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New Features In Bash Version 4.x - Part 4

Apr 23, 2010, 20:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by William Shotts)

"In this final installment of our series, we will look at perhaps the most significant area of change in bash version 4.x: arrays.

"Arrays In bash

"Arrays were introduced in version 2 of bash about fifteen years ago. Since then, they have been on the fringes of shell programming. I, in fact, have never seen a shell script "in the wild" that used them. None of the scripts on LinuxCommand.org, for example, use arrays.

"Why is this? Arrays are widely used in other programming languages. I see two reasons for this lack of popularity. First, arrays are not a traditional shell feature. The Bourne shell, which bash was designed to emulate and replace, offers no array support at all. Second, arrays in bash are limited to a single dimension, an unusual limitation given that virtually every other programming language supports multi-dimensional arrays."

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