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posted by mrpg on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the #! dept.

Lifehacker has an Interview with Brian Fox, the author of the Bash shell.

Brian Fox is a titan of open source software. As the first employee of Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation, he wrote several core GNU components, including the GNU Bash shell. Now he’s a board member of the National Association of Voting Officials and co-founder of Orchid Labs, which delivers uncensored and private internet access to users like those behind China’s firewall. We talked to him about his career and how he works.

[...] I first recall being interested in technology at the age of 6. My father, a physicist at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, had a teletype machine in the basement of the house we were living in. It connected to BBN via a modem. The baud rate was probably around 110bps—quite low. I used to hold down the CTRL key while pressing “G”, which would cause the bell to ring.

[...] I joined with my other 4 co-founders in 2017 to create the Orchid Protocol for a truly decentralized, surveillance-free internet.


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:28PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:28PM (#610739)

    Ksh > bash

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:36PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:36PM (#610742)

    Either way somebody could make lots of jokes about backdooring you, given all the holes in bash since... 2.0 came out?

    That big exploit a few years back I had actually been warned about back in the 90s by a friend as a reason to use some other shell.

    Of course since all the shell scripts on linux REQUIRED bash features, sometimes even while referencing /bin/sh, instead of /bin/bash, I never migrated off it, because rewriting every shell script when I barely knew any shell scripting would have been impossible for me.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by requerdanos on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:49PM

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:49PM (#610772) Journal

      shell scripts on linux REQUIRED bash features, sometimes even while referencing /bin/sh

      I don't know about all the linuces* in the world, but in Debian and derivatives, /bin/sh isn't bash. (it isn't sh either; it's dash.)

      $ cat /etc/debian_version ;file /bin/sh
      buster/sid
      /bin/sh: symbolic link to dash

      Dash is a smaller shell that loads faster/depends on fewer libraries/has fewer features than bash; the Debian folks say that switching to dash results in a faster system boot time given that (faster loading time) * (many scripts loaded during boot) = less time to boot.

      ---
      * operating systems based on linux kernel + gnu userland

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:08PM (#610749)

    Kirk shell > Gorn shell

  • (Score: 1) by turgid on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:11PM (1 child)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:11PM (#610750) Journal

    I remember when the ksh license was changed to make it free-as-in-beer. All the Real Unix(TM) people loved ksh, and they were very excited. They thought it might take over the world. The problem is the FOSS shells had been steadily improving over the years to the point that they were "good enough." I seem to remember some discerning types using zsh. It was a lot better than bash at one point.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Arik on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:24PM

      by Arik (4543) on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:24PM (#610796) Journal
      I really like ksh and I'm convinced it would be the only shell worth using if it had not been for licensing. He published the ksh proper, the language spec, public domain, but he didn't want unclean hands on his precious source code and resisted opening that. By the time he had, the Free shells had already adopted many of the best bits and reimplemented them. So it never really got the traction it deserved.

      BASH wasn't really all that great at first frankly.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?