How often do you have to look up the command for something?

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How often do you have to look up the command for something?

Postby annadane » 2016-12-17 21:24

And how much do you have memorized so you don't have to?
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-12-17 21:40

Very often :)

I use
Code: Select all
apropos $something

to find any commands related to $something.
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby Bulkley » 2016-12-17 22:13

Again, very often. I use Internet search. What bugs me is that I can't remember the right instructions for opening each of the various tar balls. Every time I download a tar package I have to look it up.

annadane, do yourself a favour and familiarize yourself with the man pages. At first you won't understand anything. Almost nobody understands them perfectly so don't be discouraged. Eventually, you will learn syntax and that is important. Being able to check a man page to see how something works or what the options are will save you all sorts of trouble in the long run.
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-12-17 22:15

Bulkley wrote:What bugs me is that I can't remember the right instructions for opening each of the various tar balls. Every time I download a tar package I have to look it up.

Did you know that most current versions of `tar` do this automatically?

This should work for any tarball:
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tar xf ball.tar.whatever

EDIT: sorry for the OT, OP.
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby GarryRicketson » 2016-12-17 22:27

I don't think I understand the question,.....
I couldn't find any command called "something"
Code: Select all
  apropos something
less(3p) - perl pragma to request less of something
 

I usually use 'man'
but again, no such command,..
Code: Select all
$ man something
man: No entry for something in the manual.
 


Code: Select all
 $ something
ksh: something: not found

Is this command 'something' some kind of new feature only to be found in
Debian ?

Post by Bulkley » 2016-12-17 16:13
Again, very often. I use Internet search. What bugs me is that I can't remember the right instructions for opening each of the various tar balls. Every time I download a tar package I have to look it up.


So I tried doing a search :
What does 'something' do on linux ?

But nothing about this command in the results either,...I think maybe it is
something I do not need to memorize, and this is the first ,and only time
I will need to try looking it up.
Also, I did not find any "packages" or "tar balls" available for down load,...
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-12-17 22:35

I used $something as a variable.

Please replace $something with whichever keyphrase is relevant for the search at hand.

For example, to search for comands related to wireless networking, we could try:
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empty@Arch ~ % apropos wireless
crda (8)             - send to the kernel a wireless regulatory domain for a given ISO / IEC 3166 alpha2
iw (8)               - show / manipulate wireless devices and their configuration
iwconfig (8)         - configure a wireless network interface
iwevent (8)          - Display Wireless Events generated by drivers and setting changes
iwgetid (8)          - Report ESSID, NWID or AP/Cell Address of wireless network
iwlist (8)           - Get more detailed wireless information from a wireless interface
iwpriv (8)           - configure optionals (private) parameters of a wireless network interface
iwspy (8)            - Get wireless statistics from specific nodes
netctl-auto (1)      - Control automatic selection of wireless netctl profiles
regulatory.bin (5)   - The Linux wireless regulatory database
rfkill (8)           - tool for enabling and disabling wireless devices
wireless (7)         - Wireless Tools and Wireless Extensions

Sorry for the confusion Garry :oops:

EDIT:
Code: Select all
empty@Arch ~ % export something=wireless
empty@Arch ~ % apropos "$something"
crda (8)             - send to the kernel a wireless regulatory domain for a given ISO / IEC 3166 alpha2
iw (8)               - show / manipulate wireless devices and their configuration
iwconfig (8)         - configure a wireless network interface
iwevent (8)          - Display Wireless Events generated by drivers and setting changes
iwgetid (8)          - Report ESSID, NWID or AP/Cell Address of wireless network
iwlist (8)           - Get more detailed wireless information from a wireless interface
iwpriv (8)           - configure optionals (private) parameters of a wireless network interface
iwspy (8)            - Get wireless statistics from specific nodes
netctl-auto (1)      - Control automatic selection of wireless netctl profiles
regulatory.bin (5)   - The Linux wireless regulatory database
rfkill (8)           - tool for enabling and disabling wireless devices
wireless (7)         - Wireless Tools and Wireless Extension

:D
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby GarryRicketson » 2016-12-17 22:43

What bugs me is that I can't remember the right instructions for opening each of the various tar balls.


Oh. I forgot,... let me see, if I can remember, this. ----------thinking,-------
trying to remember,---- :idea:
Code: Select all
 man tar

Found it :
TAR(1) General Commands Manual TAR(1)

NAME
tar - tape archiver

SYNOPSIS
tar {crtux}[014578befHhjLmNOoPpqsvwXZz]
[blocking-factor | archive | replstr] [-C directory] [-I file]
[file ...]
tar {-crtux} [-014578eHhjLmNOoPpqvwXZz] [-b blocking-factor]
[-C directory] [-f archive] [-I file] [-s replstr] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION
The tar command creates, adds files to, or extracts files from an archive
file in ``tar'' format. A tar archive is often stored on a magnetic
tape, but can be stored equally well on a floppy, CD-ROM, or in a regular
disk file.

