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Re: [coreutils] "cut" from last column

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: [coreutils] "cut" from last column
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 21:11:46 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Philip Ganchev wrote:
> Brian Dessent wrote:
> >perl -F'\t' -nae 'print join "\t", @F[2,4..$#F-3]' myfile
> Even more verbose and complicated (clumsy).  Plus, it depends on
> having Perl, which is not a coreutil as far as I know.  If you are
> going to use Perl, why do we need "cut" at all?

Agreed.  It is much better to use awk.  Awk has been around for many
years and is a standard program.  Don't let the fact that something is
not a coreutils put you off.  Neither is grep or sed or many other
commands which are also standard commands on a system.

  echo one two three four | awk '{print $1, $(NF-1)}'
  one three

NF is the number of fields on the line.  $NF is therefore the last
field on the line.  Subtracting from it gives results from the end.

> It is just sensical that if a command allows you to cut from the
> beginning, it will let you cut from the end.

Some utilities have more utility than others.  Awk is so good at this
that it is hardly worth the effort to do anything with cut.  I only
use it on occasions when I am wanting to cut by column and that only


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