Work the Shell - Understanding Shell Script Shorthand

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Wherein we delve into the mysterious shell script authoring style of system scripts, deciphering common shorthand notations and exploring why they are a part of scripting. If you ever dig about in system scripts, you'll definitely want to read this column!
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Dave Taylor has been hacking shell scripts for over thirty years. Really. He's the author of the popular "Wicked Cool Shell Scripts" and can be found on Twitter as @DaveTaylor and more generally at www.DaveTaylorOnline.com.