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The AWK Programming Language Paperback – January 11, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0201079814 ISBN-10: 020107981X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1 edition (January 11, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020107981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201079814
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Originally developed by Alfred Aho, Brian Kernighan, and Peter Weinberger in 1977, AWK is a pattern-matching language for writing short programs to perform common data-manipulation tasks. In 1985, a new version of the language was developed, incorporating additional features such as multiple input files, dynamic regular expressions, and user-defined functions. This new version is available for both Unix and MS-DOS.

This is the first book on AWK. It begins with a tutorial that shows how easy AWK is to use. The tutorial is followed by a comprehensive manual for the new version of AWK. Subsequent chapters illustrate the language by a range of useful applications, such as:

  • Retrieving, transforming, reducing, and validating data
  • Managing small, personal databases
  • Text processing
  • Little languages
  • Experimenting with algorithms
The examples illustrates the book's three themes: showing how to use AWK well, demonstrating AWK's versatility, and explaining how common computing operations are done. In addition, the book contains two appendixes: summary of the language, and answers to selected exercises.



020107981XB04062001

About the Author

Brian W. Kernighan works in the Computing Science Research Center at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies. He is Consulting Editor for Addison-Wesley's Professional Computing Series and the author, with Dennis Ritchie, of The C Programming Language.

020107981XAB04062001


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Its your constant reference guide.
Amazon Customer
Anyone who supports computers for a living, whether in the Unix or Windows environment, can find valuable ideas here.
hoosac
And this book is very helpful for both beginning intermediate programmers of awk and advanced users.
G. Powell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By G. Powell on February 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is THE bible for awk users. If you refuse to use perl, which incorporated most of awk, or have to maintain old awk scripts then this is the text. I like the O'Reilly text for learning the basics, but after that you need this guide. For some tasks awk is the premier solution, for others, use awk as part of the solution along with perl and a shell script. Still a cool language. And this book is very helpful for both beginning intermediate programmers of awk and advanced users.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
The AWK Programming Language was written very well. The first couple of chapters describe the language and the rest are full of real-world examples. The exercises at the end of each section are very helpful and expand on the examples given. Any one who works with flat data files should be familiar with awk, and this is the book to get the job done.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
While the Nutshell book is more of a reference guide, Aho's shows how to really use the language with practical examples.
From basic examples to flatfile reports and using Awk to try out language issues in compiler design.
For those who know Awk there are some great ideas in here. For those who are just starting out it's an excellent way to ease yourself into writing Awk scripts.
A script writers must have.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By hoosac on April 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book -- but the price is ridiculous. I purchased a paperback copy of "The Awk Programming Language" about 15 years ago, and its price was in the $20 range. Times change, and prices go up, but $73 for a 200-page book, even if it is a hardcover, verges on outright theft.

Which is a shame, because this is a great book, written by the men who developed the language. In addition to a lengthy tutorial, it contains many examples of sophisticated programs that can be constructed from the simple tools provided by Awk. Anyone who supports computers for a living, whether in the Unix or Windows environment, can find valuable ideas here.

But the price: c'mon guys, you've got to be kidding. This book has been in print for 20 years now. You've long since made back the initial costs of publishing it. The authors are famous in computer science circles, and have written many other books. I'm sure they don't need the money. So I have to conclude that this is just a cash cow for the publishers.

If you're looking to learn about Awk, and you're on a budget, I would suggest "Effective Awk Programming" by Arnold Robbins. It's available in PDF form as a free download. If you'd like to support the author, buy a printed copy of the book, as I did. Published by O'Reilly, it's available in paperback at Amazon for about $26.

And if you can find a reasonably-priced copy of "The Awk Programming Language", by all means, grab it. It's a classic. Thanks to the publishers, however, it's a classic that's out of most people's reach.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Dwoske on January 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've become a big fan of Awk. Some people may tell you that Awk is outdated and no longer useful; not with other languages such as Perl and Ruby available. Well, Awk does one thing and does it well. It does it "fast enough" most of the time, and does it with a very small language.

Perl and Ruby are fine, but if you lean towards "small is beautiful", you must learn Awk. For times when you need it, it's a Godsend. I've used it recently to automatically generate SQL insert statements from some flat files and to do automatic code generation for larger languages.

Some of the best tools have survived the test of time.

In this book, I feel like I learned all the things I need to know about Awk - all the way from beginner to advanced. It's a classic. Not a lot of books get five stars for me. This book fulfills it's goals perfectly, so deserves a perfect rating.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Raghuram Krishnaswamy on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book in the early 90's, it cost me $20, now it is $84!!!! This is the book written by the authors of the language and is like any other book they have put out. Awesome.

But I must call out to Addison Wesley that their pricing smacks of something more than greed, insanity. They trying to become the Enron of publishing
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D L on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
In Unix today, several scripting languages exist: awk, perl, tcl and python. Awk is a small, easy-to-learn, yet powerful programming language, and is language of choice for quick, think- and analyze-on-the-fly tasks. This book is written by the inventors of this wonderful language. It provides an excellent introduction to the language, with many practical examples for day-to-day use. Over many years, it has also served as a good reference to the language. In addition, this book gives concise introduction to numerous fundamental algorithms in computer science (interpreter, calculator, parser, sorting, graph algorithms, ..), which I consult for complex tasks even today.

Always a joy to read! Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be well written and to the point. I was able to quickly learn the basics. Yet the book is also a valuable reference book covering all facets of the language. I would highly recommend it.
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