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The GNU Awk User's Guide

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13.3.2 Rereading the Current File

Another request for a new built-in function was for a rewind function that would make it possible to reread the current file. The requesting user didn't want to have to use getline (see section Explicit Input with getline) inside a loop.

However, as long as you are not in the END rule, it is quite easy to arrange to immediately close the current input file and then start over with it from the top. For lack of a better name, we'll call it rewind:

# rewind.awk --- rewind the current file and start over
function rewind(    i)
    # shift remaining arguments up
    for (i = ARGC; i > ARGIND; i--)
        ARGV[i] = ARGV[i-1]

    # make sure gawk knows to keep going

    # make current file next to get done

    # do it

This code relies on the ARGIND variable (see section Built-in Variables That Convey Information), which is specific to gawk. If you are not using gawk, you can use ideas presented in Noting Data File Boundaries, to either update ARGIND on your own or modify this code as appropriate.

The rewind function also relies on the nextfile keyword (see section Using gawk's nextfile Statement). See section Implementing nextfile as a Function, for a function version of nextfile.

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