The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

source scripts

I am going to try calling the sort of shell command file that must be source'd, i.e. read into the user so that it can modify the environment, a "source-script".

As opposed to a "shell-script" or other command which is usually executed as a subprocess.

UNIX-style subprocess execution of commands provides isolation.  The parent is unaffected by the child, except for interactions through the filesystem.  (Although with the /proc filesystem, or the child applying a debugger to the parent, that could be significant.)

Whereas, consider a csh style source-script.  It can be changing directories all over the place to get its work done.  And it may terminate with an error before finishing properly.  So the "caller" or the source-script may not know what directory he is in after the source script terminates.

Q:  how many people do:

set saved_dir=`pwd`
source srcscript.csh
cd $saved_dir

And,of course, even that has obvious bugs.

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