The description of "select" in the bash man page is enough to give anyone a headache.
It almost looks like something a lawyer would write:
select name [ in word ] ; do list ; done The list of words following in is expanded, generating a list of items. The set of expanded words is printed on the standard error, each preceded by a number. If the in word is omitted, the positional parameters are printed (see PARAMETERS below). The PS3 prompt is then displayed and a line read from the stan- dard input. If the line consists of a number corresponding to one of the displayed words, then the value of name is set to that word. If the line is empty, the words and prompt are dis- played again. If EOF is read, the command completes. Any other value read causes name to be set to null. The line read is saved in the variable REPLY. The list is executed after each selection until a break command is executed. The exit status of select is the exit status of the last command executed in list, or zero if no commands were executed.
But it's actually not all that awful. Let's give it a spin:
PS3="Choose: " select i in a b c quit do [ $i = "quit" ] && exit 0 echo "You chose $i" done
By gosh, it's a menu, isn't it? You can get much fancier if you want, but just this is useful enough for those quick little jobs.
If you are writing in C, you'll want to use ncurses or Newt.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-06 Tony Lawrence
Basic happened to be on a GE timesharing system that was done by Dartmouth, and when GE decided to franchise that, it started spreading Basic around just because it was there, not because it had any intrinsic merits whatsoever. (Alan Kay)