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```
Counting Characters
===================

This script shows another way to do arithmetic with `sed'.  In this
case we have to add possibly large numbers, so implementing this by
successive increments would not be feasible (and possibly even more
complicated to contrive than this script).

The approach is to map numbers to letters, kind of an abacus
implemented with `sed'.  `a's are units, `b's are tens and so on: we
simply add the number of characters on the current line as units, and
then propagate the carry to tens, hundreds, and so on.

As usual, running totals are kept in hold space.

On the last line, we convert the abacus form back to decimal.  For
the sake of variety, this is done with a loop rather than with some 80
`s' commands(1): first we convert units, removing `a's from the number;
then we rotate letters so that tens become `a's, and so on until no
more letters remain.

#!/usr/bin/sed -nf

# Add n+1 a's to hold space (+1 is for the newline)
s/./a/g
H
x
s/\n/a/

# Do the carry.  The t's and b's are not necessary,
# but they do speed up the thing
t a
: a;  s/aaaaaaaaaa/b/g; t b; b done
: b;  s/bbbbbbbbbb/c/g; t c; b done
: c;  s/cccccccccc/d/g; t d; b done
: d;  s/dddddddddd/e/g; t e; b done
: e;  s/eeeeeeeeee/f/g; t f; b done
: f;  s/ffffffffff/g/g; t g; b done
: g;  s/gggggggggg/h/g; t h; b done
: h;  s/hhhhhhhhhh//g

: done
\$! {
h
b
}

# On the last line, convert back to decimal

: loop
/a/! s/[b-h]*/&0/
s/aaaaaaaaa/9/
s/aaaaaaaa/8/
s/aaaaaaa/7/
s/aaaaaa/6/
s/aaaaa/5/
s/aaaa/4/
s/aaa/3/
s/aa/2/
s/a/1/

: next
y/bcdefgh/abcdefg/
/[a-h]/ b loop
p

---------- Footnotes ----------

(1) Some implementations have a limit of 199 commands per script

```
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