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Date:      Thu, 4 Jan 1996 23:08:28 -0800 (PST)
From:      Brian Litzinger <>
To: (James Raynard)
Subject:   Re: sorting by character position
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <> from "James Raynard" at Jan 4, 96 11:21:41 pm

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> On Mon, 1 Jan 1996, Brian Litzinger wrote:
> > All I want to do is
> > 
> > sort -n -d -k 14,29 <unsorted >sorted
> > 
> > where -k 14,29 is supposed to mean that sort is supposed to consider
> > the data in columns 14 - 29 of each line as the key to sort by.
> > 
> > However, from my reading of the sort man page, it doesn't seem to
> > have this functionality.  However, I remember I used to be able
> > to do this in my SYSV days.
> It seems to be there in 2.1.0R:-
> -k POS1[,POS2]
>               An alternate syntax for  specifying  sorting  keys.
>               The  fields  and  character  positions are numbered
>               starting with 1.
> James

Unfortunately, further down in the man page is a definition for POS
which makes great sense, but I am unable to devine how to get
a purely character position oriented specification out of it.

I tried several test files and just couldn't quite get what I wanted
which was:

forbar flem ickto      $1234588 gort sneakers flem
and I'd liked to sort on the columns indicated.

Except from man sort:

       A position has the form f.c, 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 (for +pos) or from the end
       of  the previous field (for -pos).  The .c part of a posi-
       tion may be omitted in which case it is taken  to  be  the
       first  character  in the field.  If the -b option has been
       given, the .c part of a  field  specification  is  counted
       from  the first nonblank character of the field (for +pos)
       or from the first nonblank character following the  previ-
       ous field (for -pos).

       A  +pos  or  -pos argument may also have any of the option
       letters Mbdfinr appended to it, in which case  the  global
       ordering  options  are not used for that particular field.
       The -b option may be independently attached to  either  or
       both  of the +pos and -pos parts of a field specification,
       and if it is inherited from the global options it will  be
       attached  to  both.   If  a  -n or -M option is used, thus
       implying a -b option, the -b option is taken to  apply  to
       both  the  +pos and the -pos parts of a key specification.
       Keys may span multiple fields.

Brian Litzinger					       Powered by FreeBSD
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