RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

          rc, cd, eval, exec, exit, flag, rfork, shift, wait, whatis,
          ., ~ - command language

          rc [ -srdiIlxepvV ] [ -c command ] [ -m initial ] [ file [
          arg ... ]]

          Rc is the Plan 9 shell.  It executes command lines read from
          a terminal or a file or, with the -c flag, from rc's argu-
          ment list.

        Command Lines
          A command line is a sequence of commands, separated by
          ampersands or semicolons (& or ;), terminated by a newline.
          The commands are executed in sequence from left to right.
          Rc does not wait for a command followed by & to finish exe-
          cuting before starting the following command.  Whenever a
          command followed by & is executed, its process id is
          assigned to the rc variable $apid.  Whenever a command not
          followed by & exits or is terminated, the rc variable
          $status gets the process's wait message (see wait(2)); it
          will be the null string if the command was successful.

          A long command line may be continued on subsequent lines by
          typing a backslash (\) followed by a newline.  This sequence
          is treated as though it were a blank.  Backslash is not oth-
          erwise a special character.

          A number-sign (#) and any following characters up to (but
          not including) the next newline are ignored, except in quo-
          tation marks.

        Simple Commands
          A simple command is a sequence of arguments interspersed
          with I/O redirections.  If the first argument is the name of
          an rc function or of one of rc's built-in commands, it is
          executed by rc. Otherwise if the name starts with a slash
          (/), it must be the path name of the program to be executed.
          Names containing no initial slash are searched for in a list
          of directory names stored in $path.  The first executable
          file of the given name found in a directory in $path is the
          program to be executed.  To be executable, the user must
          have execute permission (see stat(2)) and the file must be
          either an executable binary for the current machine's CPU
          type, or a shell script.  Shell scripts begin with a line
          containing the full path name of a shell (usually /bin/rc),
          prefixed by `#!'.

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

          The first word of a simple command cannot be a keyword
          unless it is quoted or otherwise disguised.  The keywords
               for in while if not switch fn ~ ! @

        Arguments and Variables
          A number of constructions may be used where rc's syntax
          requires an argument to appear.  In many cases a
          construction's value will be a list of arguments rather than
          a single string.

          The simplest kind of argument is the unquoted word: a
          sequence of one or more characters none of which is a blank,
          tab, newline, or any of the following:
               # ; & | ^ $ = ` ' { } ( ) < >
          An unquoted word that contains any of the characters * ? [
          is a pattern for matching against file names.  The character
          * matches any sequence of characters, ? matches any single
          character, and [class] matches any character in the class.
          If the first character of class is ~, the class is comple-
          mented.  The class may also contain pairs of characters sep-
          arated by -, standing for all characters lexically between
          the two.  The character / must appear explicitly in a pat-
          tern, as must the first character of the path name compo-
          nents . and ...  A pattern is replaced by a list of argu-
          ments, one for each path name matched, except that a pattern
          matching no names is not replaced by the empty list, but
          rather stands for itself.  Pattern matching is done after
          all other operations.  Thus,
               x=/tmp echo $x^/*.c
          matches /tmp/*.c, rather than matching /*.c and then prefix-
          ing /tmp.

          A quoted word is a sequence of characters surrounded by sin-
          gle quotes (').  A single quote is represented in a quoted
          word by a pair of quotes ('').

          Each of the following is an argument.
               The value of a sequence of arguments enclosed in paren-
               theses is a list comprising the members of each element
               of the sequence.  Argument lists have no recursive
               structure, although their syntax may suggest it.  The
               following are entirely equivalent:
                    echo hi there everybody
                    ((echo) (hi there) everybody)
               The argument after the $ is the name of a variable
               whose value is substituted.  Multiple levels of indi-
               rection are possible, but of questionable utility.
               Variable values are lists of strings.  If argument is a

