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Number of specific char in a string.

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Top Forums Shell Programming and Scripting Number of specific char in a string.
# 1  
Old 12-17-2003
Data Number of specific char in a string.

I wish to compute the number of dot chars in a string.

I try the shortest command to solve this test.

Thanks in advance for your help.

# 2  
Old 12-17-2003
echo $VAR|awk '{print gsub("\.",0)}'
# 3  
Old 12-17-2003
As far as I am aware the gsub trick only works with gawk.
The AT&T version (awk/nawk) does not return the number
of substitutions. Nor is this required by POSIX or Single
UNIX Specifications.

Another way of achieving the required result is:

echo $VAR | tr -c -d '.' | wc -c

- Finnbarr
# 4  
Old 12-18-2003
The gsub() function exists in the freely available awks including POSIX awk, nawk and gawk.

Nice solution though.
# 5  
Old 12-19-2003
Yes, gsub() exists in all versions of g/n/awk. However, gawk
is the only version where the man page states that the
function returns the number of substitutions made.

Man pages for the other versions of awk are silent on this
issue. POSIX.1:2003 does not mandate it. This being the
case, one cannot rely on this behavour in portable code.

- Finnbarr
# 6  
Old 12-19-2003

On my OS (Aix v. 5.1) the command echo $VAR|awk '{print gsub("\.",0)}' returns always 1 if the VAR string contains or not a dot character.

echo $VAR|awk '{print gsub("\.",0)}' works correctly.

# 7  
Old 12-19-2003
echo ${VAR}|awk -F. '{print NF-1}'

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