Work the Shell - Understanding Shell Script Shorthand

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!

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