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    Shorter is not always better. Giving a random Ruby developer the final code will just confuse him/her. Giving him/her the original code, without comments, (s)he would understand just fine.

    Using these default names and a bunch of flags most people don’t use do nothing but make the result harder to read and hide the program behaviour, just to save a couple of bytes on the hard disk.

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      It is super useful for people who are working within the the larger ecosystem. Exposing the “random Ruby developer” to these idioms, like the -F switch and the idea of field and record separators, will get them more comfortable with record processing in their shell. Most famously, awk also uses -F to specify the input field separator, and perl’s -F switch accomplishes the same thing.

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        It’s not a question of whether shorter is better.

        The article starts with transparent, portable, but verbose code and ends up with opaque, somewhat (though not completely, as @jdp pointed out) ruby-specific, but compact code. Both versions have their advantages, and showing the gradual progression from one to the other is a good way to teach some valuable command-line techniques.