Preventing Asterisk Expansion in Function Params in Bourne Shell Script

This is a discussion on Preventing Asterisk Expansion in Function Params in Bourne Shell Script within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm writing a shell script in which I am performing floating point calculations. I cannot use `expr` since it does ...

  1. #1
    Magically delicious LuckY's Avatar
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    Preventing Asterisk Expansion in Function Params in Bourne Shell Script

    I'm writing a shell script in which I am performing floating point calculations. I cannot use `expr` since it does not support real numbers, so I decided to write/use a function to use `bc` like this:
    Code:
    math(){
      echo $1 | bc -l
    }
    
    result=`math "2.4 * 6.8"`
    The problem is that the asterisk is expanded to all filenames in the current directory when it is passed to math(). Escaping it (\*) does not help because then `bc` won't accept the string.

    Have you any ideas besides a hack in which I use escapes then remove them in math()? That may be the route I'll be forced to take, but I'd prefer something cleaner.

  2. #2
    Magically delicious LuckY's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
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    Wow. Clearly I overlooked something quite elementary. Enclosing $1 in quotes prevents using the asterisk as a wildcard:
    Code:
    math(){
      echo "$1" | bc -l
    }
    Don't you hate when you try for hours to fix something then realize how slight your oversight was?

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