I am writing the instructions of a piece of software I am working on and I would like to remind the user that running the specified computer command will also have a secondary effect of installing another piece of software.


curl -L .... | sh

The above also installs xxx if not found.

Is there a more user friendly, or idiomatic way to express the above?

  • 2
    The above will automatically install xxx if not pre-installed. – user66974 May 15 '15 at 21:06
  • 2
    Personally, I think both if not found and if not pre-installed sound like "geek-speak" usages. I'd go for if necessary. – FumbleFingers May 15 '15 at 21:20
  • Pre-installed 'geek-speak' ? I am sure your grandmother would easily understand what it means. :) – user66974 May 15 '15 at 21:31
  • The problem is that when commenting on code, especially code that is not explicit in and of itself (as appears to be the case here), you'll want to prioritize verbose clarity over elegant brevity. So, be explicit. "Run x to check for an existing installation of y. If not found, attempt installation using z." It is a good exercise, actually, to write these verbose comments FIRST, until you have a coherent narrative and add in the actual code within that structure. – arkigos May 15 '15 at 21:44
  • .... if it is not installed already. The less jargon the better. Will it overwrite older versions of XXX? – TRomano May 15 '15 at 22:43

Personally I think that what is complicating this is trying to convey the fact that the action is secondary and in some way relative to the first.

in actually fact two things are happening, so I would say 'This will do two things: firstly run the curl command and secondly install xx software.

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