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best indirect assign of scalar and array variables

From: J. Greg Davidson
Subject: best indirect assign of scalar and array variables
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 16:53:27 -0700 (PDT)
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What's the best way to update a variable indirectly, e.g. when its name is
passed to an update function?  Since I wrote the functions below some time
ago and I've wondered whether there might be a better way.  It would be
nice if indirect parameter assignment was as easy as indirect parameter
access, i.e. if {!name} could be used on the lhs.  Values/elements with
embedded whitespace must not be broken.

Here are the convenience functions I use now:

# simple_set VARIABLE_NAME VALUE...
# sets the named variable to the specified value/list
simple_set() {
    local -r name="${1}" ; shift
    eval "${name}='${*}'"

#simple_array ARRAY_NAME ELEMENT...
# sets named variable to an array of the specified elements
simple_array() {
    local -r vals=( "${@:2}" )
    eval "$1=(\"address@hidden")"

Now that BASH supports associative arrays I will need to write something
to set those indirectly too.

Thanks for your suggestions,


J. Greg Davidson

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