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

               number n, the value is the nth element of $*, unless $*
               doesn't have n elements, in which case the value is
               empty.  If argument is followed by a parenthesized list
               of subscripts, the value substituted is a list composed
               of the requested elements (origin 1).  The parenthesis
               must follow the variable name with no spaces.  Sub-
               scripts can also take the form m-n or m- to indicate a
               sequence of elements.  Assignments to variables are
               described below.
               The value is the number of elements in the named vari-
               able.  A variable never assigned a value has zero ele-
               The value is a single string containing the components
               of the named variable separated by spaces.  A variable
               with zero elements yields the empty string.
               rc executes the command and reads its standard output,
               splitting it into a list of arguments, using characters
               in $ifs as separators.  If $ifs is not otherwise set,
               its value is ' \t\n'.
               The command is executed asynchronously with its stan-
               dard output or standard input connected to a pipe.  The
               value of the argument is the name of a file referring
               to the other end of the pipe.  This allows the con-
               struction of non-linear pipelines.  For example, the
               following runs two commands old and new and uses cmp to
               compare their outputs
                    cmp <{old} <{new}
               The ^ operator concatenates its two operands.  If the
               two operands have the same number of components, they
               are concatenated pairwise.  If not, then one operand
               must have one component, and the other must be non-
               empty, and concatenation is distributive.

        Free Carets
          In most circumstances, rc will insert the ^ operator auto-
          matically between words that are not separated by white
          space.  Whenever one of $ ' ` follows a quoted or unquoted
          word or an unquoted word follows a quoted word with no
          intervening blanks or tabs, a ^ is inserted between the two.
          If an unquoted word immediately follows a $ and contains a
          character other than an alphanumeric, underscore, or *, a ^
          is inserted before the first such character.  Thus

               cc -$flags $stem.c

          is equivalent to

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

               cc -^$flags $stem^.c

        I/O Redirections
          The sequence >file redirects the standard output file (file
          descriptor 1, normally the terminal) to the named file;
          >>file appends standard output to the file.  The standard
          input file (file descriptor 0, also normally the terminal)
          may be redirected from a file by the sequence <file, or from
          an inline `here document' by the sequence <<eof-marker.  The
          contents of a here document are lines of text taken from the
          command input stream up to a line containing nothing but the
          eof-marker, which may be either a quoted or unquoted word.
          If eof-marker is unquoted, variable names of the form $word
          have their values substituted from rc's environment.  If
          $word is followed by a caret (^), the caret is deleted.  If
          eof-marker is quoted, no substitution occurs.  The standard
          input file may also be redirected from a file by the
          sequence <>file, which opens file exactly once, for reading
          and writing.

          Redirections may be applied to a file-descriptor other than
          standard input or output by qualifying the redirection oper-
          ator with a number in square brackets.  For example, the
          diagnostic output (file descriptor 2) may be redirected by
          writing cc junk.c >[2]junk.

          A file descriptor may be redirected to an already open
          descriptor by writing >[fd0=fd1], <>[fd0=fd1], or
          <[fd0=fd1].  Fd1 is a previously opened file descriptor and
          fd0 becomes a new copy (in the sense of dup(2)) of it.  A
          file descriptor may be closed by writing >[fd0=] or <[fd0=].

          Redirections are executed from left to right.  Therefore, cc
          junk.c >/dev/null >[2=1] and cc junk.c >[2=1] >/dev/null
          have different effects: the first puts standard output in
          /dev/null and then puts diagnostic output in the same place,
          where the second directs diagnostic output to the terminal
          and sends standard output to /dev/null.

          newconn <>/net/tcp/clone >[1=0] opens /net/tcp/clone exactly
          once for reading and writing and puts it on standard input
          and output.  lpd <>[3]/net/tcp/42/data opens
          /net/tcp/42/data exactly once for reading and writing and
          puts it on file descriptor 3.

        Compound Commands
          A pair of commands separated by a pipe operator (|) is a
          command.  The standard output of the left command is sent
          through a pipe to the standard input of the right command.
          The pipe operator may be decorated to use different file
          descriptors.  |[fd] connects the output end of the pipe to
          file descriptor fd rather than 1.  |[fd0=fd1] connects

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

          output to fd1 of the left command and input to fd0 of the
          right command.

          A pair of commands separated by && or || is a command.  In
          either case, the left command is executed and its exit sta-
          tus examined.  If the operator is && the right command is
          executed if the left command's status is null.  || causes
          the right command to be executed if the left command's sta-
          tus is non-null.

