[TUHS] Command options and complexity

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Fri Mar 13 14:25:27 AEST 2020

On Thursday, 12 March 2020 at 23:04:03 -0400, Doug McIlroy wrote:
>> -,: Make the option standard: output numbers with commas every 3 digits
> A terrible idea.

Yes, of course.  I don't think any of us meant these ideas seriously.
Was this the only objection you had?

> I often do mailx -H | sort -t/ -k2nr to sort in reverse order of size--a
> quick way to find the pay dirt when I want to shrink my mailbox.
> This would never fly if the sizes had commas. (Well, I suppose I
> could add sed s/,//g to the pipeline.)

In fact, at least FreeBSD sort -n handles the numbers quite happily.
I've tried it with 4.4BSD sort, which with a little coaxing builds
under FreeBSD.  It doesn't: it apparently sees the , as a delimiter.

The real question is whether a comma is a valid character in an
integer.  There are arguments that it should be.

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