2

If I do a plain ack for a string, I get a line with the filename, and then the line numbers and the matching lines, like so:

$> ack function
mymodule.file
8: function myfunction1() {
16:  public function __construct( $protocol = 'ftp') {
36:  public static function getSupportedProtocols() {

However, when I ack the results for a second string, the lines come out with more information on a single line:

$> ack function|ack test
mymodule.file:897:function mytest() {

I noticed this also happens when grepping the results of ack.

How is the information on various lines being reduced to one line? Is it the shell doing this?

3

This is done by ack itself. ack checks if its standard output is connected to a terminal, and if it isn't, it prints output in a different format. I guess this format was chosen because it is more easy to process by applications designed for text processing (like grep or ack itself).

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