While we use
* to denote zero or more previous characters in
grep, we use
*.c to find all C files when we use it with the
ls command like
ls *.c. Could someone tell how the use of
* differs in these two cases?
Shell file name globbing and regular expressions use some of the same characters, and they have similar purposes, but you're right, they aren't compatible. File name globbing is a much less powerful system.
In file name globbing:
There is a rough similarity between file globbing syntax and regexes, but if you need regex matching of file names, you need to do it another way.
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Answering the title question (why):
file name expansion predates regular expressions, already existed with most operating systems (wildcard/joker characters) and is much simpler and intuitive than the latter.