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BOOK Beginning Linux Programming, 3rd Edition
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Old September 27th, 2006, 09:56 AM
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Default Page 54: exec command rarely used?

The author states:

exec 3< afile
This causes file descriptor three to be opened for reading from file afile. It's rarely used.

I disagree with the author's opinion that it is rarely used. Opening up a file for reading is a very common occurence. True, programmers will try to use more specific commands, such as grep, to find the specific variable they are looking for in a file, but I won't say that opening a file in order to read line after line is rare. As far as I know, I don't know of any other way to open a file for sequential reading besides using this command combined with the read command.

Here is real life example:

exec 3< $temp_file
#read each line and make a directory for it
while read -u 3 comp; do
directory=$(echo $comp | tr -s '/')
mkdir $main_dir$(echo $comp | tr -s '/') 2> /dev/null

This line of code opens up the file reading and then read each line creating a directory with the string on each line.

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