In response to an email which protests that no living unix geek hates octal, including an in depth explanation, because of course the only reason I could have to dislike it is to not understand it. Much like many other syntaxes I don't get I have read about it, I understand it a little, and I still find it annoying.
Thanks, that's a nice writeup. Want to throw it in the wiki?
Skipping the politics, I am bad with arithmetic and find the more cumbersome ugo+-rwx easier to read and clearer. Also, this is ancient stuff. Now we have ACLs and ACEs .. not that I have any intention of letting the customer in on that. :D
The politics? Style and preference. As a lousy programmer, I find shortcuts like octal and the ternary operator in C to be .. ugh. I'd much rather type three lines that make sense to everyone and make the types easier to find than to blast out a little (Perl-esque) nugget that works fine but is unintelligible. Portability, readability, maintainability make for useful code.This is, in fact, my only point of dislike of the Rails book. He uses stupid shortcuts in tutorial code for beginners to his platform that no one should ever use in production code.
It is similar to the ongoing difference of opinion about documenting your code (or your tickets). "If it's obvious to me why do I have to make notes?" is bad form for anything but personal hackery. In CS school they make you write your documentation headers first, and in XP methodology you write your docs and your unit tests first ;) Some people do not like this ..
You are correct that I should be fluent in octal. :)
Ed note: I also suck at binary, such as for subnets. We have software for this, people. Computers are good at math. People are good at other things. Gah.