitting in a quiet room with a terminal.
Personalmente lo trovo un po' pesante e ripetitivo, si focalizza spesso su alcuni aspetti poco utili. Non è aggiornatissimo (2005).
Per imparare va più che bene. Per avere un riferimento pure. Se si è un professionista e si vuole approfondire, non è consigliatissimo.