unix tools followup

Following up on my earlier post:

  • Mark Hillebrand pointed me to some prior art on vidir, his mvedit is the same idea, with a different set of features including recursive directory lists and file name swapping, but not deletion.
  • I noticed Mark also wrote a matchedit which "allows editing of regions of files that match a regexp in a single session"
  • In the meantime, I've updated vidir, adding support for file swapping.
  • Enrico Zini pointed out that his tagcoll is a true unix tool, that can process its own output and can probably be used for all sorts of things besides working with debtags. A good example of how to generalize an originally very specific problem.
  • Colin Watson wrote about sponge, a tool no more complex than cat, that I am sure I have written in a line of perl at least twice, but never thought to save, and whose absence from the standard toolkit I've probably worked around hundreds of times.

This has only whetted my interest. Maybe the problem isn't that no-one is writing them, or that the unix toolspace is covered except for specialised tools, but that the most basic tools fall through the cracks and are never noticed by people who could benefit from them.

So, to provide some more incentive, I'd like to start a collection of new unix tools. I've worked on this kind of thing before with my collection of biff-type filters and Debian's devscripts. Sometimes just bundling up a set of programs consistently can add to their value. I think it can here too, once a critical mass of tools is assembled.

So, write more unix tools, and tell me about them so I can collect them into a package.