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Re: Feature request: handling space-delimited data with cut

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Feature request: handling space-delimited data with cut
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 06:32:51 -0600
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According to Andrew McGill on 5/15/2009 4:10 AM:
>  * There is no SIMPLE tool for handling space delimited data ({'$awk'} is not
>    simple, IMHO)

awk may not be as simple as some other tools, but it is standardized by
POSIX and is the application of choice for portable scripts when dealing
with space-delimited data.  That's just a fact of life that you will have
to learn to live with.

>  1. Adding an option (-w) similar to -f to cut words separated by whitespace 
>     (same rules as sort, unless the whitespace is changed to something else
>     with -d)

The bar for adding new options is very high.  Supposing we added it, you
have to remember that it still cannot be used by portable scripts, but
only on installations where you know for sure that new enough coreutils is
installed.  We tend to not want to bloat tool A if tool B can already do
the job in a standardized manner.

> I'm in favour of cut -w ... can I send a patch?

Yes, anyone can send a patch.  But be prepared to provide a VERY strong
case for its inclusion, or to get back the reply that we don't want to
risk incorporating it in the official upstream repository (but of course
you can continue using your patch on your personal installation).

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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