          The exit status of a command may be inverted (non-null is
          changed to null, null is changed to non-null) by preceding
          it with a !.

          The | operator has highest precedence, and is left-
          associative (i.e. binds tighter to the left than the right).
          ! has intermediate precedence, and && and || have the lowest

          The unary @ operator, with precedence equal to !, causes its
          operand to be executed in a subshell.

          Each of the following is a command.
          if ( list ) command
               A list is a sequence of commands, separated by &, ;, or
               newline.  It is executed and if its exit status is
               null, the command is executed.
          if not command
               The immediately preceding command must have been
               if(list) command. If its condition was non-zero, the
               command is executed.
          for(name in arguments) command
          for(name) command
               The command is executed once for each argument with
               that argument assigned to name. If the argument list is
               omitted, $* is used.
          while(list) command
               The list is executed repeatedly until its exit status
               is non-null.  Each time it returns null status, the
               command is executed.  An empty list is taken to give
               null status.
               The list is searched for simple commands beginning with
               the word case.  (The search is only at the `top level'
               of the list. That is, cases in nested constructs are
               not found.)  Argument is matched against each word fol-
               lowing case using the pattern-matching algorithm
               described above, except that / and the first characters
               of . and .. need not be matched explicitly.  When a
               match is found, commands in the list are executed up to
               the next following case command (at the top level) or
               the closing brace.

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

               Braces serve to alter the grouping of commands implied
               by operator priorities.  The body is a sequence of com-
               mands separated by &, ;, or newline.
          fn name{list}
          fn name
               The first form defines a function with the given name.
               Subsequently, whenever a command whose first argument
               is name is encountered, the current value of the
               remainder of the command's argument list will be
               assigned to $*, after saving its current value, and rc
               will execute the list. The second form removes name's
               function definition.
          fn note{list}
          fn note
               A function with a special name will be called when rc
               receives a corresponding note; see notify(2). The valid
               note names (and corresponding notes) are sighup
               (hangup), sigint (interrupt), sigalrm (alarm), and
               sigfpe (floating point trap).  By default rc exits on
               receiving any signal, except when run interactively, in
               which case interrupts and quits normally cause rc to
               stop whatever it's doing and start reading a new com-
               mand.  The second form causes rc to handle a signal in
               the default manner.  Rc recognizes an artificial note,
               sigexit, which occurs when rc is about to finish exe-
          name=argument command
               Any command may be preceded by a sequence of assign-
               ments interspersed with redirections.  The assignments
               remain in effect until the end of the command, unless
               the command is empty (i.e. the assignments stand
               alone), in which case they are effective until
               rescinded by later assignments.

        Built-in Commands
          These commands are executed internally by rc, usually
          because their execution changes or depends on rc's internal
          . file ...
               Execute commands from file. $* is set for the duration
               to the remainder of the argument list following file.
               File is searched for using $path.
          builtin command ...
               Execute command as usual except that any function named
               command is ignored in favor of the built-in meaning.
          cd [dir]
               Change the current directory to dir. The default argu-
               ment is $home.  dir is searched for in each of the
               directories mentioned in $cdpath.
          eval [arg ...]
               The arguments are concatenated separated by spaces into

