UNIX Web Tools

These get used on a couple of different systems: a PC laptop running Linux, and the Well, which is a Sun machine.

  1. The joe editor. Most UNIX people fight over whether vi or EMACS is the better editor. We skip all that. We use vi when it can't be avoided. joe has a simple user interface, lots of help, and all the commands we care about included.

  2. For Web browsing in a command line, we use lynx. It's fast, skips all those boring images, and somehow makes even the worst laid-out pages work OK without the graphics. It's also enormously useful for development, with the lynx -source and lynx -dump options for quickly grabbing a page, or even an entire website, and writing them to standard output.

  3. When we need to move files between systems, we use the command-line ftp client. It's pretty standard on all UNIX systems, and easy to use, scriptable, and fast.

  4. One of the advantages of working in UNIX is that you have access to the full range of UNIX commands, like wc for word and line counts, sed, awk, grep and find for text processing and searching, chmod for direct access to file permissions and security, shell scripting, telnet for working on remote systems, and even the mundane commands like ls for finding information on files.

  5. For all kinds of programming problems we use Perl, a intepreted scripting language that is probably the best tool around for getting things done. It's fast, quick and dirty, and supports all the features of modern languages should you require them, but another of its great advantages is that you don't need to know much to start using it. It's easy to pick up on the fly.

  6. If need be, we use C or Java for their specialised uses. Although not strictly UNIX-only tools, they both have freely available compilers and development tools - C has the GNU C Compiler, gcc, and Java has the Sun Java Development Kit, with the java bytecode intepreter and the javac compiler.

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