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Posted December 29, 2011
Good reference - but non-linear
This has served as a decent reference for learning or reinforcing shell scripting knowledge with the BASH shell. Early sections can help a new scripter start writing some useful scripts quickly, but the reader must be prepared to put a bit of work into getting the most from the book. The book sometimes pushes several tools/features/parameters into a small section that does help a new script writing become quickly acquainted with built-in commands and usage, but requires them to spend a bit of extra time in each chapter to do some "on your own" work to really understand and gain full benefit of the knowledge contained. However, for many this would not be a detractor, as practice is the best means of retention and understanding in this type of activity.
Some of the forward references can cause confusion, where example scripts include code snippets or commands that are not explained until later in the text. In cases where the commands are fairly intuitive this is not a problem. However, there are some cases where the examples include some not-so-intuitive BASH variable parameter modifiers that require forward-referencing in the text to really understand the example.
I would recommend this book as a reference, and as with any topic of this type would also recommend supplementing it with other references such as relevant man pages or online examples.
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