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Re: Strings manipulation without using variables

From: Greg Wooledge
Subject: Re: Strings manipulation without using variables
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:47:12 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/

On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 11:03:17AM -0600, Bob Proulx wrote:
> Or with GNU sed using the \+ extension:
>   FILENAME=$(ls | tail --lines=1 | sed 's/\.[^.]\+$//')
> I assume that 'ls' isn't what you actually are doing, that you have
> reduced the test case to something smaller (thank you for that!)
> because the shell can list the directory itself.

Such optimism.

Just in case, it needs to be pointed out that using ls in this way is
NOT a safe operation, since filenames may contain newlines (or other
characters that ls may choose to represent with a ? instead of leaving
intact, depending on the implementation).  Newlines will completely
break any line-based approach, and characters that are munged into ?
will break anything that relies on the output of ls for that filename.

>   for f in *;do FILENAME=$f; done
>   ( Or even: for FILENAME in *;do : ; done )
> And you could then slip in your variable manipulation right there.
>   for f in *;do FILENAME=${f%.*}; done
>   echo $FILENAME

echo "$FILENAME" of course; or printf "%s\n" "$FILENAME" for 100% safety.

The approach that immediately sprang to mind for me was to use an array:

   files=(*); address@hidden:(-1)}; lastfile=${lastfile%.*}

That uses more memory, as it stores all the filenames.  But if you need
more than just the one filename, it may pay off.

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