Bash (In Easy Steps)

Author: Mike McGrath
Publisher: In Easy Steps
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1840788099
Print: 1840788097
Kindle: B07NNWVL2Z
Audience:Bash developers
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead
Is Bash a computer language? It is certainly complex enough to need to book to explain it.

Easy steps books generally don't tackle topics which tend to be regarded as the sort of things that software gurus revel in. Bash is the scripting language of the Bash shell which in turn is found in most distributions of Linux. It is what you use to automate admin tasks, although it has to be said that some crazy programmers will use it for almost anything.

Having said that Bash is for Linux, I have to admit that Microsoft is embracing Linux at the moment and you can run it under Windows. The book has sections on getting started with Linux and which Linux on Windows, which is right up to the minute.


From here we move in fairly small steps through the idea the bash is a way to present commands to Linux and how to use wildcards and meta characters. The point here is that Bash is your command line interface with Linux, but it is also a way to create scripts which can be run from the same command line. Some, most in fact, books concentrate on the scripting idea and assume that you know about the command line. This particular book does things the other way around. It introduces Linux commands via Bash. This is great if you are a Linux beginner, but not if you are a Linux expert wanting to know about scripting - you could just jump to the later sections of course.

rt deals with functions and generally how to organize scripts.


Beyond Part 1, Getting Started, Part 2 is about Linux file management - creating folders, links, properties, compression and so on. Part 3 is about text handling and covers the cat command, redirection and a short introduction to the Vi Command Editor (Vim). Part 4 continues the exploration of Vim. How you feel about this depends on how you feel about Vim. Personally for simple things I prefer the Nano text editor and for more complex things an IDE or a word processor - but there are lots of people who love Vim. Part 5 is about changing the environment - changing the prompt, setting paths and so on.  Chapter 6 deals with a collection of things - pipes, processes and so on.

At this point we move on to using Bash as a scripting language. Part 7 is about using variables and expressions. Part 8 is about flow of control - conditionals and loops. The final The final part deals with functions and generally how to organize scripts.

This is a nicely produced book in color that will suit you if you like being introduced to things in small, two pages per topic, steps. Overall it is a good book for the Linux beginner. You might be slighly misled by the title as a book on Bash generally suggests a heavier emphasis on scripting, which you only reach in the final parts of this book. Much of the early part of the book is about using Linux commands to get jobs done with a focus on using the Bash shell as the command line. If this is what you are looking for then this is a good introduction to using Linux.

I have to warn you that there are a lot of commands not covered in this thin book - and this is because there are a lot of Linux commands, too many to cover even in a thick book! The final chapters on scripting are enough to get you going if you have some programming background, but really don't represent a full course on the topic.


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Coding for Kids

Author: Mike McGrath
Publisher: In Easy Steps
Date: February 2019
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1840788396
Print: 1840788399
Kindle: B07NVQXYCG
Audience: Kids wanting to code
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
There are a lot of books for getting kids started on computer programming - why this one?

Query Store for SQL Server 2019 (Apress)

Author: Tracy Boggiano & Grant Fritchey
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 234
ISBN: 978-1484250037
Print: 1484250036
Kindle: B07YNL3X4X
Audience: SQL Server DBAs and Devs
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Ian Stirk

This book aims to use Query Store to improve your SQL Server queries, how does it fare?

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 August 2019 )