Structured (XML-like) input/output for shell apps?
Many shell apps/scripts output data in tables, for example ls -l, ps
aux, top, netstat, etc.
At the moment, most of these apps use fixed-width columns with a
This results in (unnecessary) truncation, for example:
Debian- 11918 0.0 0.1 4428 1464 ? Ss Jun05 0:00
/usr/sbin/exim4 -bd -q30m
tcp 0 0 TC218-187-80-45.2:35589 bananensaft.inline.:www ESTABLISHEDproxy
Also, because the output isn't structured (in way easily readable by
machines), using the data in a script isn't (very) easy and is likely to
break due to strict dependency on the syntax.
Are there already any plans to solve these issues?
I was thinking, using structured output (and maybe input) in an XML-like
way would solve these and allow neat post-processing.
It also separates data generation and presentation, which would be an
advantage if the presentation needs to be changed.