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. … 😕 )
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.
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. 😉