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Re: [Help-bash] Remove an empty (null) element in an indexed array

From: Greg Wooledge
Subject: Re: [Help-bash] Remove an empty (null) element in an indexed array
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 08:52:45 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 05:28:23PM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> Assume array:  declare -a FOO=(red blue green white black)
> Now, address@hidden would return 5
> If I then do: unset FOO[2}, the "green" element is erased and
> address@hidden returns 4. However, if I do: 

You should use

  unset 'FOO[2]'

with the quotes.  If you omit the quotes, and if there just happens to
be a file named FOO2 in the current directory, then Bash will perform
globbing and convert the command into

  unset FOO2

which will not do what you expected.

> echo address@hidden

Again, the quotes are very important.

  echo "address@hidden"

Or better still,

  printf '<%s> ' "address@hidden"; echo

I cannot duplicate your results any more than Chet could.  Even in a very
old version of Bash:

imadev:~$ bash-2.05b
imadev:~$ FOO=(red orange yellow green blue indigo violet)
imadev:~$ unset 'FOO[2]'
imadev:~$ printf '<%s> ' "address@hidden"; echo
<red> <orange> <green> <blue> <indigo> <violet> 

Perhaps you've got IFS set to something weird, and that together with
your missing quotes is causing unexpected oddness.  But I can't guess
what value of IFS would cause it.

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