The heart and soul of PIKT is its preprocessor, piktc, and all the special scripting and file management facilities it provides: per-machine and per-OS #if directives; the #ifdef family of logical switches; #include files; macros; pinpointed file installation; central scheduling; and so on. PIKT moves scripting toward the kind of full-featured development environment that users of "more serious" languages have long enjoyed.
The Pikt scripting language offers some unique features, or features better tailored to the job of day-to-day systems administration: automatic previous-line (@foo) and prior-run (%foo) value references; a clean, uncluttered syntax; free-form, flexible layout; keyword synonyms; automatic logging of everything of consequence; a cautious approach to script execution (no assumed variable defaults; serious errors trigger automatic script shutdown); a built-in input loop (much like AWK's); many standard input and output options.
On the other hand, people have a right to question whether the world needs Yet Another Scripting Language. Also, scripting language preference is often a highly personal, even emotional matter. Pikt, the scripting language, is just the first among equals in PIKT, the sysadmin toolkit. Use of other languages within the PIKT system is encouraged, and embedding other scripting languages within PIKT is actively being considered.
But the point bears repeating: the piktc preprocessor and control program
is at the center of PIKT. It is what sets PIKT apart from other scripting
languages and other system monitors. PIKT is more than just another systems
monitor and Yet Another Scripting Language. When confronted with its
multi-functionality, one Web administrator didn't quite know where to list it,
saying that he might have to invent a whole new category for PIKT. If ever a
tool were more than the sum of its parts, PIKT is that tool. The PIKT
combination is a very powerful, wide-ranging, and ambitious toolkit indeed.
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