There is an useful and multifarious Tool, known well to all who toil upon the line of command, it is called ‘ls’, ell ess, the Lister of Stuffs. None use this contrivance more than a day — nay, an hour — without learning the Option ‘-l’, dash ell. Verily it is the most profitable Option, yielding as it does a ‘long list’, full of many Details and engrossing.

A Bird on a Dead Wolf

Yet of a certainty there is more Wealth and Information to be mined from ‘ls’, as when yon list be sorted in deft and practical ways. By way of Example, this sorting can be summon’d with the option ‘-t’, dash tee. Thus the Command is instructed to sort your stuffs in order of Time. Time, upon which the philosophers weary us with their pond’ring, to ‘ls’ simply says: lo, listeth the newest first, and the oldest last. Nota Bene — without combining this with our stalwart ‘-l’, this ord’ring mayn’t be discerned, so do employ them both, ‘-lt’, dash ell tee.

A Crocodile and a Hydrus

And yet still more propitiousness may be granted us from the Lister’s eager aid, by binding one final Option, ‘-r’, dash arr, along with ‘-t’, thus conjuring a fantastic kind of Time Reversal. Ergo, ‘-ltr’, dash ell tee arr, will bestow upon your wond’ring eyes a long listing of Stuff that is order’d by Time, yet showing the newest last.

To what end? When wading through Directories of Stuff which be long, t’is often True that the Item thou seeketh is the newest, as with the logges of stdout or Apatche or Railes, and thus ‘-ltr’ is an Combo Option that would profit us well, should we keep it close to hand.

Ctrl-D, Amen.

A Bird on a Dead Wolf, ~1270, Franco-Flemish
A Crocodile and a Hydrus, ~1270, Franco-Flemish
Digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

~ this page pub. 12 October 2013 ~
Table of Contentes ~ next page: Sponsors »