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Re: New sort(1) feature -- sort by length

From: Ethan Baldridge
Subject: Re: New sort(1) feature -- sort by length
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 14:08:51 -0400

On Fri, 2009-07-24 at 10:48 +0100, Pádraig Brady wrote:
> Jim Meyering wrote:
> > Pádraig Brady wrote:
> >>
> >> Also it's quite easy to achieve with existing tools:
> >> awk '{print length, $0}' <file | sort -n | cut -f2- -d' '
> > 
> > IMHO, this is a decisive argument for not adding the option.
> > However, I would welcome a paragraph documenting the technique as
> > an example of how to extend sort.
> I'll mention the DSU idiom in the info docs,
> with this as an example.

That's fair - I find it more convenient to use sort -l in the case of
sorting on the second key of a file, but a note in the docs about using
awk's "length" (which didn't occur to me at the time) would be good

> >> What might be better would be to add an option
> >> to `wc` to get it to prepend various counts to a line
> >> (words, chars, bytes, cells), which then could be
> >> sorted and stripped as above.
> > 
> > This is tempting, but I am reluctant to modify wc in this manner.
> > wc is a fundamental tool, and adding a feature like this would
> > seem to bring too little value for the impact on the code.
> > It's easier to say "just use ___" (perl, awk, etc).
> Having it in wc would allow one to easily count chars, bytes, cells.
> But I agree it's not needed often enough to add.
> cheers,
> Pádraig.

Ethan Baldridge <address@hidden>
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