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st: repeating strings

From   "MA V" <>
Subject   st: repeating strings
Date   Wed, 18 Oct 2006 02:03:11 +0000

I believe that there is an easy answer for my problem but I can seem to find
it anywhere...
I have a table with the following format (this is a toy example where we
have the cities on which each person has lived in order - city1 is where
they lived first):

name city1 city2 city3
John  SF       .     .
John     .     Chi     .
John     .      .      LA
Mary      .      NY    .
Mary   Chi       .     .

What I would like to do is to fill in the missing values with the strings,
i.e. I would like to get at the end:

name city1 city2 city3
John   SF     Chi    LA
John   SF     Chi     LA
John   SF      Chi    LA
Mary   Chi      NY    .
Mary   Chi      NY     .

Any suggestions?

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