What are your opinions on "replacement" programs for core utilities - Programming On Unix

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mrnd
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I think reinventing the wheel can be very beneficial in these cases.

While the original coreutils are very powerful and have certainly advanced over the years, they have mostly just added new features and flags. Writing new, incompatible tools has a very important advantage: they can rethink the user experience and interface.

Even if we completely disregard the performance, using something like fd over find is simply much nicer. You can mostly do the same things, though find can probably do more things and is more versatile in scripting. But if I just want to find a file with "foo" in the name, `fd foo` is easier to use, even if I at this point know automatically that `find -iname '*foo*'` would do the same thing. And usually I'm only interested in source files, so fd automatically filters eg. .gitignored files away. Same with rg.

Someone could point out that this could be achieved with shell aliases, and for a long time I did that. But if you're okay with config management for all machines you use, you can practically with the same effort just install the new fancy tool, and get the other benefits as well. Thought, if I do require something more complex (usually with scripts), I usually fall back to coreutils, even if the fancy ones had the same features with different syntax. For complex things learned habits are more important to me. But not every search needs to be complex.

Interface design matters, even with CLI tools.


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RE: What are your opinions on "replacement" programs for core utilities - by mrnd - 14-03-2019, 03:59 PM