head replacement on Windows (16 Jun 2009)

A co-worker needed to convert a Cygwin-dependent script to something that runs on a bare-bones Windows system. The interesting part of the task was finding a replacement for the good ol' head command-line utility.

Fortunately, this is fairly simple using a few lines of VBScript and the Windows Scripting Host. First, here's the VBScript code:

lines = WScript.Arguments(0)
Do Until WScript.stdin.AtEndOfStream Or lines=0
  WScript.Echo WScript.stdin.ReadLine
  lines = lines-1
Loop

This is an extremely stripped-down version of head's original functionality, of course. For example, the code above can only read from standard input, and things like command-line argument validation and error handling are left as an exercise for the reader big grin

Assuming you'd save the above into a file called head.vbs, this is how you can display the first three lines of a text file called someinputfile.txt:

   type someinputfile.txt | cscript /nologo head.vbs 3

Enjoy!



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r1.2 - 19 Jun 2009 - 20:22 - ClausBrod to top

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