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Re: status on $[arith] for eval arith vsl $((arith))??

From: Aharon Robbins
Subject: Re: status on $[arith] for eval arith vsl $((arith))??
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 13:03:16 +0000 (UTC)

In article <address@hidden>,
Linda Walsh  <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Because, as Linda discovered, there is still working code out there using
>>> it.  Maybe we'll get to a point where it's all gone, but we're not there
>>> yet.
>> IMO, the working code out there that relies on $[...] either runs on
>>older versions of bash.
>Actually it was a version of 'sh',

On many GNU/Linux systems, sh is a link to bash.

>Might be a good reason to ditch bash and stick with something that supports a 
>syntax that's been around for 20 years.

You might want to start at http://www2.research.att.com/~gsf/download/ to
get the current source code for ksh93.

> Like it costs how much?  I would **bet** that it cost more code to support
> (()) than to support [] as arith ops .. so if you want my opinion,
> lets toss (())...

As has been pointed out, for better or for worse, $((...)), is existing
practice (from ksh93) and is what is standardized by POSIX.  I suspect
that many people would agree with you w.r.t. aethestics, code maintainability,
and so on.

Unfortunately, in the case of the shell language, and many other nooks
and crannies of the Unix toolset, it's just plain too late to change.
(You might want to find a copy of the Unix version of the 'rc' shell,
which shows the results of one person's starting over from scratch.)

As has also been pointed out, although possibly not too recently in
this forum, membership in the POSIX working groups is open to anyone
who wishes to participate. It is a worthwhile experience (I was involved
in POSIX in the early 1990s), and *that* truly is the way to influence
the standards and the code that implements them.
Aharon (Arnold) Robbins                         arnold AT skeeve DOT com
P.O. Box 354            Home Phone: +972  8 979-0381
Nof Ayalon              Cell Phone: +972 50 729-7545
D.N. Shimshon 99785     ISRAEL

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