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A Programming Language for Handling Common Data Manipulation Tasks With

A Programming Language for Handling Common Data Manipulation Tasks With

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Published by Nagsa

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Published by: Nagsa on Nov 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/21/2011

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1
AWK
A programming language for handling commondata manipulation tasks with only a few lines ofprogram
Awk 
is a
pattern action 
language
The language looks a little like
but automaticallyhandles input, field splitting, initialization, andmemory management
x
Built-in string and number data types
x
No variable type declarations
Awk 
is a great prototyping language
x
Start with a few lines and keep adding until it does whatyou want
 
2
History
Originally designed/implemented in 1977 by AlAho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernigan
x
In part as an experiment to see how
grep 
and
sed 
couldbe generalized to deal with numbers as well as text
x
Originally intended for very short programs
x
But people started using it and the programs keptgetting bigger and bigger!
In 1985, new awk, or
nawk 
, was written to addenhancements to facilitate larger programdevelopment
x
Major new feature is user defined functions
 
3
Other enhancements in nawk include:
x
Dynamic regular expressions
q
Text substitution and pattern matching functions
x
Additional built-in functions and variables
x
New operators and statements
x
Input from more than one file
x
Access to command line arguments
nawk also improved error messages which makesdebugging considerably easier under nawk thanawk
On most systems, nawk has replaced awk
x
On ours, both exist

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