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Unquoted array slice address@hidden:0} expands to just one word if IFS d


From: Ilkka Virta
Subject: Unquoted array slice address@hidden:0} expands to just one word if IFS doesn't have a space
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2018 14:43:27 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.11; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.9.1

On both Bash 4.4.12(1)-release and 5.0.0(1)-alpha, a subarray slice like
address@hidden:0} expands to just one word if unquoted (and if IFS doesn't
contain a space):

$ a=(aa bb); IFS=x; printf ":%s:\n" address@hidden:0}
:aa bb:


I expected it would expand to separate words, as it does without the slice, and just like $@ does, sliced or not:

$ a=(aa bb); IFS=x; printf ":%s:\n" address@hidden
:aa:
:bb:
$ set -- aa bb; IFS=x; printf ":%s:\n" $@
:aa:
:bb:
$ set -- aa bb; IFS=x; printf ":%s:\n" ${@:1}
:aa:
:bb:


It's as if it first joins the picked elements with spaces, and then splits using IFS, instead of producing multiple words and word-splitting them individually.

The same thing happens with ${a[*]:0} (but not with ${*:1}):
the array elements get joined with spaces to a single word. If IFS is empty, unset, or contains a space the result is multiple words as expected with both address@hidden and [*].


An expansion like that should in most cases be quoted,
but the current behaviour still seems a bit inconsistent.


--
Ilkka Virta / address@hidden



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