[9fans] The freq command - Plan9

This is a discussion on [9fans] The freq command - Plan9 ; Greetings, I have been using Plan 9 in various forms for a short while, and I am very impressed with its minimalist design -- particularly its tendency not to implement any function that can be done by combining other functions. ...

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Thread: [9fans] The freq command

  1. [9fans] The freq command

    Greetings,

    I have been using Plan 9 in various forms for a short while, and I am very
    impressed with its minimalist design -- particularly its tendency not to
    implement any function that can be done by combining other functions.

    At first I missed rgrep et al, but I found that alternatives like 'grep $foo
    `{du $bar}' worked just as well. So I was surprised to find the program
    freq: it prints histograms of the character distributions in files. I am
    interested in doing things like identifying the language of a file, and
    thought it might be useful in tasks like that, but I wanted to ask what
    people in the p9 community use it for.

    Is freq used as the basis for other statistical tasks? Is it used by any
    components of the OS? My apologies if this has already been discussed. I am
    not interested in learning how it works (I have the man page and source),
    rather I want to know the why behind its creation.

    --underspecified


  2. Re: [9fans] The freq command

    freq is a ken original, an old program that sat in his personal bin
    for a long time.
    i don't remember what caused it to become public.

    the -r option was a late addition.

    it's an odd tool in the old unix tradition. its output is rarely the
    final answer
    but somehow encodes what you're looking for: this file is ascii; this file is
    latin-1; there are no tabs in this file.

    i don't think most people even know about it. it's not a central
    application; just
    a reminder of the halcyon days of fun little tools.

    -rob

  3. Re: [9fans] The freq command

    Greetings,

    Thank you for the informative reply.

    Freq is a nice little program. More people should know about it.

    Hoping for a return of the halcyon days of fun little tools,

    --underspecified

    On 10/8/07, Rob Pike wrote:
    >
    > freq is a ken original, an old program that sat in his personal bin
    > for a long time.
    > i don't remember what caused it to become public.
    >
    > the -r option was a late addition.
    >
    > it's an odd tool in the old unix tradition. its output is rarely the
    > final answer
    > but somehow encodes what you're looking for: this file is ascii; this file
    > is
    > latin-1; there are no tabs in this file.
    >
    > i don't think most people even know about it. it's not a central
    > application; just
    > a reminder of the halcyon days of fun little tools.
    >
    > -rob
    >



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