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Syntax Errors and "Errata" Moments

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Syntax Errors and "Errata" Moments

Version Control for eBooks?

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Redge Shepherd
·Jul 23, 2022·

2 min read

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I have Ubuntu Linux 22.04 installed on my Windows machine. I was working through an example from a book that required running the "time" command. However, the syntax was wrong. Since time is not a command I use frequently, I wanted to understand the available options and why the syntax failed.

The terminal command session and outputs below are self-explanatory:

$ type -a time
time is a shell keyword
time is /usr/bin/time
time is /bin/time

$ /usr/bin/time
Usage: /usr/bin/time [-apvV] [-f format] [-o file] [--append] [--verbose]
       [--portability] [--format=format] [--output=file] [--version]
       [--quiet] [--help] command [arg...]

$ /usr/bin/time --version
GNU time 1.7

$ /bin/time
Usage: /bin/time [-apvV] [-f format] [-o file] [--append] [--verbose]
       [--portability] [--format=format] [--output=file] [--version]
       [--quiet] [--help] command [arg...]

$ /bin/time --version
GNU time 1.7

I can only attribute the syntax error to an "errata" moment in the book, as only two options begin with a single - and -- must precede all the remaining options.

Almost every book published refers to the "errata" page to report or review known errors. Unfortunately, discovering them as you work through a book introduces unexpected and often time-consuming frustration.

Perhaps it's time for a different kind of eBook - one that has a "version control" mechanism that triggers an "Upgrade Available" that automatically notifies readers of changes to the text or code.

If we can do it with code, there must be a way with plain text!

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