Exploring Expect: A Tcl-based Toolkit for Automating by Don Libes

By Don Libes

Anticipate is instantly turning into part of each UNIX user's toolbox. It lets you automate Telnet, FTP, passwd, rlogin, and thousands of alternative purposes that often require human interplay. utilizing anticipate to automate those functions will let you accelerate initiatives and, in lots of situations, resolve new difficulties that you just by no means might have even thought of earlier than. for instance, you should use count on to check interactive courses with out alterations to their interfaces. Or wrap interactive courses with Motif-like front-ends to regulate purposes via buttons, scrollbars, and different picture parts without recompilation of the unique courses.

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It is difficult to imagine why you might even want to embed some of these programs in shell scripts. Certainly the original authors of the programs did not conceive of this need. As an example, consider pas swd. passwd is the command to change a password. The passwd program does not take the new password from the command line. Instead, it interactively prompts for ittwice. Here is what it looks like when run by a system administrator. ) # passwd libes Changing password for libes on thunder. New password: Retype new password: This is fine for a single password.

The bulk of all interactive programs are like ftp and telnet-severely lacking in programmability. This lack of programmability is understandable. Consider writing an application that controls the printer. It is not worth writing a big language that requires a scanner, a parser, symbol table, etc. The application alone might only be 10Kb. However, it is impossible to predict what uses you might put your program to in the future. Suppose you get another printer. Then your program needs to understand this.

Finally, a gentle warning before you start reading-this book describes how to use Expect, but it is not a reference manual. While terse and lacking in background and examples, the man page that comes with the Expect software is always the latest and most accurate documentation. If Expect changes, it will be reflected there. Notational Conventions Body text is set in ITC Garamond Light. Terms being defined or emphasized are italicized. , rrn filename) appears as Courier Italic. info xxxiii Courier is used for source code, files, hostnames, literal I/O, or anything that is computer input or output.

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