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Using PHP shell to URL decode a string.
You can use ordinary printf to convert "%23%21%2fbin%2fbash" into "#!/bin/bash" with no external utilities, by using a little known printf feature -- the "%b" specifier converts shell escapes. Replace % with \x and printf will understand the urlencoded string.
BASH's printf has an extension to set a variable directly, too. So you get to convert urlencoded strings from garble to plaintext in one step with no externals and no backticks.
urldecode files in current directrory
My version uses printf and command substitution ($()) instead of echo -e and xargs, this is a few less chars, but not real substantive difference.
Also supports lowercase hex letters and a backslash (\) will make it through unescaped