paste: I would vote for a different name

I know I’m almost 50 years behind the curve on naming ancient Unix commands, but paste just seems … wrong to me.

paste, if you believe in man pages, should “write lines consisting of the sequentially corresponding lines from each FILE, separated by TABs, to standard output.”

That’s fine. And I even get paste to do some fun things for me. Like …


Granted, those columns are a little slipshod, but I blame myself for that. If I trim each word to six characters, paste lines things up quite nicely.

(Which incidentally raises another question: How to change tab widths at the console, outside of any application … ? Hmm. … ๐Ÿ˜• )

No, I have no real complaints about what paste should or shouldn’t be doing. It’s working as I supposed it would, and without an egregious amount of effort.

But still … “paste”? “splice” might have worked for me. Or “tabulate.” Or “columnify.” paste just seems … oblique. Tangential. A misnomer.

Too late now though. I have about as much chance of ever getting the name changed as I do having this scurrilous little blog declared required reading for all primary school students in the U.K. No way, no how.

No matter. paste it is. Let’s move forward.

P.S.: I’ll give you a hint which package owns paste: It starts with core and ends with utils. ๐Ÿ˜‰

3 thoughts on “paste: I would vote for a different name

  1. Theodore

    This really is inspiring. Had to do a simpler and hackish version of overkill by Now, to me is missing a statnot done in c and a timed buffer. Either my memory is a fault or I have to thank you. Again. ๐Ÿ˜€

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