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Old 04-02-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2006
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Non-GNU awk Splitting Single Characters In A String?

I'm learning awk, and trying to split a string into single characters, either to print them out one line at a time, or just store them in an array.

Rather than looping with substr(), I'm trying to use a null string as FS, and came across this on the net:
echo "blah" | awk 'BEGIN FS=""} {for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) print $(i) }'

It works as expected on my GNU Linux box, but on an HP-UX box at work, it only prints the input string as-is:

I'd thought that setting FS to a null string would accomplish this, but it doesn't appear to work on the "other" UNIXes.

Is this correctly the case? Do older, non-GNU, versions of awk not allow FS to be a null string to split on characters?

My HP-UX machine is (uname -a):
HP-UX nodename B.11.11 U 9000/800 ....
Old 04-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brgr88 View Post
Do older, non-GNU, versions of awk not allow FS to be a null string to split on characters?
Excerpt from the gawk manpage:
The ability to split out individual characters using the null string as the value of FS, and as the third argument to split().
So yes, it's a GNUism.
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