Subject: Re: sort(1) behavior?
To: None <email@example.com>
From: Greg A. Woods <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 04/09/2004 23:15:42
[ On Thursday, April 8, 2004 at 16:54:43 (-0500), MLH wrote: ]
> Subject: sort(1) behavior?
> There is seen a high degree of variability in results with sort(1)
> on various systems, particularly when using the -k field specifications.
I'll note first off that you're using '-n' and you've got what appear to
be decimal fractions in your test data. I haven't looked into all the
issues surrounding the interpretation of decimal numbers with decimal
fractions by sort, but I have found that it doesn't always do what one
might expect despite claims in the NetBSD manual page.
Note also that it appears as if POSIX doesn't require support of decimal
numbers (quoted from SuSv3, aka IEEE Std 1003.1-2001):
Restrict the sort key to an initial numeric string, consisting
of optional <blank>s, optional minus sign, and zero or more
digits with an optional radix character and thousands separators
(as defined in the current locale), which shall be sorted by
arithmetic value. An empty digit string shall be treated as
zero. Leading zeros and signs on zeros shall not affect
Greg A. Woods
+1 416 218-0098 VE3TCP RoboHack <email@example.com>
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