You have seen a lot of smaller scripts and syntax up to now. Our examples have, of necessity, been small in scale and scope. Now we would like to show you a few larger (though not large) examples. They are meant to give you useful, real-world examples of actual uses of shell scripts beyond just system administration tasks. We hope you find them useful or usable. More than that, we hope you learn something about bash by reading through them and maybe trying them yourself or even tweaking them for your own use.
You want a simple script that prints a line of dashes.
Printing a line of dashes with a simple command might sound easy—and it is. But as soon as you think you’ve got a simple script, it begins to grow. What about varying the length of the line of dashes? What about changing the character from a dash to a user-supplied character? Do you see how easily feature creep occurs? Can we write a simple script that takes those extensions into account without getting too complex?
Consider the script in Example 12-1.