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10.3.2 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 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
    ARGC++

    # make current file next to get done
    ARGV[ARGIND+1] = FILENAME

    # do it
    nextfile
}

This code relies on the ARGIND variable (see Auto-set), which is specific to gawk. If you are not using gawk, you can use ideas presented in the previous section to either update ARGIND on your own or modify this code as appropriate.

The rewind() function also relies on the nextfile keyword (see Nextfile Statement).