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This is horrifying

I just want to say that this standard streams/file descriptions stuff is almost entirely nonsensical to me. I’ve had to Get Help → See Answer for every single screen. If it’s not nonsense, it’s worse, because it’s actually counterintuitive to what you would expect.

I hope never to have to use this or encounter it again for the rest of my natural life.


I used to be a C/unix programmer years ago. std streams never seemed intuitive at the time but eventually became very natural. I use the analogy of an input tray and output tray on the desk of everybody in a large office and think of the operating system as somebody who walks around the office taking forms from the output tray of each person and putting it in the input tray of the next person in the processing team. But if your boss tells you to work on something other than the normal input, the person gets forms from, say, a special filing cabinet(the equivalent of an input file) and puts that in your input tray so you process those just the same as you would any other forms. The assistant has also been told(redirected) to put stuff from your output tray into a different filing cabinet(or to the input tray of somebody else). Everybody also has a red reject tray for forms that are damaged or are missing something so can’t handle them. This (error ) stream goes to the boss to handle and not the next person in the team. Hope this analogy helps.