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Portland Linux/Unix Group: This is a test(1): A shell scripter's guide to ubiquitous assumption testing

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We are using Zoom until an equally-reliable free and open source platform is available with an accompanying administrator



Portland Linux/Unix Group General Meeting Announcement

Who: Michael Dexter
What: This is a test(1): A shell scripter's guide to ubiquitous assumption testing
Where: Zoom, flawed as it is, link below
When: Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 at 7pm
Why: The pursuit of technology freedom

"Look before you leap" is a valuable lesson in many aspects of life but particularly in computer science and administration. Responsible developers make extensive use of the test(1), a.k.a. "[" utility which quickly and programmatically tests assumptions as simple as, "does this file exist", relying on zero and non-zero return values to answer that question. This deceptively-simple yet highly-efficient use of return values can avoid hours of debugging and achieve goals such as idempotence. This talk will explain the importance of the test(1) utility, and explain similar functionality in other utilities such as FreeBSD's grep(1), kldstat(8), and others that support "-q quiet" mode. It will also identify opportunities for additional "quiet mode" functionality.

About Michael

He broke it, he bought it. Michael has organized PLUG since late 2009 and did not find a speaker. By day, Michael has nursed depressed NAS systems back to life since 2012.

Returning to Zoom for now

PLUG aims to dogfood free and open source technologies whenever possible and Jit.si had a good run. It is quirky and very difficult to manage as a moderator, but it is free software. Recording meetings proved unworkable but thank you Vincent for spinning up a Jit.si VM during a meeting and removing the watermark. Many colleagues have reported that web-based Zoom is working better than ever with free and open source desktop operating systems and for the success of PLUG and my sanity as a moderator, I need to use the best tool for the job. Please continue to send your ideas for better tools and I would not rule out moving to a solution that someone is willing to take ownership of, as Vincent did with the Jit.si VM.


Meeting ID: 852 4953 0401 Passcode: 8675309 One tap mobile +13462487799,,85249530401# US (Houston) +17207072699,,85249530401# US (Denver)

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