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4.10 Counting Words

This script is almost the same as the previous one, once each of the words on the line is converted to a single ‘a’ (in the previous script each letter was changed to an ‘a’).

It is interesting that real wc programs have optimized loops for ‘wc -c’, so they are much slower at counting words rather than characters. This script’s bottleneck, instead, is arithmetic, and hence the word-counting one is faster (it has to manage smaller numbers).

Again, the common parts are not commented to show the importance of commenting sed scripts.

#!/usr/bin/sed -nf

# Convert words to a's
s/[ tab][ tab]*/ /g
s/^/ /
s/ [^ ][^ ]*/a /g
s/ //g
# Append them to hold space
H
x
s/\n//
# From here on it is the same as in wc -c.
/aaaaaaaaaa/! bx;   s/aaaaaaaaaa/b/g
/bbbbbbbbbb/! bx;   s/bbbbbbbbbb/c/g
/cccccccccc/! bx;   s/cccccccccc/d/g
/dddddddddd/! bx;   s/dddddddddd/e/g
/eeeeeeeeee/! bx;   s/eeeeeeeeee/f/g
/ffffffffff/! bx;   s/ffffffffff/g/g
/gggggggggg/! bx;   s/gggggggggg/h/g
s/hhhhhhhhhh//g
:x
$! { h; b; }
:y
/a/! s/[b-h]*/&0/
s/aaaaaaaaa/9/
s/aaaaaaaa/8/
s/aaaaaaa/7/
s/aaaaaa/6/
s/aaaaa/5/
s/aaaa/4/
s/aaa/3/
s/aa/2/
s/a/1/
y/bcdefgh/abcdefg/
/[a-h]/ by
p

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