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Need help understanding sort tests

From: Andy Jewell
Subject: Need help understanding sort tests
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 09:01:36 -0500

In the test suite for sort (coreutils 6.9), there are two tests that seem to be testing for incorrect behavior.

I'm hoping someone will help me understand why the behavior in the test is correct.

Here are the commands, and the expected output. (The tests are 10f and 10g).

sort -t : -k 1.3,1.3

sort -k 1.4,1.4
b ba
a ab

In both of these cases it seems that the explicit -k matches an empty string, which would compare equal, so it would fall back to the last resort memcmp of the whole line, which would produce the opposite ordering from above.

So what am I missing?

many thanks,

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