digital literacy for everyone


alex line executive

[lit] [lit][lit] if you are looking for a "state of the art" python shell, alex isnt the solution for you. while organising a tonne of files, i wrote a tool called "figsh" to help me take care of some of the more repetitive tasks. figsh lacked a real command line, but it had enough features to let me do a lot of work without dropping back to the shell-- or switching to another window. alex is a lot closer to what i would have liked to use. with various features cobbled together, alex certainly wouldnt replace bash but i do use it more and more: [lit]*[lit] as a command shell [lit]*[lit] as a shell for running one-liner scripts [lit]*[lit] as a bash enhancer [lit]/[lit] scripting toolbox [lit]*[lit] as a tool for teaching the shell [lit]*[lit] as the only shell i would want to use in windows i have used bash for more than a decade, and its a fascinating mix of power and reliability and-- being extremely demanding when it comes to little stupid things. i am not a powershell fan-- too complicated for a shell-- i havent loved using the dos command line since i finally figured out how to get stuff done with bash, but ive also tried bash in windows and i didnt like it. so alex is bash for windows users, right? no, its a dos shell for bash fans. or whatever, alex is a nifty python tool that doesnt use real pipes because i couldnt make them work on both platforms-- so it just calls the shell you use in your debian[lit]/[lit]devuan-based or windows-based operating system. and while i do still switch back and forth between shells (i never said i could or that anyone /should/ write a bash replacement-- version from 0.1 is from just 4 months ago as of this writing) i have to say i love mixing its built-in tools with other command line stuff. some examples: find | isoname .pdf | tops 10 | bots 5 | arrdo pdf-loader no, alex doesnt have its own pdf loader-- i use evince personally. [lit]*[lit] find ... lists files in the current folder (find [lit]/[lit] or in windows find \ also works) [lit]*[lit] | isoname .pdf ... only show files that contain ".pdf" in them [lit]*[lit] | tops 10 ... show only the top 10 lines [lit]*[lit] | bots 5 ... show only the bottom 10 lines [lit]*[lit] | arrdo pdf-loader ... *for each line*, open with /pdf-loader/ line find | dc d2018 # find stuff from just this year echo "what is your name?" ; setinput t ; echo "hello, $t" arrdo is very powerful, and getting strings to work as similarly as possible in both bash and windows (i develop the windows part using wine) is a fun goal. so i tell people *dont use arrdo*, not that they have to listen. alex line executive COMES WITH NO WARRANTY, etc, etc. alex 2.8, mar 2019 mn usage: alex run the alex line executive or: alex --help show this help information and exit sleep [n] pause for one second or [n] seconds arrcurl [-a] url write contents of url as output pserver run a mini http server using the current folder locate row column change the cursor position colour colour highlight change the text colours cat file1 [file2] [-n] concatenate files and/or number all lines set vname value set vname to value setrandint vname min max set vname to a random number between min / max setinput vname set vname to whatever is input from the keyboard setnum vname num set vname to numeric num (variable or value) setadd vname v1 v2 set vname to sum of v1 and v2 (string or numeric) find | fsortplus find files, show size / sha256 / date / time find | fsortplusnows fsortplus, but create hash without whitespace find | dc [n] [d[srchdate]] [+/-szlimit] list name/size/time, colour by type | isoname text only show lines containing "text" | isoplus text only list files with lines containing "text" | minusname text remove lines containing "text" | isoleft text include if left equals text | isoright text include if right equals text | isonotleft text include if left != text | isonotright text include if right != text | lcase [or] ucase convert lines to lower or upper case | fields 1 2 3 4 _ show 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, _all fields/tokens | replace what with replace "what" with "with" | arrdo "do what" very powerful / do not use | tops n only show top n lines | bots n only show bottom n lines | noreps only show each line once, regardless of sort | var varname pipe output to varname | ascii [-h] display text as ascii codes (-h for hex) | rainbow rotate colours by -f field, -p pos, -l level | findsim find similar files | isogroup text show only groups containing text | groupbyleft howmuch uniq/sep by howmuch (includes singles) | groupsortlen sort groups by size | arrlen prepend each line with length while ; repeatedly do part after ; forin vname 500 ; do part after ; ...500 times forin vname array ; do part after ; ...loop through array next mark the bottom of a while or forin loop break exit a while or forin loop clear clear the screen pset x y c draw a dot at x, y in colour c chr asciicode [or unicode] output a character from ascii or unicode line x y x2 y2 c draw a line from x, y to x2, y2 in colour c echo $varname output $varname quit, exit quit the shell alex is a prototype, which i use frequently. like with any shell you are not fully aquainted with the quirks of, i would recommend playing with it carefully and obviously not running it on a production system. versions *1.8, 1.9, 2.0 and 2.1* i would stay away from too. theyre alright on the windows side, version 2.2 (included on this page) fixes the nasty variable output that only gets you when there are multiple lines. if this wasnt cross-platform i wouldnt be using string formatting, i would be using proper calls. but this is meant to interface with the windows cmd shell and also the bash shell, and also use pipes to connect programs [lit]/[lit] output together. so far ive only managed to do that by calling the shell. and while bash can easily do 100x as much, spending a decade on those skills is about as much as i want to do with that. highly recommended features: *--dc*, *--fsortplus*, and (with caution) *| variablename* ...*the variables still need to be isolated* (im oldschool and just use the word "alex" as a variable prefix, whatever) so *| var t* works and *| var great* works, but *| var p* can still get you into trouble for the moment. youre more than welcome to take part of alex (like dc) and fork it into a separate tool, please feel free. alex 2.2 is in the public domain. *old versions:* [lit][lit] 0.1 [lit][lit] 0.2 [lit][lit] 0.4 [lit][lit] 0.5 [lit][lit] 0.7 [lit][lit] 1.0 [lit][lit] 1.1 [lit][lit] 1.2 [lit][lit] 1.3 [lit][lit] 1.4 [lit][lit] 1.5 [lit][lit] 1.6 [lit][lit] 1.7 [lit][lit] 1.8 (*not recommended*) [lit][lit] 1.9 (*not recommended*) [lit][lit] 2.0 (*not recommended*) [lit][lit] 2.1 (*not recommended*) [lit][lit] 2.2 [lit][lit] 2.3 [lit][lit] 2.4 [lit][lit] 2.5 [lit][lit] 2.6 [lit][lit] 2.7 [lit][lit] 2.8 [lit][lit] 2.9 versions 1.8 - 2.1 will not run without modification, they are disabled due to a bug in the *| var* feature; this is fixed in 2.2.
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