So I’ve been doing a lot of CMS work lately, both Drupal and Wordpress. The Wordpress gigs seem to come and go within a week, and are mostly just banging together a theme with varying amounts of complexity. I’m a recent convert to the CSS framework, which makes the absolute quickest work of laying out a website. It’s a thing of beauty and I’ve actually created my own base theme to make the work even quicker, but that’s for another post.

Every one of these gigs requires the exact same setup - downloading various bits of software from all over the internet and copying them to specific places on my hard drive and then wiring them all together. It’s a time consuming and utterly repetitive process, which makes it perfect for a computer to do. Even more perfect is that I’m already on a computer when I’m doing it! Wow…

I’d already taken to doing much of this work from the “command line”, and it only occurred to me yesterday that if I were doing the exact same series of commands from the command line every time I set one of these things up, isn’t that something I could write a “script” to do for me? For those of you - a “script” is exactly what it sounds like. In the most basic sense all computer programs are scripts, be they compiled scripts or interpreted scripts. You must tell the computer what to do in no uncertain terms at all times for all possible scenarios. Failure to do so is a Bad Thing. So in this sense, I’m writing a series of terminal commands in the same order every time. I had no idea until yesterday that it was as simple as saving those commands into a file and running that file to get what I want done.

So, about 20-30 minutes worth of downloading, copying, and renaming has been reduced to about 20-30 seconds, depending on bandwidth. Here’s the script, in case you’re curious —

tar xzvf latest.tar.gz
rm latest.tar.gz
echo "Name of directory?"
read directory
mv wordpress $directory
cd $directory/wp-content/themes
tar xzvf JGrubb-Base-WP-theme-0efd724.tar.gz
rm JGrubb-Base-WP-theme-0efd724.tar.gz
mv JGrubb-Base-WP-theme-0efd724 ibd

Now I’m off to write a script to do the same thing for me for Drupal…