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Re: Why have "shell" when there's "term"

From: Kai Großjohann
Subject: Re: Why have "shell" when there's "term"
Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2003 14:12:52 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (David Combs) writes:

> Could someone who uses eshell, or who has tried  it,
> please tell us the advantages and disadvantages are
> of  eshell?

Eshell allows you to use both shell and Lisp commands.  For example,
typing "find-file foo" into the eshell prompt will do like M-x
find-file RET foo RET does.

Where a shell will allow you to execute a subshell and integrate its
output into the current command, eshell also allows you to execute

For example, in a shell "echo Hello, time is `date`" will execute the
program date and insert its output into the command line, so that the
result of this command will be to print three words and then the
current date.  In eshell, you can do

        echo "Hello, it is $(current-time-string)"

to execute Lisp, and

        echo "Hello, it is ${date}"

to execute a shell command.

Furthermore, eshell knows to invoke M-x term RET for some commands.
For example, if you type "vi /tmp/foo", then you will get a terminal
with a vi inside.

The biggest disadvantage of eshell is that it is not well
documented.  To this day, I still don't know how to do loops.  I
believe that eshell could be even more powerful with loops, but so
far I just chickened out and invoked M-x shell RET and ran the loop
from there...  Stupid me.

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