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Previous: 10.7 How to Put if-then-else in a C Shell Alias Chapter 10
Aliases
Next: 10.9 Shell Functions
 

10.8 Fix Quoting in csh Aliases with makealias and quote

Getting quoting right in aliases can be a real problem. Dan Bernstein wrote two aliases called makealias and quote that take care of this for you.

For example, here I use makealias to avoid having to quote ! and * :

% 

makealias mycat
cat `ls | sed '1,/!*/d'` | less



[CTRL-d]

alias mycat 'cat `ls | sed '\''1,/\!*/d'\''` | less'

I typed the makealias mycat command and the line starting with cat and got back an alias definition with all of the quoting done correctly.

The properly quoted alias definition is sent to the standard output. That line is what you would use to define the alias. [2]

[2] [The mycat alias runs cat on all files with names later in the alphabet than the argument you type. The output of cat is piped to the less ( 25.4 ) pager. For example, let's say your current directory has the files afile , count , jim , and report . Typing mycat   count would display the files jim and report . - JP  ]

And here are the quote and makealias aliases themselves:


alias quote     "/bin/sed -e 's/\!/\\\!/g' \
   -e 's/'\\''/'\\'\\\\'\\''/g' \
   -e 's/^/'\''/' -e 's/"\$"/'\''/'"
alias makealias "quote | /bin/sed 's/^/alias \!:1 /' \!:2*"

Pretty gross, but they do the job.

- JIK in comp.unix.questions on Usenet, 17 February 1991


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