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Using csh & tcsh (Nutshell Handbooks) Paperback – July 8, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's the dope: a Unix shell is both an interactive command interpreter, and an environment for writing scripts, which are basically programs using the interactive commands and some logical control structures to automate tasks that don't really need to be run interactively.
The author of this book, Paul Dubois, is of the opinion that neither csh nor tcsh are appropriate environments for shell scripting. I happen to disagree with him, at least insofar as I teach a little shell scripting in tcsh in my sophomore level software course. However, his opinion is worthy...making the argument that csh and tcsh shouldn't be used for shell scripting. Dubois recommends sh and perl for scripting.
So it boils down to this: this is an excellent book for learning how to make the most of the interactive environment of csh and tcsh. It's loaded with neat tricks and good insights. And it's a particularly good reference for tcsh, which usually gets little mention in other books.
If, on the other hand, you want a book about shell scripting, save your money: THIS IS NOT THE BOOK FOR YOU. It has no material on shell scripting.
One thing I particularly like about his approach is that he doesn't try to sell csh as some kind of "mega language" that can be adapted to all scripting tasks. Its states explicitly on the back cover: "This book does not cover programming or script writing in csh or tcsh because these tasks are better done with a different shell, such as sh (the Bourne shell) or a language like Perl." The emphasis is on interactive use, an area in which tcsh shines.
Speaking of tcsh, I appreciate that the author comes right out in Chapter 1, pg. 5 and says: "I recommend you make tcsh your login shell for daily work. tcsh is more powerful and convenient than csh, and can help you get your work done more effectively." The first book I bought on this subject ("Unix C Shell Field Guide") didn't even mention the extended features of tcsh, and it went into *way* more scripting examples than I cared to read (i.e., the Swiss Army knife approach to csh). I was just looking for a way to minimize my typing and maximize productivity, like the Unix wizards I used to see hanging around the computer labs in college.
I remember watching those guys and being amazed at the pages and pages of data that would scroll by as they calmly typed in keystrokes. I thought they must be typing a mile-a-minute to be getting all that output, but they never broke a sweat.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I do not understand the bad reviews either.
With that said, as a long time sh users around the time the book was publshed someone changed my shell to csh on the server I... Read more
An absolute novice might find this book useful...but the book is thin and skips a myriad of essential info for the power user. Not one of the better 'nutshell' books.Published on February 26, 2011 by D Anderton
Csh and tcsh are no good for shell scripting, but they're great for an interactive shell. With bash, the reverse is true. Read morePublished on June 30, 2010 by A. P. Chamberlain
This book is for learning how to use the tcsh and csh shells from the command line, not for scripting. If you want scripting look elsewhere. Read morePublished on May 18, 2008 by calvinnme
A book for the basic UNIX user. Does NOT include anything about writing scripts for this shell! Worthless! Don't waste your money. Read morePublished on October 20, 2006 by Joe
What the heck ? This book omits MOST of the commands of csh/tcsh.
I later realized that I could have found this from the other
reviews, but I fundamentally... Read more
I've been a csh and tcsh user for many years now, using tcsh on a daily basis. This book taught me even more about my familiar shell. Read morePublished on August 21, 2000 by Jon Parise
Is it just me, or shouldn't a work which purports to teach how to use a shell which includes such conditional statements as "if", "else" and "then"... Read morePublished on September 23, 1999