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Two curious questions

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# 1  
Old 10-03-2012
Two curious questions


I have been thinking about a few things that I have no idea of how to do with a scripting language (awk/sed I know to make proper use of just these 2).

1. Is there a way to have persistent variables? Say a variable that will be held in memory, and which can be accessed by subsequent scripts, without having to write it to a file and re use it later.

2. Is there a way to retrieve results of a command before a pipe, say for example
cat filex | awk '{print $2}' | awk '{sum+=$1}END{print sum}'

is there a way that I can get to see the $2 values without writing to a file?

Probably both of these questions can be answered by using different scripts that do more than one function, I just wanted to know if there is a in-built/ default way of doing this.
# 2  
Old 10-03-2012
I don't know what you are trying to do exactly, but I think this is what you want.

1. use export to make variables public:
export var

2. The only way I know is to store it in a variable:
cat filex | var=$(awk '{print $2}') ; echo $var | awk '{sum+=$1}END{print sum}'

# 3  
Old 10-03-2012

Thanks for the response, I am not doing anything specifically, I was just curious.

I have used export before...y didnt I think of that! Thanks.
# 4  
Old 10-03-2012
If you want to "see" the intermediate results on your screen, put a | tee /dev/tty | into your pipe.
These 2 Users Gave Thanks to RudiC For This Post:
# 5  
Old 10-03-2012
Originally Posted by jamie_123
1. Is there a way to have persistent variables? Say a variable that will be held in memory, and which can be accessed by subsequent scripts, without having to write it to a file and re use it later.
No, there's not a "global" kind of variable. Child processes inherit exported variables from their parents, but it goes no further than that. This is why we have things like /etc/profile.
# 6  
Old 10-03-2012
a) There is a limit to how much stuff you can cram in a single shell variable. On some systems, this can be as small as a screenful or so, so don't go overboard.

b) If you're doing awk | awk | sed | cut | kitchen | sink, you probably could have done that all in one awk and saved yourself a lot of bother and CPU time. You don't need to use awk twice here:

awk '{ sum += $2 } END { print sum }' inputfile

c) That's also a useless use of cat, since awk does not need cat's help to read a file. You can use it as shown above, listing the filename on the end.

To answer question 2, there's actually a few ways to set more than one variable at once. read is a particularly flexible way of doing so. It helps if you know how many are coming, though, or can convince certain ones to come first. Everything you didn't list will get crammed into the last variable you list.

`awk '{ sum += $2; A[++L]=$0 } END { print sum ; for(N=1; N<=L; N++) print A[N]}' inputfile`

I saved all the numbers in the awk array A so I could print them later. This lets me print the sum first, and then the rest, letting me pick the sum out from the front with read.

You could also do
set -- `awk '{ sum += $2; A[++L]=$0 } END { print sum ; for(N=1; N<=L; N++) print A[N]}' inputfile`


This User Gave Thanks to Corona688 For This Post:
# 7  
Old 10-03-2012
Thanks Corona688 and RudiC....really appreciate it. Smilie

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