Collected notes on programming.

computer science dictionary


Notes on shell scripting.

Bash is a Unix shell and command language originally released in 1989. It can read and execute text files called shell script that are useful for automating tasks.

The terminal cheatsheet contains some of the commands that can be run as part of a bash script.

Running a script

Navigate to the directory containing the script and use ./ to execute it.

If the script fails with an permissions error, use chmod +x to make it executable.

#! Shebang. Indicates which interpreter a script should be run with: #!/bin/bash
$1, $2, ... The first, second, etc command line arguments to the script.
variable=value To set a value for a variable. Remember, no spaces on either side of the equal sign

Conditional logic

# conditional logic
if [ -d $HOME ]; then
  echo "The home directory path is $HOME"
  echo "Couldn't find home directory!"

# use semi colon when writing one liners
if [ -f $file ]; then echo "Found $file"; fi

# use double brackets to combine conditions
if [[ $condition == true && ! -n $value ]]; then
	echo "The $condition is true and value was not set."

# comparisons
if [[ $value -gt 0 && $value -lt 100 ]]; then
	echo "$value is greater than 0 and less than 100"


# print variable to text file overwriting existing content
echo $string > $file

# append a string to a text file
echo $string >> $file

# store file content as variable
string=$(cat $file)

# read from stdin
read -p "> " $string
echo "You entered $string"

# print the length of a string

# replace substring
string="The wind came from North East"
string=${string/"East"/"West"} # "The wind came from North West"

# various string manipulations
file=$(basename $path)   # file.txt
fileName="${file%%.*}"   # file
fileExt="${fileName#*.}" # ext

new="${string:2}" # "XYZ"
new="${var%???}"  # "VW"

string="Location: Earth"
new="${string%%:*}" # "Location"

# find substring
if [[ $string == "$subString"* ]]; then 
  echo "$subString was found at the beginning of $string"
elif [[ $string == *"$subString"* ]]; then 
  echo "$subString was found in the middle of $string"
elif [[ $string == *"$subString" ]]; then 
  echo "$subString was found at the end of $string"
  echo "$subString was not found in $string"

# string formatting
bold=$(tput bold)
normal=$(tput sgr0)
echo "${bold}This text is bold.${normal}"


# define an array
array=( "item1" "item2" "item3" )

# add an item to an array

# get the size of an array
echo ${#array[@]}

# loop through array items
for item in ${array[@]}; do
  echo $item

# read words from file and store them in an array
# read from file
while read line; do
  let count++
done < $file
# read from array
for line in "${words[@]}"; do
  echo ${line}


# reads a text file line by line
while read line; do
  echo $line
done < $file

# count files in folder
for $file in $path/*; do
  echo $file
  let count++

# print files of type txt
for $file in $path/*.txt; do
  echo $file


# use bash parameter expansion to set default variable values

# start a program as a forked process in a new window
programname &

# erases the last line printed in the terminal
tput cuu1;tput el;

# stopping time for script execution duration
startBuild=$(date +%s,%N)
_s1=$(echo $startBuild | cut -d',' -f1)   # sec
_s2=$(echo $startBuild | cut -d',' -f2)   # nano sec
# run commands
end_at=$(date +%s,%N)
_e1=$(echo $end_at | cut -d',' -f1)
_e2=$(echo $end_at | cut -d',' -f2)

# calculate passed time in seconds
passedTime=$(bc <<< "scale=3; $_e1 - $_s1 + ($_e2 -$_s2)/1000000000")
echo "The process took $passedTime seconds."

# output the name of all screen devices
function getScreenDevices() {
	# Uses xrandr to find all connected devices and stores their names in an array
	scrns=$(xrandr | grep -o '.* connected ')
	# scrns=$(grep -o ".* connected " test.txt)
	while IFS= read -r screen; do
		screen=${screen%% c*}
	done <<< "$scrns"

	for screen in ${SCREENS[@]}; do
		echo $screen


Use set with the following parameters for easier debugging:

e Halts on the first error.
u Halts on unset variables.
o -pipefail Halts on errors pipeline.
v Prints each line before it is executed.
x install --upgrade Prints each line after all substitutions and expansions have been performed.

Evaluating the arguments passed to a script

# case example
case $1 in
  echo starting
  echo stoping
  echo restarting
  echo don\'t know


Notes on the C programming language.

C is a widely used programming language, developed by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie during the 1970s. It is closely tied to the development of the Unix operating system.

A program written in C needs to be compiled - I use the Ubuntu pre-installed gcc. C programs can be debugged using gdb.


type *ptr A pointer of type named ptr
*prt The value of whatever prt is pointed at
*(ptr + i) The value of (whatever prt is pointed at plus i)
&thing The address of thing
type *ptr = &thing A pointer of type named ptr set to the address of thing

Converting strings to integers

ASCII Decimal
0 48
1 49
2 50
3 51
4 52
5 53
6 54
7 55
8 56
9 57


Notes on debugging.

The GNU Project debugger, displays what is going on 'inside' a program while it executes - or what it was doing at the moment it crashed.


gdb ./program starts gdb
run executes the code
s steps to the next line
n jumps over the next function
c continues execution
l prints 5 lines above and below current statement
break sets a breakpoint either at line number of function name
watch stops the execution everytime a variable value changes
display prints a variable value on execution stops
info displays information on breakpoints and watchpoints
clear # removes the breakpoint at line #
condition 1 i == "test" breaks at breakpoint 1 when i is "test"


Find and replace.

Regular expressions are useful for extracting information from any text by searching one or more matches of a specific pattern.

A regex usually comes within this form /abc/ where the search pattern is delimited by two slash characters /.


^The matches any string that starts with The
end$ matches a string that ends with end
^The end$ exact string match (starts and ends with The end)
long matches any string that has the text long in it


abc* matches a string that has ab followed by zero or more c
abc+ matches a string that has ab followed by one or more c
abc? matches a string that has ab followed by zero or one c

Character classes

User uppercase to negate.

\d* matches a single character that is a digit
\w* matches a word character (alphanumeric character plus underscore)
\s* matches a whitespace character (includes tabs and line breaks)
.* matches any character


In order to be taken literally, you must escape the characters ^.[$()|*+?{\ with a backslash \ as they have special meaning.


g global does not return after the first match, restarting the subsequent searches from the end of the previous match
m multi-line when enabled ^ and $ will match the start and end of a line, instead of the whole string
i insensitive makes the whole expression case-insensitive (for instance /aBc/i would match AbC)


A reverse polish-notation language for the virtual machine uxn.

For extensive notes, refer to the illustrated uxn notes.

incoming(2) | preonic | planck ez