The Lexicon of Pipecut

Version 1.0 - Updated November 23rd, 2014

Pipecut Terminology


Pipecut needs names for certain objects, to make it easier to explain and discuss them.

cat file.txt | egrep -v 'foo' | sort

The above line is called a 'toolset' in pipecut lingo. Each component of a toolset is called a 'blade'.

toolsets can be given names and descriptions, and saved in a per-user SQLite database called a 'toolbox'. Saved toolsets can be loaded again later so you can reuse complex toolsets quickly and conveniently.

Pipecut is a modal environment, like vi, but in pipecut, the tool can flow from one mode to another depending on the keys you press, without the user actively selecting the mode. Some modes are explicitly activated by the user (e.g. the Look-ahead (LA) and Regular Expression (RE) modes).


Pipecut's Name

Why is it called pipecut?

One of the cuts in the name pipecut refers to the ability to quickly browse a toolset and view the state of the data at any stage of processing - cutting in to see what the pipe sees.

Another meaning of cut in pipecut's name is that the full-screen vi-like interface shows you a cut of just one screenful of data from the input file. The user can browse up and down in the file, but by default, pipecut operates on a small slice of data, which keeps the UI very snappy and responsive.

Finally, pipecut cuts down the effort to develop pipelines, and can shorten them in terms of runtime (See: Optimizations) or length.

Pipecut was first displayed in a presentation Nov 1, 2014 at MeetBSD California. Pipecut was created by David W. Maxwell