Effective awk Programming (3rd Edition)

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9780596000707: Effective awk Programming (3rd Edition)

Effective awk Programming,3rd Edition, focuses entirely on awk, exploring it in the greatest depth of the three awk titles we carry. It's an excellent companion piece to the more broadly focused second edition.

This book provides complete coverage of the gawk 3.1 language as well as the most up-to-date coverage of the POSIX standard for awk available anywhere. Author Arnold Robbins clearly distinguishes standard awk features from GNU awk (gawk)-specific features, shines light into many of the "dark corners" of the language (areas to watch out for when programming), and devotes two full chapters to example programs. A brand new chapter is devoted to TCP/IP networking with gawk. He includes a summary of how the awk language evolved.

The book also covers:

  • Internationalization of gawk
  • Interfacing to i18n at the awk level
  • Two-way pipes
  • TCP/IP networking via the two-way pipe interface
  • The new PROCINFO array, which provides information about running gawk
  • Profiling and pretty-printing awk programs

In addition to covering the awk language, this book serves as the official "User's Guide" for the GNU implementation of awk (gawk), describing in an integrated fashion the extensions available to the System V Release 4 version of awk that are also available in gawk.

As the official gawk User's Guide, this book will also be available electronically, and can be freely copied and distributed under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's Free Documentation License (FDL). A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book will go to the Free Software Foundation to support further development of free and open source software.

The third edition of Effective awk Programming is a GNU Manual and is published by O'Reilly & Associates under the Free Software Foundation's Free Documentation License (FDL). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book is donated to the Free Software Foundation to further development of GNU software. This book is also available in electronic form; you have the freedom to modify this GNU Manual, like GNU software. Copies published by the Free Software Foundation raise funds for GNU development.

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Review:

For anyone who writes scripts in the awk family of languages, the third edition of Effective awk Programming provides an in-depth guide to processing text files with plenty of working sample code. Whether you are starting out with awk or are an experienced developer, this book will help you extend the reach of your awk scripts.

This tutorial covers the entire spectrum of awk script development: From the basics of opening, searching, and transforming text files, to a comprehensive tutorial for regular expressions, to more advanced features like internetworking. The focus is on the practical side of creating and running awk scripts, and there's plenty of hands-on advice for installing and running today's awk (and gawk).

The book begins with the fundamentals of awk for opening and transforming text flat files. The coverage of regular expressions, from simple rules for matching text to more advanced options, is particularly solid. You learn how to add variables and expressions for more intelligent awk scripts, plus how to parse data into records and fields. You'll also find out how to redirect output from awk scripts to other programs, a useful technique that can cause awk to get a lot more done in real applications.

Later, you learn several valuable sample awk scripts that mimic existing Unix utilities (like grep, id, and split), plus samples for counting words in documents and printing mailing labels, and even a stream editor. This grab bag of sample code lets you try out the techniques presented earlier in the book. Other sections look at support for networking in today's gawk; for example, how gawk can read and write to URLs on the network almost just as easily as local files. Full sample code will teach the beginner or expert how to get productive with networks and awk. Final appendices trace the evolution of the awk language and show you how to download and install gawk.

Suitable for beginner and experienced awk developers, Effective awk Programming, Third Edition, is an extremely worthwhile source of information on a wide range of programming techniques for today's awk. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the awk programming language
  • Running awk scripts
  • Basic file processing
  • Tutorial for regular expressions
  • Strategies for matching text
  • Dynamic regular expressions
  • Parsing data into records and lines (including separating fields and handling multiple-line records)
  • Using print and printf for printed output with awk (including format specifiers)
  • Redirecting awk scripts output to other processes
  • Basic and advanced awk expressions (constants, variables, and function calls)
  • Patterns
  • Shell variables and actions
  • Arrays (including multidimensional arrays and sorting)
  • Built-in and custom awk functions
  • Internationalizing and localizing awk scripts
  • Advanced gawk (communicating with other processes and networking programming)
  • Running awk and gawk
  • Sample awk scripts
  • Internetworking with awk
  • History and evolution of awk
  • Downloading and installing gawk

About the Author:

Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.

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