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30.2.3 Version sort punctuation

Punctuation is sorted by ASCII order (rule 2.B).

$ touch 1.0.5_src.tar.gz 1.0_src.tar.gz
$ ls -v -1

Why is 1.0.5_src.tar.gz listed before 1.0_src.tar.gz?

Based on the version-sort ordering rules, the strings are broken down into the following parts:

          1   vs  1               (rule 3, all digits)
          .   vs  .               (rule 2, all non-digits)
          0   vs  0               (rule 3)
          .   vs  _src.tar.gz     (rule 2)
          5   vs  empty string    (no more bytes in the file name)
_src.tar.gz   vs  empty string

The fourth parts (‘.’ and ‘_src.tar.gz’) are compared lexically by ASCII order. The ‘.’ (ASCII value 46) is less than ‘_’ (ASCII value 95) – and should be listed before it.

Hence, 1.0.5_src.tar.gz is listed first.

If a different byte appears instead of the underscore (for example, percent sign ‘%’ ASCII value 37, which is less than dot’s ASCII value of 46), that file will be listed first:

$ touch   1.0.5_src.tar.gz     1.0%zzzzz.gz

The same reasoning applies to the following example, as ‘.’ with ASCII value 46 is less than ‘/’ with ASCII value 47:

$ cat input5
$ sort -V input5