[CDBUG-talk] Weird scripting question

Jaime jaime at snowmoon.com
Sat Feb 11 16:45:29 EST 2017

Justin:  I would typically use Perl for this sort of thing, too.  It's just
that in this case, the process was originally so simple that I implemented
it in a bash script that was a quick SFTP get command, an "awk | sed | sed
| grep -v" pipe-chain, and an SFTP put command.  I was (very
coincidentally) reading about awk lately when this issue popped up.  So I
hoped to use this as a learning experience.  I was starting to debate
rewriting the entire thing in Perl, though.

The good news is that ​I think I it figured out in awk.  I just needed a
perspective shift, which I achieved thanks to all the feedback here and
elsewhere.  If pseudocode, this is what I needed to do:

if (grade_level not null) {
  # This is a student
  $primary_key = student_ID
} else {
 # This is an employee
  $primary_key = employee_ID# && first_letter_of_school_name
print "$primary_key, $2, $3, $4"

Once I realized this, it was easy to add a few lines to the existing awk
script using "if" and "substr()".  It appears to be working as desired
now.  When I return to work on Monday, I'll check for side-effects (since
I'm altering a live system) and then deploy.

Thanks a bunch for the thought provoking replies!

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