On Aug 11, 6:16 pm, Andrew Savige <ajsav... / yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> --- William James <w_a_x_... / yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > It's my understanding that when you use -i, a temporary file
> > is created, the original file is deleted, and the temporary
> > file is renamed.  Doesn't this cause unnecessary disk
> > fragmentation?
>
> To do this safely you'll need a temporary file.
> Slurping a file into memory, sorting it, then writing it back to the same
> file is an unsound practice, i.e. not "rerunnable-safe". Suppose, for
> example, you suffer a power failure half-way through writing back the file,
> or the write fails due to "disk full" or "user disk quota exceeded" or for
> any other reason. Oops, you've just corrupted your input file.

Of course.  But I'm willing to take that miniscule chance when
I'm doing a write to a small file that takes a fraction of a
second.

The question remains:  doesn't using a temp file cause more
disk fragmentation than writing directly to the original file?