The Big Thing in Unix
Here is a quote from Erik Engheim that resonated with me:
The big thing in Unix was the realization that instead of building large monolithic systems, one could build smaller programs which could communicate with each other. This was accomplished with the concept of pipes and environment variables. The output of one process could be redirected and made into the input of another process using pipes.
Pipes are a way to connect the standard output of one program to the standard input of another program, allowing the output of the first program to be used as the input for the second. This allows the output of one program to be processed or transformed by another program, enabling the creation of complex processing chains.
Environment variables are another important concept in Unix-like systems. These are variables that are set by the system or by the user and can be accessed by any program running on the system. Environment variables can be used to store and pass information between programs, such as the location of a particular file or directory, or the value of a specific configuration option.
Overall, the use of pipes and environment variables is a key aspect of the Unix philosophy, which emphasizes the use of small, modular programs that can be combined in flexible and powerful ways to accomplish a wide range of tasks.
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