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local_array_declare_-g suggested workaround

From: Vicente Couce Díaz
Subject: local_array_declare_-g suggested workaround
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 23:09:02 +0100

Bash 4.2.36(1)-release (i486-pc-linux-gnu), Debian wheezy (bash 4.2-4)

Given this example:

f() {
        local -a v
        local -a w
        echo "f: address@hidden, address@hidden"
g() {
        declare -ga "$aux=( asdf fdsa )"
        declare -ga w=( asdf fdsa )
        echo "f: address@hidden, address@hidden"
echo "FIN: address@hidden, address@hidden"


g: , asdf fdsa
f: , asdf fdsa
FIN: asdf fdsa,


g: asdf fdsa, asdf fdsa
f: asdf fdsa, asdf fdsa
FIN: ,

If I declare a variable local in a function, then it should be kept in the
same scope when using 'declare -g' in a child context. This happens with
$w, but not with $v, in this case the variable becomes global and no more
local to the f call, so hidden there by the local homonyme.
This happens when employing -a and -g and the only difference is that the
definition is quoted.

After some hints from ormaaj in Freenode, a little research and debugging
with the sources, I found a possible workaround, Im not an experienced c++
developper, so maybe its not well written and Im not aware of the possible
side effects, but I attach a patch that solves the issue.

I dont know if its a bug or not, because this feature is indeed not
documented (the quoted way), but its often used and I find it usefull for
writting libs, anyway, its implemented but with this little unconsistent
behavior, so why not to clear it?

If there are side effects as make_new_array_variable is used in some other
places, it could be added a new one. Anyway, I almost copied the table
lookup from bind_variable, so too many errors shouldnt be there.

Well, after trying my first example, Ive found the first problem, $w didnt
wrok anymore. I really dont understand why, but decided to split the
original function and gave the new one the temporal name
make_aux_new_array_variable, could be make_cntxt_array_variable, but
shouldnt be needed at all I guess. I attach a test code too.

So if some one could check this out, it would be cool, thanks.

Attachment: local_array_declare_-g.patch
Description: Binary data

Attachment: bash-array-local-indirection-test.sh
Description: Bourne shell script

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