Move "It's easier to read" to the beginning of bullet. Mention keyboard key trouble, font trouble
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* It's easier to read. The character ` is difficult to read with small fonts or on large display. The key may to access the character may be located in a obscure place in non-US keyboard.
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* It's easier to read.
Why is $(...) preferred over `...` (backticks)?
For several reasons:
- It's easier to read. The character ` is difficult to read with small fonts or on large display. The key may to access the character may be located in a obscure place in non-US keyboard.
- It makes nesting command substitutions easier. Compare:
x=$(grep $(dirname "$path") file) x=`grep \`dirname "$path"\` file`
Newbies who see $() don't normally press the wrong keys. On the other hand, newbies who see `cmd` often mangle it into 'cmd' because they don't know what a backtick is.
- Backslashes (\) inside backticks are handled in a non-obvious manner:
echo "`echo \\a`" # prints a echo "`echo \\\a`" # prints \a echo "`echo \\\\a`" # prints \a
Inside $(), there are no such surprises.
Nested quoting inside $() is far more convenient.
echo "x is $(echo "$y" | sed ...)"
In this example, the quotes around $y are treated as a pair, because they are inside $(). This is confusing at first glance, because most C programmers would expect the quote before x and the quote before $y to be treated as a pair; but that isn't correct in shells. On the other hand,
echo "x is `echo \"$y\" | sed ...`"
Backslashes are no more no less surprising than elsewhere IMHO
echo `echo \a` # prints a echo `echo \\a` # prints a echo `echo \\\a` # prints \a echo `echo \\\\a` # prints \a echo $(echo \a) # prints a echo $(echo \\a) # prints \a echo $(echo \\\a) # prints \a echo $(echo \\\\a) # prints \\a
The same sort of things happens without any quotes or within "".
I suspect the real advantage of $( ) here is that you don't need to take extra care of the quotes (\ ""), you just put them as usual, ie echo "`echo \"foo bar\"`" vs echo "$( echo "foo bar")" -- pgas
Just for the record, \" inside `backticks` is only required in Korn shell and Bourne shell. Bash and dash both treat
echo "`echo "foo bar"`"
exactly the same way they treat
echo "$(echo "foo bar")"
although this is an excellent point that I'm going to add to the bullet list up above. -- GreyCat
The only time backticks are preferred is when writing code for the oldest Bourne shells, which do not know about $().