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

               a single string, read as input to rc, and executed.
          exec [command ...]
               This instance of rc replaces itself with the given
               (non-built-in) command.
          flag f [+-]
               Either set (+), clear (-), or test (neither + nor -)
               the flag f, where f is a single character, one of the
               command line flags (see Invocation, below).
          exit [status]
               Exit with the given exit status.  If none is given, the
               current value of $status is used.
          rfork [nNeEsfFm]
               Become a new process group using rfork(flags) where
               flags is composed of the bitwise OR of the rfork flags
               specified by the option letters (see fork(2)). If no
               flags are given, they default to ens.  The flags and
               their meanings are: n is RFNAMEG; N is RFCNAMEG; e is
               RFENVG; E is RFCENVG; s is RFNOTEG; f is RFFDG; F is
               RFCFDG; and m is RFNOMNT.
          shift [n]
               Delete the first n (default 1) elements of $*.
          wait [pid]
               Wait for the process with the given pid to exit.  If no
               pid is given, all outstanding processes are waited for.
          whatis name ...
               Print the value of each name in a form suitable for
               input to rc. The output is an assignment to any vari-
               able, the definition of any function, a call to builtin
               for any built-in command, or the completed pathname of
               any executable file.
          ~ subject pattern ...
               The subject is matched against each pattern in
               sequence.  If it matches any pattern, $status is set to
               zero.  Otherwise, $status is set to one.  Patterns are
               the same as for file name matching, except that / and
               the first character of . and .. need not be matched
               explicitly.  The patterns are not subjected to file
               name matching before the ~ command is executed, so they
               need not be enclosed in quotation marks.

          The environment is a list of strings made available to exe-
          cuting binaries by the env device (see env(3)). Rc creates
          an environment entry for each variable whose value is non-
          empty, and for each function.  The string for a variable
          entry has the variable's name followed by = and its value.
          If the value has more than one component, these are sepa-
          rated by ctrl-a ('\001') characters.  The string for a func-
          tion is just the rc input that defines the function.  The
          name of a function in the environment is the function name
          preceded by `fn#'.

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

          When rc starts executing it reads variable and function def-
          initions from its environment.

        Special Variables
          The following variables are set or used by rc.
          $*       Set to rc's argument list during initialization.
                   Whenever a . command or a function is executed, the
                   current value is saved and $* receives the new
                   argument list.  The saved value is restored on com-
                   pletion of the . or function.
          $apid    Whenever a process is started asynchronously with
                   &, $apid is set to its process id.
          $home    The default directory for cd.
          $ifs     The input field separators used in backquote sub-
                   stitutions.  If $ifs is not set in rc's environ-
                   ment, it is initialized to blank, tab and newline.
          $path    The search path used to find commands and input
                   files for the . command.  If not set in the envi-
                   ronment, it is initialized by path=(. /bin).  Its
                   use is discouraged; instead use bind(1) to build a
                   /bin containing what's needed.
          $pid     Set during initialization to rc's process id.
          $prompt  When rc is run interactively, the first component
                   of $prompt is printed before reading each command.
                   The second component is printed whenever a newline
                   is typed and more lines are required to complete
                   the command.  If not set in the environment, it is
                   initialized by prompt=('% ' ' ').
          $status  Set to the wait message of the last-executed pro-
                   gram.  (unless started with &).  ! and ~ also
                   change $status.  Its value is used to control exe-
                   cution in &&, ||, if and while commands.  When rc
                   exits at end-of-file of its input or on executing
                   an exit command with no argument, $status is its
                   exit status.

          If rc is started with no arguments it reads commands from
          standard input.  Otherwise its first non-flag argument is
          the name of a file from which to read commands (but see -c
          below).  Subsequent arguments become the initial value of
          $*.  Rc accepts the following command-line flags.
          -c string  Commands are read from string.
          -s         Print out exit status after any command where the
                     status is non-null.
          -e         Exit if $status is non-null after executing a
                     simple command.
          -i         If -i is present, or rc is given no arguments and
                     its standard input is a terminal, it runs inter-
                     actively.  Commands are prompted for using
          -I         Makes sure rc is not run interactively.

     RC(1)                                                       RC(1)

          -l         If -l is given or the first character of argument
                     zero is -, rc reads commands from
                     $home/lib/profile, if it exists, before reading
                     its normal input.
          -m         Read commands to initialize rc from initial
                     instead of from /rc/lib/rcmain.
          -p         A no-op.
          -d         A no-op.
          -v         Echo input on file descriptor 2 as it is read.
          -x         Print each simple command before executing it.
          -r         Print debugging information (internal form of
                     commands as they are executed).


          Tom Duff, ``Rc - The Plan 9 Shell''.

          There should be a way to match patterns against whole lists
          rather than just single strings.

          Using ~ to check the value of $status changes $status.

          Functions containing here documents don't work.

          Free carets don't get inserted next to keywords.