Confession time. I have a nasty habit. It’s filthy, it’s hard to control, I’m guilty of indulging it at just about any time, and I’m really, really, trying to get this monkey off my back.
It’s called "lazy caps".
I’ve been doing it for years. It started innocently enough as merely a bit of rebelling against The Man. I mean, what’s the point? The word "Point" and the word "point" mean exactly the same thing. There’s no difference whatsoever. So if the meaning never changes, why do I have to capitalize point just because it’s the first word of a sentence? Only Fools need Rules, preach it!
The problem is…well, the problem is it makes one look poorly educated and…lazy. Thus, ‘lazy caps’.
Admittedly, I am indeed lazy. No question about it. But I always excused it as being a pragmatic response to expediency. That extra throw of the little finger just to capitalize a letter—it’s wasted effort dang it! And I’m a busy, busy guy! I can’t be troubled with these little nuisances. I have information to share, time is of the essence!
Why an entire post about it? To alert my faithful readership that you may note that almost every post here has been – or will be – updated to correct as much of the lazy caps as I can find. So as you’re eagerly absorbed in merriment reading through my vast archives, don’t be alarmed that I’ve gamed the posts to add savory bits for your further titillation. No sir. I’m merely correcting ‘i’ to ‘I’ a few hundred thousand times.
Nearly a decade ago, I came up with a couple of ideas that wound up staying with me all this time. I still use them to this day.
Nothing but a directory. That’s it. But it brings a bit of order to the harried sysadmin’s life. Need to muck about with /etc/vfstab, one of those files where the slightest little typo can give you quite a blast of the cold sweats?
cp vfstab NOT_IN_SERVICE
Now, that doesn’t seem like brain surgery. And certainly it’s not. But it makes a place where you can keep ‘coordinated’ backups of important files before you muck with them, or move kruft from things you don’t need/use into a place for safekeeping, So they won’t clutter the work environment. By putting it in all-caps, it provides a bit of a clue to someone coming along behind you—say, if you’re hit by a bus—as to where things might be. At minimum, it’ll tweak their curiousity. It’s a little thing, but I’ve found it very, very handy. There’s NOT_IN_SERVICE directories scattered hither and yon on my servers.
And the other idea?
Much like any other admin, I find myself writing many, many, little scripts. It’s part of life, shuffling and manipulating data. And /usr/local/admin/bin is where I keep that ‘toolbag’. It keeps the stuff I’ve written separate from the main tree of applications, so they’re all in one place, easy to refer to, particularly when I forget what I named one of them! Obviously, it’s another path to add to your PATH env, but that’s nothing. Late at night, when I just know I wrote a script that does X, Y, and M, but can’t for the life of me remember what I called it—just cd in there, and I know I’ll spot it in a jiffy. Good luck searching through 300+ commands in /usr/local/bin at 3am.