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Summing Up

If we search the bash man page for the word “array,” we find many instances of where bash makes use of array variables. Most of these are rather obscure, but they may pro- vide occasional utility in some special circumstances. In fact, the entire topic of arrays is rather under-utilized in shell programming owing largely to the fact that the traditional Unix shell programs (such as sh) lacked any support for arrays. This lack of popularity is unfortunate because arrays are widely used in other programming languages and provide a powerful tool for solving many kinds of programming problems.

Arrays and loops have a natural affinity and are often used together. The

for ((expr; expr; expr))

form of loop is particularly well-suited to calculating array subscripts.

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