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From Dominique Devienne <>
Subject RE: How to read a file without the first n lines
Date Tue, 08 Apr 2003 15:53:45 GMT
Or we could go away entirely from head/tail, and have a new <subfile>
filter, that takes a fromLine and a toLine attribute (exclusive or
inclusive?), which default respectively to the first and last line, and
assume to be from the file start if positive, and the file end is negative.

Kind of consistent with String.substring() or list.sublist()... --DD

-----Original Message-----
From: Dominique Devienne [] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 10:47 AM
To: 'Ant Users List'
Subject: RE: How to read a file without the first n lines

Does that mean you are +1 or -1 for this extension? Seems logical to me.

On a related note, something I discovered recently is that
Integer.parseInt("+1") fails... Only the leading minus (-) is recognized.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stefan Bodewig [] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 10:45 AM
Subject: Re: How to read a file without the first n lines

On Tue, 8 Apr 2003, Jan Materne <> wrote:

> Especially if you suggestion is normal Unix-behaviour.

It is in POSIX.2 for tail, but not for head AFAIK.

In tail (from the BSD manpage):

 Numbers having a leading minus (``-'') sign or no explicit sign are
 relative to the end of the input, for example, ``-n 2'' displays the
 last two lines of the input.

Which means -n 2 and -n -2 are the same.  tail -n +2 will give you
everything except the first two lines.

Unfortunately we can't make <tailfilter lines="+2"/> do anything
different from <tailfilter lines="2"/> (setLines takes a long), so
we'll have to live with being incompatible to the command line

I just checked on my Linux system and it doesn't have something like a
negative number for head either (the "give me everything except the
last two lines" option).


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