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Re: RFC: add'l 'sort -n' options

From: Matthew Woehlke
Subject: Re: RFC: add'l 'sort -n' options
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 15:04:33 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060909 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

Paul Eggert wrote:
Matthew Woehlke writes:
Paul Eggert wrote:
Matthew Woehlke writes:
Paul Eggert wrote:
Matthew Woehlke writes:
'-N _options_, --numeric-sort=_options_'
The other sort options can be attached to -k; how would this work
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this comment. What
would be attached to -k, and how?
For example, "sort -k2,2n -k3,3g" says sort numerically in column 2,
breaking ties with a general numeric sort in column 3.
Ok, but how would I sort these?

2006-11-06 13:20:15
2006-11-05 12:18:04
2006-11-06 13:20:37
2005-04-01 01:01:01

...see where the number of args to '-k' quickly gets out of hand?

Sure, but my point was not that the new options can be implemented
with -k.  It is that there needs to be some way to attach the new
options to particular keys.  That is, one would like to sort with
your new -Nr option just on these two keys, and then sort with
some other options on other keys.

Ok, I get it... sorry for the confusion. IOW it needs to be recognized both on its own and by -k. Now that I understand what you're saying, I am in total agreement. :-)

Since it seems we've mostly shot down the -N idea in favor of explicit options (which is fine!), the mechanics from the user's perspective should be straight-forward. As mentioned previously, I think we went from '-N <lots of stuff>' to '-r', '-h' (maybe do block size only via long-opt '-h'), and '-b/-B' (not sure which I prefer case-wise). Additionally, although all of these affect numeric sort (the reason for '-N' in the first place), they are all orthogonal to each other :-).

This brings up another question I should probably ask; are digits > 9

I don't see why they would be.

I suppose you could add an option to let the user specify the spelling
of the digits, but perhaps this is overkill.

Agreed, at least until someone asks for it. :-) Like I said, I'm just gathering information at this stage so I don't do wrong/extra work when I start thinking about code.

Thanks again for the feedback!

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