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arr=(a b c d)
declare -A brr
for i in ${!arr[@]}
echo ${brr[@]}                             #0 1 2 3

Is there any way to reverse the values and key pairs using sed or any other command. I think I would have to just do some pattern change of text instead of using bash loops, perhaps something like.

brr=($(echo ${!arr[@]} | sed commands))

so that the new array becomes like brr=([a]=0 [b]=1 [c]=2 [d]=3) if I use brace expansion it can come up to this point:

arr=(a b c d)
declare -A brr
var=${var// /,}
brr=$(eval echo [{$var}]=)
echo $brr                              #[a]= [b]= [c]= [d]=

now I just need to add the keys 0,1,2,3

EDIT : I was able to do it but can I make it shorter and simpler especially the sed lines

arr=(a b c d)
declare -A Rev
var=${arr[@]}                    #var is equal to a b c d
var=${var// /,}                  #var is equal to a,b,c,d after adding , for space
brr=$(eval echo Rev[{$var}]=)    #brr equal to Rev[a]= Rev[b]= Rev[c]= Rev[d]=

#Rev[a]= Rev[b]= Rev[c]= Rev[d]=

r="$(echo $brr | 
sed 's/ /\n/g' | sed '/./=' | sed '/./N; s/\n//' | 
  sed 's/\(^[0-9]\{1,\}\)\(.*\)/\2$(echo \1 - 1 | bc)/' | tr '\n' ';' |
                                                          sed "s/\[/\[\'/g;s/\]/\'\]/g")"
#pipe the output of echo(Rev[a]= Rev[b]= Rev[c]= Rev[d]=) to sed
#convert space to newlines
#add line numbers
#put the line numbers adjacent to the values Rev[a],Rev[b],Rev[c],Rev[d] like
# 1rev[a]=
# 2Rev[b]=
# 3Rev[c]=
# 4Rev[d]=
#change 1Rev[a]= format to Rev[a]=1
#convert newlines to ; looking like Rev[a]=0;Rev[b]=1;Rev[c]=2;Rev[d]=3
#put quotes around the keys Rev['a']=0;Rev['b']=1;Rev['c']=2;Rev['d']=3

eval $r
echo ${Rev[@]}      #0 1 2 3
echo ${!Rev[@]}     #a b c d
share|improve this question
Don't use sed for this, you'll end up with a parsing corner case nightmare. –  Chris Down Oct 6 '13 at 6:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would heed @ChrisDown's advice and not try to do something clever here. I would create the for loop and reverse the keys with the values in the new array. It's only a few lines of code.

Anything you create in this manner is going to be more difficult for others to support down the road, and more difficult for you to remember/understand how it works when you revisit the code in the future.

share|improve this answer
Never mind that the shell expansion to generate the input to sed is using a bash loop internally anyway, so whatever reason you have for avoiding iterating over the array is lost, with the additional loss of having to fork() a new process for the sed on top of that. –  dannysauer Oct 6 '13 at 19:20
arr=(a b c d)
set -- $(echo ${arr[@]} | tr ' ' '\n' | sed "s/.*/arr['&']=/")
eval echo $(seq 1 ${#arr[@]} | sed 's/\(.*\)/${\1}$(echo \1 -1 | bc)/') 


declare -A brr
arr=(a b c d)
eval "brr=($(eval echo $(sed 's/\([0-9]\)/[${arr[\1]}]=\1/g' <(echo ${!arr[@]}))))"
echo ${brr[@]}


#arr['a']=0 arr['b']=1 arr['c']=2 arr['d']=3
share|improve this answer

As others have said, I think sed would be a difficult solution.

The following loop could accomplish what you want:

arr=(a b c d)
for i in ${!arr[@]}; do
echo ${brr[@]}
#[a]=0 [b]=1 [c]=2 [d]=3
share|improve this answer

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