Arithmetic with bash

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# 1  
Arithmetic with bash

I need to divide the number of white spaces by total number of characters in a file using bash. I am able to get the number of white spaces correctly using:

tr -cd “[:space:]” < afile | wc -c

I am also able to get the total number of characters using:
wc -c afile

How do I divide the first number by second to get the final answer.
# 2  
My personal first step is always to consult the relevant man pages. bash provides "arithmetic expansion" / "arithmetic evaluation". man bash:
Arithmetic Expansion
Arithmetic expansion allows the evaluation of an arithmetic expression and the substitution of the result. The format for arithmetic expansion is:

The shell allows arithmetic expressions to be evaluated, . . . is done in fixed-width integers with no check for overflow, though division by 0 is trapped and
flagged as an error. The operators and their precedence, associativity, and values are the same as in the C language.

As it provides integer calculations only, we need additional measures as your data will be percentages and never exceed 1. You'll need "command substitution" as well. So - try
echo $(($(tr -cd “[:space:]” < afile | wc -c)00 / $(wc -c < afile)))

The two zero characters are in fact a multiplikation by 100. Be aware that [:space:] includes <TAB>s and <LF>s as well.
# 3  
bash does integer arithmetics only.
awk '{tot+=length+1; spc+=gsub(/[[:blank:]]/,"")+1} END{print spc/tot}' afile

The +1 takes the newline character into account like the previous wc.

Last edited by MadeInGermany; 11-11-2019 at 06:32 PM..
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