3 releases (1 stable)
|1.0.0||Mar 3, 2021|
|0.2.0||Mar 1, 2017|
|0.1.0||Feb 23, 2017|
#369 in Text processing
What it is
rewrite is a simple command-line utility that allows for the in-place rewrite of a file's
contents, even where the file is being read from as the input. This makes transforming the contents
of a file via other standard unix utilities dead simple, even when they expect the input and output
files/streams to be physically separate.
You have a sequence of chained operations/commands that reads from a given file
file, and you want
to replace the contents of
file with the result of that chain of commands. If you try to redirect
the output of your script via something like
> file or even
| tee file, you'll find that more
often than not, you'll lose everything and corrupt your data. That's because the upstream command is
reading from the same file that is being written to, overwriting the input with the output.
rewrite makes it stupid easy to work around this problem. Just pipe the output of your
rewrite file and you'll get the result you expected. Easy peasey!
Say we want to sort a file. We don't want to sort a copy of the file, we want to sort the file itself (obviously). Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Here's an example wherein we select 1024 random words from a dictionary file and then want to sort the output.
shuf -n 1024 /usr/share/dict/words > words.txt
We can easily sort this list with the
sort utility, but what happens when we try to save the
output to itself?
sort words.txt > words.txt # don't do this!
This will result in a complete loss of data, as the shell will set up the output file handle
sort gets a chance to open the same file to read it. In the end, you get neither this nor
that and lose all data in the process!
Here's what you would normally do instead:
sort words.txt > temp mv temp words.txt
Which is easy & straightforward enough, except when
sort is part of a bigger workflow or a script,
or when you forget, or when
temp already exists, or when you don't have as straightforward of a
case and don't realize that your source and destination files are one and the same.
rewrite to the
Here's how simple using
rewrite here would be:
sort words.txt | rewrite words.txt
rewrite does all the "magic" of reading from
stdin and buffering the content until
the upstream command has finished executing, then writing the output to the named file accordingly.
rewrite is written in rust for performance, safety, and out-of-the-box cross-platform support.
rewrite (presuming it's not already available as a binary for your platform in your
favorite package manager) is as simple as
cargo install rewrite
Pre-built binaries for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and OS X are available separately. Assistance packaging and distributing on platform-native package managers is welcome.
As of version 1.0,
rewrite is free of any dependencies (native or otherwise).
rewrite is released to the general public without warranty in hopes of being useful under the
terms of the MIT license.
rewrite was written by Mahmoud Al-Qudsi, and development is sponsored by