Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

According to @johnkitzmiller, you can’t spell function without fun. So let’s have some fun! What’s a function? Think of it as a script inside a script. Define functions at the beginning of the script instead of making repeated calls to the same task within a script. The other nice thing about functions is that the act of compartmentalization makes them simple to insert into a number of different scripts. For example, if you do a lot of curl commands to pull down something in a lot of different scripts, having the grabbing of the data as a function, then the parsing of it into an array as a function and ultimately the writing of it or dealing with an stderr as another might make it simpler to then port it into the next script and the next. Functions are simple to define. Just use (yes, you guessed it) the function command. So let’s look at the most basic function. Here, we’ll wrap a simple echo line inside curly brackets. So the syntax is function followed by the name of the function, followed by a curly bracket to introduce it. Then, I like to put a curly bracket on a line at the end of the function. Then I have a line where I just call the function. Note, there’s no special indicator, like a $ in front of the name of it or anything like that (unless you maybe variabalized it): #!/bin/bash function hellokitzy { echo "Hello Kitzy" } hellokitzy OK, so when you call it, it says hellokitzy. Obviously it could have nested if/thens, whiles, cases, etc. Now, let’s have two functions. In this example, we’ll basically just split the single echo statement into two; then call them in separate lines: #!/bin/bash function hello { echo "Hello" } function kitzy { echo "Kitzy" } hello kitzy As with shell scripts, you can also push a positional parameter into the function. Here, we pass a positional parameter into the script and it echos a hello to that parameter. You know, making our scripts a bit more personal and all… Then we call the function twice. In the first instance, we just pass the same parameter, but in the second, we actually replace it. We do this to show that the function overwrites the $1 inside that function, but if we did another call to the function we’d just get the original $1 as it doesn’t persist outside of the function: #!/bin/bash function term { exit } function hello { echo "Hello" $1 } hello $1 hello all echo "bye" term When run with a parameter of Kitzy, the above would simply output:
Hello Kitzy Hello all bye
That’s just for positional parameters that you’re feeding into a script though. If you have a variable (let’s call it a) and you update it in a function, then it will be the updated variable after the function. So in the following example, a echos out as two in the end: #!/bin/bash a=1 function quit { a=2 exit } echo $a Overall, functions are easy to use and make your code more modular. The only things that get a little complicated is that unless you know functions, you aren’t sure what’s going on in the beginning and when you are editing variables throughout the script you wanna’ make sure you know what changed things and when. OK, now you – have fun with functions, and feel free to use the comments to post some you wrote!

February 28th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Unix

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When you install Mac OS X Server you have the option to use Standard, Workgroup or Advanced. I have installed Standard for writing articles/books/etc about it, but from the first day I saw it I knew it wasn’t for me. Workgroup has some augmented record reasons you might use it, but is otherwise similar. Advanced is pretty much, make my server look like it did in 10.4 Server. Here you have Server Admin, Workgroup Manager and the other tools that comprise a Mac OS X systems administrators toolkit. But Standard is synonymous with “Simple” in this case and should rarely be used. If you are fairly non-technical then it can act as a nice gateway drug to bigger and better things – in that case you don’t necessarily need the configuration granularity that you have readily at your fingertips with “Advanced”. However, be able to leave behind Server Preferences and quickly transition into full-blown tools (it will ask you if you want to do so the first time you open Server Admin) at any time as you start to find that it’s limited in what it can do…

August 20th, 2009

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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