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Re: why does "cut" print fields in original order?



Robert P. J. Day wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Nov 2007, Ed Greshko wrote:
> 
>> Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>>>   nitpicky, yes, but it occasionally irritates me that "cut" will
>>> print fields, not in the order you specify them with the "-f" option,
>>> but in the original order in the source text, to wit:
>>>
>>> $ cut -d: -f1,7 /etc/passwd
>>> root:/bin/bash
>>> bin:/sbin/nologin
>>> daemon:/sbin/nologin
>>> ...
>>>
>>> $ cut -fd: -f7,1 /etc/passwd
>>> root:/bin/bash
>>> bin:/sbin/nologin
>>> daemon:/sbin/nologin
>>> ...
>>>
>>>   is there really a reason that cut refuses to acknowledge the
>>> order of the fields as supplied by the user?  some historical
>>> reason, perhaps, that we can now all make fun of and wonder what
>>> they were smoking at the time?
>> I don't see any indication from the man page that would lead one to
>> believe that cut will print in the order listed.  I think you are
>> simply implying a behavior that was never intended.
> 
> i understand that that's not indicated on the man page.  on the other
> hand, is there any reason that it *wasn't* done that way?  it would
> seem that that would be an obvious enhancement and, certainly, that
> would be more intuitive behaviour, no?

You would have to ask the writers (David Ihnat, David MacKenzie, and Jim
Meyering).

I'd say it was "working as designed" and that we humans sometimes are too
intuitive.  :-)


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