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Old 11-02-2005, 02:11 PM   #1
ltordsen
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: suse 9.3
Posts: 16

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sorting problem


Hello.

I'm having a problem with the gnu sort. It boils down to this:

this sort will work fine:

(contents of file ignore_blanks)
a: a:1
a:b:2
b:a :1
b: b:10
b: b: 2

Note the spaces in lines.

When I use the commands

sort -b -t : ignore_blanks -k 1,1 -k 2,2 -k 3,3
and
sort -t : ignore_blanks -k 1,1 -bk 2,2 -bk 3,3

I get the same results (as I expect):
a: a:1
a:b:2
b:a :1
b: b:10
b: b: 2

But when I try a slight variation of files (i called this ignore_blanks2) and commands, things dont work as I expect:

(contents of ignore_blanks2)
a a 1
a b 2
b a 1
b b 10
b b 2

sort -k 1.1,1.1 -bk 1.3,1.4 -bk 1.6,1.7 ignore_blanks2
Result:
a a 1
a b 2
b b 2
b b 10
b a 1

Here, it does not ignore the leading white space in the specified fields. Anyone know a fix for this?
 
Old 11-02-2005, 02:19 PM   #2
ltordsen
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: suse 9.3
Posts: 16

Original Poster
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sorry...the spaces didn't come through in the html of the post...it should look like (using ':space:' to denote 1 whitepace character

a:space:a:space::space::space:1
a:space:b:space::space::space:2
b:space:a:space::space::space:1
b:space::space:b:space:10
b:space::space:b:space::space:2

It is sorting by ascii value (as I would like), but it is not removing the leading whitespace in the second example. What am I doing wrong?
 
Old 11-02-2005, 04:25 PM   #3
paulsm4
Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: SusE 8.2
Posts: 5,863
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Apologies in advance that I'm not entirely clear what you're trying to do ...

... but, in general if you want to sort numbers, then you'll want to use "sort -n".

EXAMPLE:
Code:
cat list
1
  2
  3
  10
  11
  20
30
Code:
sort list  # Wrong!
1
  10
  11
  2
  20
  3
30

sort -n list   # Better...
1
  2
  3
  10
  11
  20
30

sort -n list | awk '{printf "%3d\n", $1}' # Best
  1
  2
  3
 10
 11
 20
 30
'Hope that helps .. PSM
 
  


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