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.
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.
, a program that you can use to select particular records in a file and perform operations upon them.
Copyright © 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996–2005, 2007, 2009–2015 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is Edition 4.1 of , for the 4.1.2 (or later) version of the GNU implementation of AWK.
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.
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.