Python's simplicity philosophy

Ben Finney bignose-hates-spam at
Thu Nov 20 02:15:15 CET 2003

On 19 Nov 2003 17:20:10 -0800, Paul Rubin wrote:
> "A.M. Kuchling" <amk at> writes:
>> [the Unix command] uniq doesn't report an error if its input isn't
>> sorted.
> Maybe it should.  If its behavior on unsorted input isn't specified,
> you shouldn't assume it will act in any particular way.  

The specification on the man page for GNU uniq seems clear on this:

        Discard  all  but  one  of successive identical lines from INPUT
        (or standard input), writing to OUTPUT (or standard output).

It doesn't care if the input is sorted or unsorted; it describes
behaviour on successive identical lines, not the total set of all lines.

 \        "The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to |
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_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <>

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