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2003/11/05 here file


© November 2003 Tony Lawrence

Bourne-like shells have an ability commonly referred to as "here files" or "here documents". A simple example is:

LS=`ls`
cat <<STUFF

hello
$LS
bye

STUFF
 

Many programmers and scripters will use EOF as the marker, though what you use is entirely up to you.

Perl uses a similar syntax, the only real difference being the requirement for a terminating semicolon on the invoking line:

#!/usr/bin/perl
print <<EOF;

hello
..
bye

EOF
 

Perl can be a bit trickier about this than the shell can; see the Perl documentation for examples.

Probably the most creative use of "here" syntax is the "shar" program, which bundles files up into a self extracting shell script using here documents.


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