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, a program that you can use to select particular records in a file and perform operations upon them.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being “GNU General Public License”, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual”, and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below.
A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”. We were introduced in 1990 by circumstances—and our favorite programming language, AWK.
The circumstances started a couple of years earlier.
I was working at a new job and noticed an unplugged Unix computer sitting in the corner. However, a couple of days later, it was running, and I was and the one-and-only user. Weinberger’s ’s simple programming paradigm—find a pattern in the input and then perform an action—often reduced complex or tedious data manipulations to a few lines of code.
That day, I began the transition from statistician to Unix programmer. I was excited to try my hand at programming in AWK. A few days after my posting, I got a friendly email from Arnold introducing himself.
On one of many trips to the library or bookstore in search of books on Unix, I found the gray AWK book, a.k.a. He suggested we share design and algorithms and attached a draft of the POSIX standard so that I could update .
Frankly, if our roles had been reversed, I would not have been so open and we probably would have never met. He is an AWK expert’s AWK expert and a genuinely nice person.
Arnold contributes significant amounts of his expertise and time to the Free Software Foundation.
This book is the reference manual, but at its core it is a book about AWK programming that will appeal to a wide audience.
It is a definitive reference to the AWK language as defined by the 1987 Bell Laboratories release and codified in the 1992 POSIX Utilities standard.
On the other hand, the novice AWK programmer can study a wealth of practical programs that emphasize the power of AWK’s basic idioms: data-driven control flow, pattern matching with regular expressions, and associative arrays. The programs in this book make clear that an AWK program is typically much smaller and faster to develop than a counterpart written in C.
Consequently, there is often a payoff to prototyping an algorithm or design in AWK to get it running quickly and expose problems early.