Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grep: Yet Another Reason I Love Bash (the GNU/Linux Born Again Shell)

I have to say how incredibly awesome it is to be able to issue a one-liner like the following:

egrep -w --color --exclude-dir='.svn' '[Bb]usiness [Uu]nits?|BUs?' WEB-INF/jsp/*

Everywhere the expression Business Unit, business unit, or BU appears in the JSP pages is now listed on my screen in color.

How does it work?


Run grep (the GNU "find" utility) using Extended (that's where the E comes from) regular expressions.


I was looking up the word boundary expression in the man page for grep and found that the -w switch forces the match to occur within word boundaries.


Show the file names and matches in a different color (red) from the other text.


Prevents grep from looking in subversion (source control) directories

'[Bb]usiness [Uu]nits?|BUs?'

Match "business unit" with or without initial caps and with or without an "s" at the end, or match "BU". These matches have to occur on word-boundaries (because of the -w above) so that ABUSE does not match.


Run the match against all the files in the WEB-INF/jsp directory.

I pay about $150/year for an individual license for InteliJ IDEA because of it's refactoring, but it still can't do this. You can pry bash from my cold, dead hands.

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