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Web servers respond to your requests stating what type of content they’re sending you. There’s no such thing for files on disk.




File is still only a best guess at content and relies on the format being known and having some identifying features.


It works with shell scripts.

Having a name ending in '.sh' is less reliable than the output of file for identifying shell scripts, since any file can be named with that ending.

cat199 said '.sh' is unnecessary and that is correct. I am surprised that this is controversial. (except wait, no, this is the internet... I'm not surprised. ;-)


> It works with shell scripts.

No. It works with some of them, because, as the parent wrote, it’s just the automated equivalent of "let’s look at content of the file and guess what it is". It’s not perfect, and so doesn’t always work. If you write "echo 42" in a file, `file` will only tell you it’s "ASCII text".

We humans are used to identify things with their name. `.sh` is not necessary to execute a shell script; but it’s so convenient you must have a good reason not to use it.


There are over a hundred shell scripts in my /usr/bin/ dir that don't end in '.sh'. There are even Python scripts in there that don't end in '.py'. The world hasn't gone mad?

Ending the filename of a shell script in '.sh', while a useful and common convention, is unnecessary (I appreciate you that you acknowledge that) so using that to identify shell scripts is a heuristic, just like what file does.

Look, I don't want to argue about this. cat199 was catching downvotes for pointing out, quite correctly, that the '.sh' extension was just a convention, and, well... https://www.xkcd.com/386/

Filename extensions have always been a crappy hack to get around the omission of useful metadata associated with a file on some early filesystems. Gnome file viewer thing doesn't even sort by them!




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