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Sorting paragraphs of text files in Linux?

+1 vote
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I have text files made of paragraphs of text, separated by blank lines.

Each "paragraph" is information about a different item.

In need to sort these paragraphs based on the first line of each paragraph.

Need some hints how to accomplish this.

posted Jun 29, 2015 by Daler

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1 Answer

0 votes

I would just concatenate lines until the blank is reached then write out the concatenated line. The result can then be sorted.
If you want to revert the result to paragraphs, just reverse the process outputting lines of up to N characters ending in a space.

answer Jun 29, 2015 by Kaushik
Adding a "line separator" to each input line is a trivial extension to simply  concatenating.

The number of input files is irrelevant; just loop through them all as awk/gawk inputs and combine the outputs using >> and then sort.

If you also want to recreate the original file structure at the end, you could also add a "file name separator" and a file name to the end of each concatenated line.

Feed the sorted output back into awk/gawk to rebuild the files but that, of course, destroys the sort sequence.
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