Multiple while statements?

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# 1  
Old 11-23-2011
Question Multiple while statements?

I'm working on a script for class as a final project. We have to ask for values (city, state, zip) five times, but the state can only be MI, IN, IL, or OH. I'm trying to do this with a while loop inside of a while loop, but I have no idea how to do it properly.

Here's what I have so far:

while [ "$COUNT" -lt "5" ]; do
  echo "Enter City: "; read CITY
  echo "Enter State: "; read STATE
        while [[ "$STATE" != "MI" && "$STATE" != "IN" && "$STATE" != "IL" && "$STATE" != "OH" ]]; do
          echo "Sorry, that's not an accepted state."; read STATE
  echo "Enter Zip: "; read ZIP
sleep 5

I have a feeling I'm way off... and I have no idea how to fix it.

Help is appreciated!

Last edited by nickzourdos; 11-23-2011 at 11:36 PM..
# 2  
Old 11-24-2011
Actually, you are pretty close. Inside the while that validates the state, just prompt for the state again.
# 3  
Old 11-24-2011
Fixed it!

My syntax for the while loop that checked STATE was bad. In bash, you have to use -a instead of &&:

while [ "$STATE" != "MI" -a "$STATE" != "OH" -a "$STATE" != "IL" -a "$STATE" != "IN" ];do
   echo "Sorry, that's not an accepted state."
   echo "Enter State: "; read STATE

And for some reason, my bash won't recognize the let command... so I have to use expr instead for a counter:

while [ "$COUNT" -le "5" ]; do
  echo "Count is less than 5."
  COUNT=`expr $COUNT + 1`

The wonders of a good night's sleep.....

Last edited by nickzourdos; 11-24-2011 at 02:03 PM..
# 4  
Old 11-24-2011
Originally Posted by nickzourdos
My syntax for the while loop that checked STATE was bad. In bash, you have to use -a instead of &&:

Actually, using && within double square brackets is correct. The single open square bracket (actually the test command) does not support double ampers and as you have noticed it does need -a. This is a test command syntax requirement, not bash; most people don't realise that the [ is a command and not a shell built-in.

Using test (or [) is less efficient than using the shell (bash or Kshell) built-in [[. There are times where using test makes sense, but for most scripts I believe that the built-in is best.

I just had a look at your original script and didn't notice that you were issuing the read before your echo "try again." Other than that, it works for me.
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