The POSIX description of the
-b flag for the
sort command is
Ignore leading characters when determining the starting and ending positions of a restricted sort key.
I can understand the use for the starting position of the key, but what about the ending positions? Can anybody give an example?
For instance, with the locale set to POSIX, the file with content
x z x a
would be sorted differently under
sort -k 2 and
sort -k 2b, but I haven't been able to come up with a case where, say,
sort -k 2,3b and
sort -k 2,3 would make a difference.