sl and sl: Useless/useful

The command ls lists files in current directory in many ways. Misspelling it as sl is common. Common enough to make an ASCII joke about it. Linux distribution Debian packages sl as this ASCII joke.

Debian's package screenshot

Today, Trivium pointed to a much better and brand-new sl.

sl takes the most common use of Unix ls, to display the files in a directory compactly in multiple columns, and makes it substantially more useful.

Right. Take a look at those screenshots, a long look. More information per square-centimeter.

Steps to get this in your MacOS X machine (which in my case is an old 10.5):

  • get Tcl8.5 installed
  • Installing it would be something like gnumake all; gnumake install
  • download the sl script into your path
  • chmod the sl script to be executable
  • Update: Be really surprised when it looks like ls, finding out it was an alias from Oh My Zsh. Remove the alias in the ~/.oh-my-zsh/lib/aliases.zsh file
  • change the sl shebang script line to the new /usr/local/bin/tclsh

A recipe like this sounds like a package management task. Robots are our friends.

This code is not yet packaged or pull-requested in Mac Homebrew, which also uses the ASCII animation for its sl. Sadly, brew search tcl does nothing useful, either. This is a time for heroes.

Published by olleolleolle

Olle is a programmer, enjoying sunny Malmö in Sweden.

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