Alphabetical sort for multi line records contains in a single file

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# 1  
Old 03-14-2011
Alphabetical sort for multi line records contains in a single file

Hi all,

I So, I've got a monster text document comprising a list of various company names and associated info just in a long list one after another. I need to sort them alphabetically by name...

The text document looks like this:

Company Name:









If I only wanted to alphabetically sort the names then that would be a simple:

sed -n '/Company Name/{n;p;}' | sort

but that doesn't help me rearrange all the other bits of data associated with each Company Name. My grasp of regular expressions is woefully poor... is there a simple way to chop up the file into separate records by using the line "Company Name:" to signal the start of each new record, alphabetically sort the values for each Company Name: field, and then reassemble the document with all the other bits of each record in the right place?

The value for each field is always on the line immediately below it. Each record is of varying length, as some lack certain fields (e.g., not all will have a SomeOtherValue: field, or whatever). Some have data across multiple lines. The only things that are common throughout are the Company Name: field which is ALWAYS at the start of a new record, and the fact that there are always 3 empty lines immediately preceding each "Company Name:" label as in the example above.

Does anybody have an elegant solution for this? Or a not-so-elegant solution?

# 2  
Old 03-14-2011
One thought is to put each record on one line.
If each company name preceded by-
Name: Acme
Add1: 12 Main St.
Name: Boris
Add1: 200 Potomac

sed 's/Name/~Name/g' <infile | tr "\n" "^" | tr "~" "\n"

Add the ~ so can later force new-line. Get rid of extra new-lines by replacing with ^. Make the ~ into new lines so every record now on one line.
Do your sort. Then
tr "^" "\n"

to put the new-lines back in there.
This User Gave Thanks to joeyg For This Post:
# 3  
Old 03-14-2011
Thanks for your help. Your solution didn't work for some reason - it messed up something that meant everything reassembled completely out of order. I have a feeling there may have been some irregularities in my data after all.. Anyway, I managed to bodge together a fix in C so it's all good Smilie
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