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Sorting lines by length

From: Loris Bennett
Subject: Sorting lines by length
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:56:33 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)


Is there a canonical way of sorting lines by length, longest first?

I have a file with which might look like this:

7-Jan-2013 node025 node061
14-Jan-2013 node025 node034 node061
21-Jan-2013 node025 node034 node050 node061
28-Jan-2013 node025 node034 node061
4-Feb-2013 node025 node034 node061
11-Feb-2013 node025 node034 node061
18-Feb-2013 node034
25-Feb-2013 node034
11-Mar-2013 node025

I actually just need the longest line first.  For the example above this
is quite easy to see, but in the real file, there are around 100 lines
and the longest might have around 1000 characters.

My use case is reading the data into an R data frame.  The number of
columns in the resulting data frame seems to be determined by the number
of items in the first line.



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