If you aren’t massively in love with Explain Shell then you’ve not been on the internet today (or at least following the same people I do on twitter). It’s an easy way to see what a unix command does from a web interface. The web interface is great, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could open it from your command line? If someone gave you a command like tar xzvf archive.tar.gz it would be amazing to be able to run:

$ explain tar xzvf archive.tar.gz

And have the results pop up in your browser. Well with a simple explain_shell script now you can!

First off you can install as a ruby gem or as a shell script. Then reload your environment (open a new tab) and explain commands to your hearts content!

$ explain git log --graph --abbrev-commit --pretty=oneline origin..mybranch

It’s that simple.