In the first (legacy) form, all option flags except for -C and -I must be
contained within the first argument to tar and must not be prefixed by a
hyphen (`-'). Option arguments, if any, are processed as subsequent
arguments to tar and are processed in the order in which their------------snip---

Or, if the manual is not clear enough:
How to unzip a .tar file on linux
First hit: https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/tar-extract-linux/
Extract or Unpack a TarBall File

To unpack or extract a tar file, type:
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tar -xvf file.tar


That is what I do when I can not remember something, (and most of the time I can not remember much of anything) and I do
not have it in my 'history'
see
Code: Select all
man history

or in my "commands" file, where I keep notes on the commands
I use the most.,..... and until now I have never heard of any command called 'something',.... I had a hard time learning about the "foo" file and what it is
for as well, but it is a very important file, and everybody needs to know
about that, fortunately it is listed and there are plenty of search results
on what "foo" file does.
===== P.S. :
Thanks H_O_A_S,...
Sorry for the confusion Garry :oops:
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby annadane » 2016-12-17 22:46

This escalated quickly.
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby arochester » 2016-12-17 23:09

I'm not sure how you expect people to answer this, or how you will interpret what thay say.

The people who use the CLI will use it a lot. The people who don't want to use it much, will not use it much.

What answer do you want or expect? 47%? 4 out of 5? D?

There is always this, to remind people https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/refcard/refcard
"Something to be aware of: Debian is a core or source distribution. This means there are many Debian-based distributions. THEY ARE NOT DEBIAN."
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby bw123 » 2016-12-17 23:12

And how much do you have memorized so you don't have to?
...
This escalated quickly.


It was a fun thread, I give it a two

Code: Select all
$ apropos man --and apropos
apropos (1)          - search the manual page names and descriptions
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby pylkko » 2016-12-17 23:12

My opinion is that while most people think that medieval rote memorizing techniques are boring a quaint... that they have their uses in some places in life. For example, when you have to look up the command sequence for tar every time and you use it often. You just end up loosing a lot of time and "flow" from your work searching for stuff like that...
Edit: word missing from sentence
and p.s imagine if you had not memorized the times tables in primary school. You'd be looking up 6 x 8 on google. But since you did memorize that, now you have it for life. Why stop doing this in adulthood?
Last edited by pylkko on 2016-12-17 23:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby Ardouos » 2016-12-17 23:29

Sometikes for known tools that I do not use often, all the time to find new tools that will may be useful, or to replace another tool. I mostly try to rely on man pages when I forget switches/ functions.
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby 4D696B65 » 2016-12-17 23:46

A few things,

Take notes
Make a cheat sheet
Download a cheat sheet
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby pendrachken » 2016-12-18 00:24

pylkko wrote:My opinion is that while most people think that medieval rote memorizing techniques are boring a quaint... that they have their uses in some places in life. For example, when you have to look up the command sequence for tar every time and you use it often. You just end up loosing a lot of time and "flow" from your work searching for stuff like that...
Edit: word missing from sentence
and p.s imagine if you had not memorized the times tables in primary school. You'd be looking up 6 x 8 on google. But since you did memorize that, now you have it for life. Why stop doing this in adulthood?



I'm in my late 30's and never memorized the times table. Seems pretty pointless to me actually, I can just do the quick mental calculations in my head. I've also passed college algebra and statistics classes, with a few calculus classes soon to be taken too.

Code: Select all
6*8 ---> 8*2*3 = 48

if you need to break it down more:

8+8 = 16 : 16+16 = 32 : 32 + 16 = 48


No need for rote memorization of some stupid table when chaining a few dead simple calculations can be done in just as short of time. Or you could just use a calculator...


Saves brain space for the equations and such that actually matter.
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:twisted: How did it know?

The U.S. uses the metric system too, we have tenths, hundredths and thousandths of inches :-P
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Re: How often do you have to look up the command for somethi

Postby dasein » 2016-12-18 00:30

Although I agree with arochester that the question was inartfully phrased (after all, who keeps reliable and therefore trustworthy records on frequency of command lookups?), I can offer a general answer to the underlying philosophical question.

All. The. Damn. Time.

With some notable exceptions, command syntax just isn't worth devoting brain wrinkles to. It's more important to understand the theory of operation and look up the syntactical details when/as they become relevant.

My use of this strategy extends well beyond *nix commands. Some years back, I had occasion to use a high-end statistics package (SAS) a lot. I can explain the theory of operation behind, say, correspondence analysis all day. But I would consider it a gratuitous waste of scarce cognitive resources to memorize all of the switches used by SAS' PROC CORRESP.

The exceptions I mentioned fall into two categories: (a) constantly used (e.g., find) and (b) just too handy/insanely easy to remember (e.g., the -a flag on cp/rsync).
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