Cheat Sheet

Charly's Column –

Article from Issue 217/2018

Whenever you really need documentation, it's almost always incomplete or outdated – or both. Sys admin columnist Charly K¸hnast recommends a radically different approach: the universal community documentation, which no Linux command and hardly any programming language should do without.

Even at school, teachers encouraged us to make cheat sheets – although actually using them was forbidden. Writing a cheat sheet helps you to keep things in mind longer. Cheat sheets are also useful after school.

For example, I have a coffee cup printed with maybe 50 important Vim commands that I occasionally consult for its more obscure finger exercises. Oddly, the matching 20-liter bucket with the basic command set for Emacs, which I saw at a Chaos Communication Congress, seems to have remained a one-off – clearly a missed opportunity.

I created an electronic cheat sheet, in which I archive code snippets and brief how-tos, in Nextcloud. Nevertheless, questions continually pop up for which I have to resort to the search engine that I mistrust the least. How do you overwrite a MAC address? How do you sort an array in Go? How do you discover the MIME encoding of a file? If only I had a cheat sheet for all of this!


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