SPUG: aliases, -> Korn Shell vs. PD-ksh

SPUG-list-owner tim at consultix-inc.com
Fri Jan 24 07:34:16 CST 2003

On Thu, Jan 23, 2003 at 07:26:39PM -0800, Brian Hatch wrote:
> > There's no reason to use the crappy PD-ksh that ships with the free
> > UNIX-like systems (unless it's improved drastically in the past 18
> > months, since I last rejected it).  That's because for years now,
> > you've been able to get the real Kornshell for free from the AT&T
> > research web site.
> What has pdksh not done correctly for you?  I haven't had a
> problem with it ever.

I teach a 4.5-day class called "Advanced Shell Programming",
and delivered that to some Fortune 500 company somewhere a few
years back.  Despite the fact that my software setup instructions
specifically indicated that they should provide the Korn shell,
they provided the PD-ksh instead, and insisted on using it.  I had
toyed with it a bit and found no obvious problems, so agreed to give
it a shot.  Well, we (myself and the 16 students) proceeded to find
a new problem with the PD-ksh about every 5 minutes for the rest of
the week, and many of my programming examples (using co-processes,
IPC, signals, exec, eval, etc.) did not work at all properly.
It was an unmitigated disaster, so I resigned myself to never let
that happen again.  Sorry, I don't remember the details of what the
exact differences, or outright failures were, just my conclusion
that just about everything it did it did differently than the real
thing, if at all.

But I'm not a shell zealot; if you like this shell (which may have
been thoroughly rehabilitated by now, for all I know), be my guest,
and enjoy it.  Personally, I'll stick with the actual Korn shell,
because it's equally free, rock-solid, and very extensively tested
by decades of programmers doing tricky stuff.

> 	  None of this 'alias rm="rm -i"' crap.
> That's why I don't use bash.  But having had no problems
> with pdksh, I don't see any reason to go out and
> compile at&t's version when my distro already comes
> with pdksh.
> Brian Hatch 

No need to compile it, you can download a Linux (or whatever)
executable for free.

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