Saturday, December 22, 2012

Useless Use of Echo

Most of us are familiar with the Useless Use of Cat Award which is awarded for unnecessary use of the cat command. For example, in nearly all cases, cat file | command arg can be rewritten as <file command arg.

In a similar vein, this post is about the useless use of the echo command. In nearly all cases:

echo string | command arg
can be rewritten using a heredoc:
command arg << END
string
END
or, using a here-string:
command arg <<< string
Note: Here-strings are not portable (but most modern shells support them) so use the heredoc alternative shown above if you are writing a portable script!

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