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Field separator in awk

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# 1  
Old 03-29-2010
Field separator in awk

I need to check if field separator I am using in awk statement is " : ", for example:
HOUR=`echo "$TIME" | awk '{FS=":"; print $1}'`
MINUTES=`echo "$TIME" | awk '{FS=":"; print $2}'`

Is there a way to check within the above awk statement ?

Thanks for help -A
# 2  
Old 03-29-2010
Are you looking for something like this ?

$ TIME=12:59
$ echo $TIME
$ HOUR=`echo "$TIME" | awk -F: '{print $1}'`
$ echo $HOUR
$ MINUTES=`echo "$TIME" | awk -F: '{print $2}'`
$ echo $MINUTES

# 3  
Old 03-29-2010
If you need split one string to the fields, the awk is huge tool for that. You can use builtin properties (ksh93, bash, ...).
oifs="$IFS"        # save input field delemiter
IFS=":"             # set input fld delim.
flds=($TIME)     # parse input the array
fld1=${flds[0]}  # first field index is 0
for var in fld1 numberOfFlds
      eval echo $var = \$$var

Or using read, this version works also with dash, ksh88, sh, ...
IFS=":" read fld1 fld2 xstr <<EOF
for var in fld1 fld2
      eval echo $var = \$$var

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