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Re: sort

From: Evan Hunt
Subject: Re: sort
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 17:11:10 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.10i

> I'm not sure if what I found is a bug but it doesn't make much sense to 
> me. I'm using sort to sort numerically 2 files that differ after the third 
> column and I find that the sorting depends on this difference.
> I show you below and example of this behaviour. I use > to show the comand 
> on the comand line. I start sorting numerically a file with 4 columns 
> called "tirame1", saving the result into "tirame2". Then I copy only the 3 
> first columns into a new file called "tirame3". If I sort numerically this 
> last file and save it as "tirame4", I find differences between "tirame3" 
> and "tirame4". Why?

You specified -n on the command line, telling it to sort numerically, but
you didn't specify what fields you're sorting on, so it was trying to
interpret each whole line as a number.

Try it this way:

    > sort -n -k1,1 -k2,2 -k3,3 -k4,4 tirame > tirame2

...and it will sort numericaly on field 1, field 2, field 3 and field 4,
in that order, and you'll get saner results.

Evan Hunt

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