A Little Story About the `yes` Unix Command

A Little Story About the `yes` Unix Command by Matthais Endler.

From the post:

What’s the simplest Unix command you know?

There’s echo, which prints a string to stdout and true, which always terminates with an exit code of 0.

Among the rows of simple Unix commands, there’s also yes. If you run it without arguments, you get an infinite stream of y’s, separated by a newline:

Ever installed a program, which required you to type “y” and hit enter to keep going? yes to the rescue!

Endler sets out to re-implement the yes command in Rust.

Why re-implement Unix tools?

The trivial program yes turns out not to be so trivial after all. It uses output buffering and memory alignment to improve performance. Re-implementing Unix tools is fun and makes me appreciate the nifty tricks, which make our computers fast.

Endler’s story is unlikely to replace any of your holiday favorites but unlike those, it has the potential to make you a better programmer.

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