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Learning the Korn Shell by Bill Rosenblatt


Learning the Korn Shell by Bill Rosenblatt

The Korn shell is an interactive command and scripting language for accessing Unix(r) and other computer systems. As a complete and high-level programming language in itself, it's been a favorite since it was developed in the mid 1980s by David G. Korn at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Knowing how to use it is an essential skill for serious Unix users. Learning the Korn Shell shows you how to use the Korn shell as a user interface and as a programming environment. Writing applications is often easier and quicker with Korn than with other high-level languages. Because of this, the Korn shell is the most often used shell in commercial environments and among inexperienced users. There are two other widely used shells, the Bourne shell and the C shell. The Korn shell, or ksh, has the best features of both, plus many new features of its own. ksh can do much to enhance productivity and the quality of a user's work, both in interacting with the system, and in programming. The new version, ksh93, has the functionality of other scripting languages such as awk, icon, Perl, rexx, and tcl. Learning the Korn Shell is the key to gaining control of the Korn shell and becoming adept at using it as an interactive command and scripting language. Prior programming experience is not required in order to understand the chapters on basic shell programming. Readers will learn how to write many applications more easily and quickly than with other high-level languages. In addition, readers will also learn about Unix utilities and the way the Unix operating system works in general. The authors maintain that you shouldn't have to be an internals expert to use and program the shell effectively. The second edition covers all the features of the current version of the Korn shell, including many new features not in earlier versions of ksh93, making it the most up-to-date reference available on the Korn shell. It compares the current version of the Korn shell to several other Bourne-compatible shells, including several Unix emulation environments for MS-DOS and Windows. In addition, it describes how to download and build ksh93 from source code. A solid offering for many years, this newly revised title inherits a long tradition of trust among computer professionals who want to learn or refine an essential skill.

About the Author

Bill Rosenblatt is author of the the O'Reilly Nutshell Handbook(R) Learning the Korn Shell; co-author, with Deb Cameron, of Learning GNU Emacs; and a contributor to UNIX Power Tools. He is director of publishing systems at the Times Mirror Company in New York City and a columnist in SunWorld Online magazine on the World Wide Web. Bill received a B.S.E. from Princeton University and an M.S. and A.B.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, each in some variant of computer science. His interests in the computing field include multimedia databases, electronic publishing, and object- oriented systems. Outside of the computing field, he's interested in jazz, classical music, antique maps, and Sherlock Holmes pastiche novels. Bill lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He wishes his landlord allowed pets so that he could truthfully claim to have a dog and cat with suitably droll names like Coltrane and Ravel. Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th May 2002


Bill Rosenblatt

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O'Reilly Media, Inc, USA


434 pages


Programming & scripting languages: general
Operating systems



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