plumbing: n. [Unix] Term used for shell code, so called
because of the prevalence of `pipelines' that feed the output of one
program to the input of another. Under Unix, user utilities can
often be implemented or at least prototyped by a suitable collection
of pipelines and temp-file grinding encapsulated in a shell script;
this is much less effort than writing C every time, and the
capability is considered one of Unix's major winning features. A
few other OSs such as IBM's VM/CMS support similar facilities. Esp.
used in the construction `hairy plumbing' (see hairy). "You can
kluge together a basic spell-checker out of `sort(1)', `comm(1)',
and `tr(1)' with a little plumbing." See also tee.