GNU bug report logs - #19287
sort: doc: improve "-k/--key" explanation

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Package: coreutils; Severity: wishlist; Reported by: Leslie Satenstein <lsatenstein@HIDDEN>; dated Sat, 6 Dec 2014 13:04:02 UTC; Maintainer for coreutils is bug-coreutils@HIDDEN.
Changed bug title to 'sort: doc: improve "-k/--key" explanation' from 'Request to improve the Man document for "sort."' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

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Message-ID: <1417870952.17788.31.camel@HIDDEN>
Subject: Request to improve the Man document for "sort."
From: Leslie Satenstein <lsatenstein@HIDDEN>
To: bug-coreutils@HIDDEN
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2014 08:02:32 -0500
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I had a lot of head scratching until someone clarified the
documentation.

Here is the line and explanation that bothers me.
Explanation of -k ... 

        -k, --key=POS1[,POS2]
            start a key at POS1 (origin 1), end it at POS2 (default end
        of line) 
        

with accompanying explanation

        POS is F[.C][OPTS], where F is the field number and C the
        character position in the field; both are origin 1. If neither
        -t nor -b is in effect, characters in a field are counted from
        the beginning of the preceding whitespace. OPTS is one or more
        single-letter ordering options, which override global ordering
        options for that key. If no key is given, use the entire line as
        the key. 
        


It was not clear to me that when -t was used with a field delimited
file, then to sort only by the entire enclosed field, we need to specify
-k F.F  and that -k F'.F' may occur multiple times.

It was only with the SEE ALSO that with the visit to info coreutils sort
invocation that explanation about sorting fields was described.

Can a clarification of the explanation for -k be provided.

I would add one sentence after the last line of the above indented
paragraph.
                                                                        
   For additional rules pertaining to the sort of field delimited
   records, consult info coreutils sort invocation
        
      
We should not have to visit two references (man and info) in order to
setup sort keys.

Regards

Leslie Satenstein





Acknowledgement sent to Leslie Satenstein <lsatenstein@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#19287; Package coreutils. Full text available.
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