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Old 02-14-2008, 03:57 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2007
Posts: 73

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sort +1 -2 some.file

What is the use of +1

as -2 is the field from last?

Why we are giving this number here?
Old 02-14-2008, 06:09 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Slovenia
Distribution: archlinux
Posts: 271

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The answer can be found in the info directory:

$ info sort
`-k POS1[,POS2]'
     Specify a sort field that consists of the part of the line between
     POS1 and POS2 (or the end of the line, if POS2 is omitted),

     Each POS has the form `F[.C][OPTS]', where F is the number of the
     field to use, and C is the number of the first character from the
     beginning of the field.  Fields and character positions are
     numbered starting with 1; a character position of zero in POS2
     indicates the field's last character.  If `.C' is omitted from
     POS1, it defaults to 1 (the beginning of the field); if omitted
     from POS2, it defaults to 0 (the end of the field).  OPTS are
     ordering options, allowing individual keys to be sorted according
     to different rules; see below for details.  Keys can span multiple

     Example:  To sort on the second field, use `--key=2,2' (`-k 2,2').
     See below for more examples.
   Scripts intended for use on standard hosts should avoid obsolete
syntax and should use `-k' instead.  For example, avoid `sort +2',
since it might be interpreted as either `sort ./+2' or `sort -k 3'.  If
your script must also run on hosts that support only the obsolete
syntax, it can use a test like `if sort -k 1 </dev/null >/dev/null
2>&1; then ...' to decide which syntax to use.
So... I'd say that it means "leave the 1st field alone" and "leave the last two fields alone", but in a deprecated syntax.


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