= U =
[from the comp.unix.shell group on Usenet] Stands for
`Useless Use of cat'; the reference is to the Unix command
cat(1), not the feline animal. As received wisdom on
comp.unix.shell observes, "The purpose of cat is to concatenate
(or `catenate') files. If it's only one file, concatenating it with
nothing at all is a waste of time, and costs you a process."
Nevertheless one sees people doing
cat file | some_command and its args ...
instead of the equivalent and cheaper
<file some_command and its args ...
or (equivalently and more classically)
some_command and its args ... <file
Since 1995, occasional awards for UUOC have been given out, usually
by Perl luminary Randal L. Schwartz. There is a
web page devoted to this and other similar awards.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.