Re: [dev] convergence

From: Daniel Bryan <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2013 12:04:21 +1100

On Wed, Jan 02, 2013 at 10:01:10AM +1100, Sam Watkins wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 01, 2013 at 02:13:14PM +1100, Daniel Bryan wrote:
> > Bash is my go-to for system scripting, but for something that will run
> > 100% of the time on my system for years it's not over-engineering to do
> > it efficiently.
> It would be nice to extend C with suitable function and macro libraries,
> and a little new syntax (can be done with a pre-processor) so that we could
> write compact code in C as in shell. Try setting up a shell pipeline in C,
> and you'll see what I mean. There's no reason it should be more
> difficult to do stuff in a compiled language, we barely ever use truely
> dynamic stuff like "eval" or varibles by name in the shell anyway.
> Combined with a good quick compiler or interpreter, we could get a real
> "C shell" into the bargain.
> tinycc for example is well fast enough to be used in an interactive REPL
> as if it were an interpreter; and that's without any attempt to optimize
> by pre-loading headers or whatever.
> Sam

For sure. Equivalent code in higher-level compiled languages like D or
Go can be made fairly idiomatic for pipelines and stuff like that.

Languages that are compiled "on the fly" like Clojure are far faster
than Python or Bash scripting, and in that specific case LISP can almost
reach the niceness of Bash.

On the other hand, it's not the fact that C is compiled that makes it
more efficient than the interepreted bash - it's the fact that C is just
reading files and filling buffers, whereas Bash is doing a dozen

Seeing as people have already implemented all of POSIX in a single
binary (BusyBox), I sometimes wonder how much work it would be to build
an in-process C library that you could leverage in your C code which
essentially provided things like awk and grep as functions which take a
stdin file descriptor and arguments and return a stdout/stderr pair -
but which do everything in the address space of the caller.

Imagine how much more idiomatic system scripting code would look - in
any language - if it was built on top of a library whose idioms are
those of the UNIX utilies.
Received on Wed Jan 02 2013 - 02:04:21 CET

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Wed Jan 02 2013 - 02:12:04 CET