Warning: this is meant to be humorous, but possibly instructive and fun as it was for me when I first learned about it…
Ever use the DD command? Sure you have.
Did you know that you are using the syntax from the IBM/360 mainframe era from the 1960’s to do so with it’s JCL or job-control-language?
Most notably, the IF= and OF= pair are a blast from the past when bell-bottom pants were all the rage.
Consider our own instruction to dd the NomadBSD image:
# dd if=nomadbsd-x.y.z.img of=/dev/daX bs=1m conv=sync
Looks pretty much like everything we’ve ever seen since time began.
But that’s NOT the unix-way! But I can’t complain, since looking back in history I saw that the instructions for installing ATT Research V6 unix looked much the same!
I caught this hint from Doug McIlroy (look him up if you don’t know) that in reality, unix redirection should replace the old IF= and OF= syntax as being the right use and self-explanatory. Let’s change it to modern unix standards:
# dd < nomadbsd-x.y.z.img > /dev/daX bs=1m conv=sync
If the dual-redirection freaks you out like it did to me at first, just use some more whitespace between the input < redirection and the output > redirection and then it becomes a bit more obvious.
So yeah, at first the IF= and OF= syntax looks like a way to help make sure that one doesn’t get their input and output mixed up. But once I tried what Doug casually mentioned to do, I can no longer use the JCL syntax as it seems plainly obvious.
Someone needs to pass this up to Core. It’s time to do it the Unix way as nature intended.