My blog recently saw a small spike of visits. Where it usually sees like two dozen visits a day, the numbers jumped last saturday to around 100 per day without any reason that I could recognize.

Yesterday I learned that my post about the wonderful "jq" tool made it into the shownotes of an podcast episode[1]. I didn't even know this podcast before....


As I was able to recommend the tool to @aral today, I updated the post a little bit to add some useful information.

jq has become a valuable tool for me and I will show in an upcoming blog post how a one-liner in jq is able to add fields to an XML file. Before I "found" this oneliner, I tried with awk and XSLT but even though I got them to work, the solutions offend my aesthetical perception.

The jq oneliner is pure beauty in comparison.

But I also have to admit that writing jq programs is more difficult for me than I expected, especially programs that transform data rather than only selecting pieces of it.


For anyone interested, the one-liner in question adds symbols to waypoints contained in a valid GPX file:

xq -x '.gpx.wpt[] += {"sym":"Pin, Red"}' export.gpx > export-w-pins.gpx

There are a lot of attributes in the XML document that need to be preserved and I was always looking for jq instructions to pass on everything I am not interested in. Simply not mentioning this was the biggest mental hurdle for myself.

In hindsight, this looks so obvious, but it took me literally hours to work out.

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