IBM developerWorks: Awk by example, Part 1 – An intro to the great language with the strange name

“Awk is a very nice language with a very strange name. In this
first article of a three-part series, Daniel Robbins will quickly
get your awk programming skills up to speed. As the series
progresses, more advanced topics will be covered, culminating with
an advanced real-world awk application demo.”

“In this series of articles, I’m going to turn you into a
proficient awk coder. I’ll admit, awk doesn’t have a very pretty or
particularly “hip” name, and the GNU version of awk, called gawk,
sounds downright weird. Those unfamiliar with the language may hear
“awk” and think of a mess of code so backwards and antiquated that
it’s capable of driving even the most knowledgeable UNIX guru to
the brink of insanity (causing him to repeatedly yelp “kill -9!” as
he runs for coffee machine).”

“Sure, awk doesn’t have a great name. But it is a great
language. Awk is geared toward text processing and report
generation, yet features many well-designed features that allow for
serious programming. And, unlike some languages, awk’s syntax is
familiar, and borrows some of the best parts of languages like C,
python, and bash (although, technically, awk was created before
both python and bash). Awk is one of those languages that, once
learned, will become a key part of your strategic coding


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