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Re: ed proposal - multiple files on command line

From: Paul Jackson
Subject: Re: ed proposal - multiple files on command line
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 23:58:52 -0800

John wrote:
> I like the feature, but not the syntax.  "%" in ex means
> "this file", not "the next file".

Eh - "%" means this file for other commands, the next file for
the 'e' command.  In general, it expands to some filename.

If someone wants to have 2 ways to get at this feature, with
':n' or whatever, in addition to the 'e %', that's fine by me.

But every version of ed that I've used heavily since the mid-1980's
has had 'e %' edit the next file.  Anytime I get stuck using a version
that lacks this, for more than a quick edit on a foreign machine, I
build my own ed that can do this.

I would find the addition of such a feature to ed that was only
accessible via some other invocation than 'e %' to be personally

> I'd like to use ed, but there are just enough features that ex has that
> ed does not, that I can't, quite.  These are:
> ! with a range to process a range of lines through a command;

Yeah - to do that in ed is a bit cumbersome, requiring tmp files.
For example, to "fmt" lines 11,33 of /etc/services (a silly thing
to format this way ;):

  $ ed /etc/services
  11,33w !fmt > /tmp/x1
  -r /tmp/x1

< ... > and < commands to indent and unindent, with multiple ones allowed.

Yeah - I keep around a perl script, that I call "I" to indent (or with
an argument outdent), which I filter text through, using tmp files as
above.  And I keep around whatever is my favorite text formatting
command of the year in a script I call "F", to format text blocks with
nicely wrapped lines.

Not particularly pretty, I'll agree.

                  I won't rest till it's the best ...
                  Programmer, Linux Scalability
                  Paul Jackson <address@hidden> 1.925.600.0401

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